Google+

Tips for Building a Farm Pond

 

Tips for Building a Farm Pond

By Burt Carey

Growing up in rural Northern California, my two brothers and I were blessed to have a down-the-road neighbor who allowed us to fish in his farm pond just about anytime we wanted. It came to be known to us as Jack’s Lake.

The pond sat across a fallow cattle pasture at the bottom of a natural gully that collected rainwater farm pond, increase property value, pond purpose, tips, considerationsfrom hundreds of surrounding acres. Jack’s Lake stretched nearly a quarter-mile north to south and was about 150 yards wide across its widest span. Its upper half was shallow and teeming with water grass. Trees lined its shoreline. The dam at the south end was braced by a row of trees whose water-bound roots and crooked branches provided habitat for various fish species, songbirds, waterfowl, frogs and more.

We spent endless hours catching its bounty of largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and bullfrogs from a homemade boat with 6-inch aluminum pontoons that made the craft sturdy and kept it afloat. Paddles were our only mode of power. Mom never had to worry where we would be, and she could catch occasional glimpses of us out the east-facing picture window of our house.

Years after I had left home, our neighbor sold the lake and his property, pocketing a sum unknown to me but surely significantly higher than the price he paid for it in the 1960s.

Aesthetically, a farm pond can be the biggest enhancement a landowner can build. Financially, a properly built pond will increase the value of a property when it comes time to sell. And most people who opt for living in the country at some time or another will make a decision to build one or not. Here are some things to consider.

Let’s start with the big picture: What would be your pond’s purpose?

Few farm ponds are mere pools of water that collect in a low spot. In short, ponds are there for one or more reasons. Will it be used to provide water for cattle or other livestock? Perhaps you just want a small fishing pond. Or will it be for aesthetic purposes only, something to look at from your front porch?

Once you’ve decided what you want a pond for, you’ll have several things to consider, such as location, water sources, size, structure, drainage, emergency spillways, and perhaps the biggest potential hurdle, legality.

State resources agencies can guide you and help walk through whatever permitting process might need to be negotiated. If you have neighbors who share a creek, for example, their short- and long-term interests in that water flow could be impacted by a pond. Not all waterways fall under federal jurisdiction but very well may be controlled by one or more state agencies.

Your geographic location and water source (a spring, surface runoff, stream or well) will dictate the size and depth of your pond. Ponds in wet and humid regions – the East, South and Pacific Northwest – can be as shallow as 5 to 7 feet deep. In arid regions such as the West and Southwest, the minimum recommended depth is 8 to 14 feet.

The size of a watershed drainage area surrounding a pond fed by surface runoff is critical. Filling a one-acre pond with 5 feet of water in a wet, humid area might require a watershed as small as 15 acres. That same size pond in an arid location could require up to 500 acres of watershed drainage.

Actually constructing your pond might sound exciting and enticing. Here’s a word of caution: Don’t do it. Unless you have the proper training, this is where it’s best to hire a professional. You’ll have to conduct soil tests, build a dam that can withstand floods, earthquakes and other calamities, and install drainage and overflow outlets. Depending on the stream bed, you might also be required to fortify the spillage area with riprap or other materials to prevent soil erosion.

Keeping the law of gravity in mind, water always flows to the lowest elevation. This is most likely your starting point. A dam will have to be constructed, beginning at the bedrock level and preferably a location with a natural clay material. Dams on farm ponds are typically up to 10 times wider at the bottom than the top, and constructed of a clay core surrounded on both sides by a non-porous earth material.

You’ll also need to know what types of plants are good or bad for your pond, and how to control their growth through the use of fertilizers and chemicals or with fish species. Plants also act as natural means of soil erosion, which will help extend the life of your pond. Most ponds, regardless of erosion-control methods, require occasional dredging roughly every 20 to 30 years.

Whether your pond is a half-acre or bigger than 20 acres, it will become home to fish and other wild creatures. The best part is that you get to pick which species inhabit your water. Check with your local office of a state fish and wildlife agency if you aren’t sure what types of fish to plant. Commercial fish growers can sell seed stock and make recommendations for ratios of forage fish to sport fish, and the best ways to maintain proper ratios for healthy fish populations.

Once built, your pond will become a centerpiece of your property that will be enjoyed for generations.

 

Source:  Baret News

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for May 23, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for May 23, 2017 Get Out                https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06WW76HBM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Shake the Dust https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XRJ27W5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 My Life as a Zucchini https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06WRTFKRY/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 All Governments … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first African-American president. In this penetrating biography, David J. Garrow delivers an epic work … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Stunning Stenberg!

  Amandla Stenberg The “Everything, Everything” Interview with Kam Williams Stunning Stenberg! Amandla Stenberg first gained recognition for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. After the success of that film, Amandla earned the 2012 Teen Choice Award with Jennifer for Best Film Chemistry. She was also nominated for NAACP Image and Black Reel Awards for that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Come to Tuna Town for the Best Offshore Fishing

  Come to Tuna Town for the Best Offshore Fishing                        By Craig Lamb Take a short drive south of New Orleans, and you come to the southernmost point in Louisiana. It's Venice and being at the end of the road is just the beginning of your trip for world-class yellowfin tuna fishing at Home Run Fishing Charters & Lodge. The business’ phone number even includes the fish: (504) 909-TUNA. “It’s why everybody wants to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme

  A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme by Amy Lignor   There are many sports “fanatics” out there who literally dive head-first into an extreme sport in order to get their adrenaline pumping – taking on a sport that comes hand-in-hand with a monumental amount of risk. But for those who are not interested in being scared to death, yet wish to feel the thrill, data has shown that zip lining has become the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S.

  The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S. by Amy Lignor   No, Silicon Valley is not being replaced. However, with the Kauffman Foundation releasing its annual Startup Activity Index last week showing, in detail, trends in U.S. business startups for 2017, it was revealed that California has been booted out of first place. The top spot for new businesses to be built and thrive in the United States has been taken over by the big, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Once Upon a Time Vacations

  Once Upon a Time Vacations by Amy Lignor   Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to movie revenue data, millions all over the world are suffering from – just think how amazing it would be to stay in an actual castle. We already know what the beauty would be from the female perspective, but when it comes to the gentlemen out there, just think about how much … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]