One Acre Pond Build
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    IndyFarmLife-AC's Avatar
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    One Acre Pond Build

    We just started in on our one acre pond build. Right now we are stripping topsoil and prepping the site. It will be an excavated pond (i.e. no dam) and constructed in some of Indiana's finest clay. The test hole we dug in March has held water very well. It will be dug to a depth of roughly 20ft and most of the dirt will be used to create a massive berm on our property. It will be stocked and will also have a beach area. I plan to have a solar powered aerator in it as well. That said, anyone out there have any pointers/advice/lessons learned that they would be willing to share? Open to input on the construction, maintenance, fish structure, stocking, etc. Thanks all!
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    ttazzman's Avatar
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    might check with your state ag extension ....ours missouri provides advisement-assistance-resources-funds-etc to develop aquacultures/stocking etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyFarmLife-AC View Post
    We just started in on our one acre pond build. Right now we are stripping topsoil and prepping the site. It will be an excavated pond (i.e. no dam) and constructed in some of Indiana's finest clay. The test hole we dug in March has held water very well. It will be dug to a depth of roughly 20ft and most of the dirt will be used to create a massive berm on our property. It will be stocked and will also have a beach area. I plan to have a solar powered aerator in it as well. That said, anyone out there have any pointers/advice/lessons learned that they would be willing to share? Open to input on the construction, maintenance, fish structure, stocking, etc. Thanks all!
    How do you plan on filling the pond? Does a good amount of your property drain to the spot where your pond is being dug out?
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    Waiting to follow along

    That's a lot of dirt to move. . . but should be a good project when finished.

    If you are going to stock the pond with fish, try to leave some structure for the fish. A barrel with both ends cut out, gnarly tree stump etc. is good for fish, not so good for swimmers so you want to mark any swimming hazards. An alternative is to not have the bottom completely smooth but have some up down variation for little fish to get away from big fish.

    The aeration should help but hopefully by going that deep you can get some spring inflow. If not, you may get algae. For some reason, barley straw takes care of that. Not wheat straw or hay, only barley straw seems to work.

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    IndyFarmLife-AC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvbearcat View Post
    How do you plan on filling the pond? Does a good amount of your property drain to the spot where your pond is being dug out?

    We have a direct watershed of about 5 acres to fill it plus ground water. Both the county surveyor and the farmer who plans to help us dig it (he owns about 1k acres in the area and has dug several ponds) believes we should have no trouble keeping it full.
    Last edited by IndyFarmLife-AC; 07-22-2019 at 02:20 PM.
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    IndyFarmLife-AC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    That's a lot of dirt to move. . . but should be a good project when finished.

    If you are going to stock the pond with fish, try to leave some structure for the fish. A barrel with both ends cut out, gnarly tree stump etc. is good for fish, not so good for swimmers so you want to mark any swimming hazards. An alternative is to not have the bottom completely smooth but have some up down variation for little fish to get away from big fish.

    The aeration should help but hopefully by going that deep you can get some spring inflow. If not, you may get algae. For some reason, barley straw takes care of that. Not wheat straw or hay, only barley straw seems to work.

    Treefarmer
    Appreciate the advice. Yes, we are in the midst of researching pond structure, spawn beds, etc. Stumps, logs, Christmas trees, and pallets will likely find their way into our pond. So you sink full bales of barley straw to combat algae? I'll have to look into that further. We are banking on some springs during the dig as well.

    Yes, it is going to be a LOT of dirt! The farmer I referenced in my most recent post has all the toys necessary to make this happen. I just brought in a D4H last week to start with topsoil removal. I got some good seat time in on it over the weekend.
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    Barley straw

    [QUOTE=IndyFarmLife-AC;3307528]Appreciate the advice. Yes, we are in the midst of researching pond structure, spawn beds, etc. Stumps, logs, Christmas trees, and pallets will likely find their way into our pond. So you sink full bales of barley straw to combat algae? I'll have to look into that further. We are banking on some springs during the dig as well.

    Yes, it is going to be a LOT of dirt! The farmer I referenced in my most recent post has all the toys necessary to make this happen. I just brought in a D4H last week to start with topsoil removal. I got some good seat time in on it over the weekend. [/QUOTE

    I don't know why barley straw works, I wish I did. You can find articles on the internet giving quantities necessary etc. It's weird to me that it's only barley straw but since I don't know why it works, I don't know why other bales don't work.

    I envy you the seat time on the dozer. I've only played with one a little, it would be fun to try and actually get a feel for using one. Maybe some day, I'll rent one as a present to myself. . .

    Treefarmer
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    IndyFarmLife-AC's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Treefarmer;3307550]
    Quote Originally Posted by IndyFarmLife-AC View Post
    Appreciate the advice. Yes, we are in the midst of researching pond structure, spawn beds, etc. Stumps, logs, Christmas trees, and pallets will likely find their way into our pond. So you sink full bales of barley straw to combat algae? I'll have to look into that further. We are banking on some springs during the dig as well.

    Yes, it is going to be a LOT of dirt! The farmer I referenced in my most recent post has all the toys necessary to make this happen. I just brought in a D4H last week to start with topsoil removal. I got some good seat time in on it over the weekend. [/QUOTE

    I don't know why barley straw works, I wish I did. You can find articles on the internet giving quantities necessary etc. It's weird to me that it's only barley straw but since I don't know why it works, I don't know why other bales don't work.

    I envy you the seat time on the dozer. I've only played with one a little, it would be fun to try and actually get a feel for using one. Maybe some day, I'll rent one as a present to myself. . .

    Treefarmer
    I'll definitely look more into the barley straw! Thanks!

    Yea, day one on the dozer and it was very apparent I was a novice. By day two I didn't look so silly. ha I am going to video most of this process, so it will all hit our YouTube channel at some point!
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    Have you got an overflow structure in mind? I work for a civil engineering firm and when we design a lake, we always put in trench under the dam. This is to make sure there is nothing under the dam that would cause problems, such as poor soils or field tile. I know you aren't building a dam but you do want to make sure there are not field tile.
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