1 acre pond

Malrex

LawnSite Member
Bonzai--sweet pond! Good job.

I love pond construction..but 1 acre! wow! If it was me, I would follow the advice of Fechmupbud. I would make sure I had help and advice from other professionals about filtration, lining, etc. Anything that would help me sleep at night, then I would dig in.
 

Pro-Scapes

LawnSite Platinum Member
wow and I thought my 4 acre pond we dammed up was a chunk of work. Your 1 acre with liners and edges is going to be a ton of work. If he is willing to pay and you can do it I say go for it. This could be the huge one that lands you some realllllly nice projects in the future.

Our pond is natural spring fed. It created a natural habitat for raising game fish. Largest to date is 7.5 pound bass hauled out last year.

Sometimes we actually darken the water with a few tons of lime to help keep the natural grasses and weeds down. I wouldnt even wanna consider maintaining a 1 acre pond that clear.

I will come light it up for materials plus expenses. The experience alone would be payment enough for me.
 

Fechmupbud

LawnSite Member
Location
(Zone 7a)
Billy,

Sorry to Hi-Jack the thread, but would you enlighten me on the lime/darkening procedure you mentioned? I'm very interested for a few of my clients whose ponds are constant problems (stormwater mgmt ponds, not ornamental). I've never heard of using that, do you use another product to buffer the pH????
 

Pro-Scapes

LawnSite Platinum Member
no other product... 1 or 2 grass carp then about 6 tons of lime in 4 acres (mind you this is a natural spring fed pond that over flows our earthen dam via drain pipe and flows into creek). Just have the dump truck dump it as close as he dares to the water and then push what you can in with the tractor and let the rain do the rest.

The fish do bug out for a week or so and the fishing drops off but then right back to it. Pretty common practice here. We dont add chemicals at all. The Idea is to toss off the ph a bit which darkens the water and doesnt allow sunlight to hit the bottom for the weeds to grow. The darker water actually seems to help the fishing actually. Watermelon seed lizards work really well for bass. The bream still preffer good old fasioned crickets. We are going to be rebuilding the dock soon and got to get our feeders fixed up then may stock with about 25 pounds of fathead minnows and just see what kind of bass we can grow. This pond is at the bottom of a gully a few hundred yards behind our house. It does collect alot of storm water as well and has come close to over flowing. Besides the drain pipe you can barley see in the pic there is a small pillway installed as well.

Pics can be found a few posts down here http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=75426&page=14
 

Fishwhiz

LawnSite Member
Location
Oregon
Noticing this thread actually started a couple of years ago, this discussion is more valuable in considering the question of how one goes about doing something they have no experience in doing. It becomes a risk management issue. The scenario also illustrates how little some clients realize what goes into the planning, design and execution of a project like this. Does a person cross their fingers and forge ahead, get expert advice, contract the project out completely etc?

From the original post, we learn: " I would love to be involved on a project of this size. I've taken classes and read about everything you can read. But we haven't installed one yet. Obviously I have concerned because I have no "hands on" experience but there isn't anyone else local that does ponds."

One might also wonder about any Landscape Architect who would consider allowing someone to take on such a project with little or no experience. This may come down to expectations. If the owner has no expectations more than what he sees in neighboring ponds, there may not be too much risk. After all, most of them were never really designed in the first place. If the owner has images of clear water and leaping trout in a picturesque pond who's life will span generations, that is an entirely different realm. To suggest using technques and materials from plastic ponds that average far less than one-percent the size of an acre pond is inane.

Thus the real question here is: how does one go about taking on a project they have no experience with? I suggest cautiously, very cautiously.

I'm recalling a quote from long ago: "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
 

Mike Fronczak

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Rochester, NY
Fishwhiz,
I have a question. We have a 3/4-1 acre pond (my house) every year it gets infested with weeds. The pond is 6-7 feet deep in spring, does get runoff from fields. When we moved in it had bass, bluegill, several koi & carp (4 or 5). Several of the carp have died (2 or 3), which I'm sure makes it worse. I would like to get the weeds under control, aside from going broke doing it, what is the best way.
 

Pro-Scapes

LawnSite Platinum Member
add a few more grass carp. We use white amur carp i think it is but i dont know how they will hold there. We lime our water to darken it to help kill the grass. A dump truck load on the bank then let it wash in or push it in with the tractor works for us.
 

Fishwhiz

LawnSite Member
Location
Oregon
Mike,

Solutions are dictated by goals and budgets, we often compromise one for the other. Since you say you have just a few "carp" in your pond, I am assuming you mean grass carp since common carp would have multiplied many times over to create a population that would threaten the health of your pond.

Decide between your priorities here...

1) good fishing / big fish
2)water clarity
3)manageable levels of weeds
4)all of the above

Adding a few more grass carp will control the weeds for a while. Over time you will end up with either too many carp which results in murky water , or too few which is your scenario with too many weeds. They tend to one end of the spectrum or the other with a period of time that is within the range of desirability. The fishing is good for while, then declines depending on the amount of weeds and phytoplankton available. This process is an endless cycle of good and bad.

The next least expensive technique is to actually fertilize the pond and run an aerator to produce heavy phytoplankton blooms. You get bigger warm water fish (not trout) and the algae keeps the rooted plants from growing. This is a more stable or predictable method as long as green water is fine with you. The fishing will be better too.

If you really want to have it all: big fish, clear water and just the right amount of vegetation and the ultimate property value in a habitat that will persist for centuries, this is where we come in. We rebuild these habitats to become the "perfect beast". It's not cheap; it is the ultimate value.

While I rarely comment on techniques recommended on internet sites (because you just cannot keep up with all the bad advice on these sites), I will comment in this case. Liming a pond is like using slow speed dynamite. It's a great tool in the right hands. The intermediate effects vary widely depending on water chemistry and condition of the watershed. If used too much, it will eventually ruin a fishery and cause chronic weed growth of weed varieties that grass carp do not prefer. We are actually working on rehabilitating one of these scenarios this week. Just remember what seems to work in one case for a while, will not work everywhere. We use techniques that work over the long-term and not those which contribute to long-term problems.

I believe it was that great American Philosopher, Popeye who said "ya payz yer money and ya takes yer chances". That pretty much sums up lake and pond management.
 
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