My Pond Project

   #1  

ETD66SS

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I'm new to this site. I have posted my project on other sites, but this one seems more active, so I'll post it here too:

Hi all, this will be a long post with a lot of pictures, I hope I don't bore anyone.

I started my pond(s) project in the summer of 2006.

I bought a Caterpillar D6C dozer hoping that would be the only tool I needed for the job.

My plan was to dig two ponds and connect them with a culvert. This was to facilitate driveway between them, as shown here:

Pond(s) plan

Here are some pictures of the very early stages of the small pond, it's only .32 acres in size:

Excavating 2006

I ran into a problem at about 8 ft deep, the gray clay was soaked, and I was afraid to get my dozer stuck. So I had to abandoned the digging for that year. I was disappointed, I wanted to get to 16 ft deep.

It was a very wet fall & winter, here is what the pond looked like the next spring/early summer:

Spring 2007

In the fall of 2006 I bought a CAT 225 excavator, as I needed to dig the small pond deeper, and knew I needed something to dig the large pond with.

The spring/summer of 2007 was very dry, I pumped out the ~7ft deep pond, and made a ramp down in, and took my CAT 225 as far in as I dared. I was able to get to ~14-15ft deep using my 225:

Deepening the small pond

I finally ended up with this:

Finished small pond

Now it was on to the larger pond with the CAT 225.

I am not an experienced heavy equipment operator, and it probably shows in my results, but here is how far I got with the large pond last summer:

Digging large pond

Cross section of channel

Unfortunately, I only got 2/3 complete with the excavation before winter & wet weather came. I can't dig in the fall/winter months if it's too wet, as my dump truck is just a Louisville tandem axle, I don't have a articulating dump. The pond stated to fill up quick:

Large pond filling

Ponds pretty full late winter

Finally, here is what they look like now:

Ponds, spring of 2008

Now, I know I have a lot of work to do with the banks, and the slopes in some areas. I wish I could have gotten everything done as quickly as the pro's do it, but that didn't happen.

That is pretty much where my project stands now. I have to pump out the larger pond into the smaller one, and let the excess flow out the spillway before I can continue with the excavation.

Currently I'm building a new base & cage for my trash pump. I'm replacing the 2 gallon fuel tank with a 50 gallon tank from an old dump truck so I can run the pump for 4-5 days straight.
 
   #3  

hayden

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Very nice and thanks for sharing it.
 
   #4  

meadowlarkponds

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Looks great. I like the connection between the two ponds and have thought about doing that myself, but would have to dig a long trench...an excavator would be perfect for that.

How large is the larger pond? Both are excavated ponds, right, as opposed to embankment?

If embankment, could have left an opening for water to drain out during construction...which is what I've done on three other ponds....so you could continue working without having to pump so much.

Since they are connected, what are your plans for stocking?

I'm a pond nut myself, so appreciate your posts and look forward to hearing more about your project. Thanks for the pictures.
 
  
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ETD66SS

ETD66SS

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The land is totally flat. They are both excavated ponds fed mostly by groundwater + runoff.

I have to find a big culvert for a connection. I'd like a culvert at least 6 ft in diameter, has to be about 40 ft long.

I'm not sure about what fish to stock, I have been asking over on pondboss what my ponds could support.

I'd really like to have some walleye in there, but I don't think the ponds are deep enough.

I thought I was getting to about 18 ft deep, but I have measured the water depth at 11 ft this spring, and it only has about 24" to go. So I'm only going to have ~ 13 ft of water at most. Probably only suitable for large mouth bass...

The total acreage of both ponds combined is nearly 1-1/2 acres.

I have 1/3 of the big pond yet to dig, I might try to do that part deeper, but digging through the rock in the glacial till is tough going after I get 12 ft deep...
 
   #6  

EddieWalker

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What state is the pond in?

Looks like a heck of a project. What are you doing with the dirt? You sure have allot of it to get rid of!!!!

How are the ponds filling up? Watershed from rains? Springs?

Are you still using the dozer now that you have the excavator?

Thanks for sharing, it's a massive project, but one that you can obviously undertake.

Eddie
 
   #7  

meadowlarkponds

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Not sure where you are located...so take my thoughts as a interested Texan.

Have you considered stocking trout? Sounds like you have the climate for it. LMB may not be suitable for your climate and regardless, 1.5 acres is on the small side for a high probability of having a successful LMB pond. It can be done, certainly, but requires considerable management. My understanding is that walleye probably won't work for you.
 
  
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ETD66SS

ETD66SS

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I'm in New York State, near Niagara Falls.

Oh, the dozer gets the most use, as I'm still clearing trees. I have cleared 10 acres of trees since 2004. I have a graveyard of well over 1000 stumps.

The primary reason for the ponds was for the dirt. The land is perfectly flat, and a bit low, so the dirt will be put to good use for building on the lot. I am the primary owner of the land, and all the equipment. However I have a younger brother who owns a small lot of it, and an older brother who owns some. We will all build houses there, and the dirt & clay is for fill & landscaping. I need to raise about 8 acres of cleared land 3 ft in elevation. That's about 38,000 cubic yards of dirt. I calculate that when the ponds are complete, I will have excavated close to 50,000 cubic yards. So I will have some left over...

The water table where I am is typically 12-20" below grade during the winter. However it can vary 50" during the dry season. My plan is to line the banks down to the excavated clay layer with clay, and pack it with a sheepsfoot. I don't have a sheepsfoot, and am trying to locate one to pull with my dozer.

Still al lot of work to do...

Here are some aerial shots of the project abut 1/2 way through the clearing, and when the small pond was only 7 ft deep:

whitedwarf4's photos. Get free image hosting at ImageCave.com - free image hosting at ImageCave.com

Have you considered stocking trout? Sounds like you have the climate for it.

I have read that trout need a pond to have 15-18 ft of water in it at all times no matter the season, I won't have that. Plus I heard they won't reproduce in ponds, LMB will.

Not sure about the LMB. In this area, it seems like LMB are the only fish that survive in small ponds...

My brother-in-law has a house with a 1 acre pond not 10 miles from me. It's had a healthy LMB population in it for years... Has some carp too, lol. His pond is of similar depth.

I guess I'm not picky about fish, whatever will live in it and thrive is fine by me...
 
   #9  

bindian

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ETD66SS said:
I'm in New York State, near Niagara Falls.

Oh, the dozer gets the most use, as I'm still clearing trees. I have cleared 10 acres of trees since 2004. I have a graveyard of well over 1000 stumps.

The primary reason for the ponds was for the dirt. The land is perfectly flat, and a bit low, so the dirt will be put to good use for building on the lot. I am the primary owner of the land, and all the equipment. However I have a younger brother who owns a small lot of it, and an older brother who owns some. We will all build houses there, and the dirt & clay is for fill & landscaping. I need to raise about 8 acres of cleared land 3 ft in elevation. That's about 38,000 cubic yards of dirt. I calculate that when the ponds are complete, I will have excavated close to 50,000 cubic yards. So I will have some left over...

The water table where I am is typically 12-20" below grade during the winter. However it can vary 50" during the dry season. My plan is to line the banks down to the excavated clay layer with clay, and pack it with a sheepsfoot. I don't have a sheepsfoot, and am trying to locate one to pull with my dozer.

Still al lot of work to do...

Here are some aerial shots of the project abut 1/2 way through the clearing, and when the small pond was only 7 ft deep:

whitedwarf4's photos. Get free image hosting at ImageCave.com - free image hosting at ImageCave.com



I have read that trout need a pond to have 15-18 ft of water in it at all times no matter the season, I won't have that. Plus I heard they won't reproduce in ponds, LMB will.

Not sure about the LMB. In this area, it seems like LMB are the only fish that survive in small ponds...

My brother-in-law has a house with a 1 acre pond not 10 miles from me. It's had a healthy LMB population in it for years... Has some carp too, lol. His pond is of similar depth.

I guess I'm not picky about fish, whatever will live in it and thrive is fine by me...
ETD66SS,
Nice looking project.:cool: I can't wait for a dry spell to start my pond.:(
hugs, Brandi
 

Tororider

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SE Michigan
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Great looking project, you have two of the best pond guys on the site in Eddie and Meadowlark to give you advice.

I would think about smallmouth bass if I were you. They should be easier to maintain with a feeder fish (bluegill, fatheads) than largemouth.

Keep us updated, looks like fun.
 
 
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