Trout Pond Project
A buddy of mine told me about a trout pond he built with his father when he was younger and sounded pretty easy...
Call a bulldozer, have them dig a big hole(20' deep in one end and come up at an angle, 100' wide x 50' across) real close to a brook running through their property...
Go in with the big rocks and make some nice rock formations for the fish...
Divert some of the brook water into the new hole (ground was saturated because of the brook anyway)...
Run another diversion back to the brook so water is flowing at same rate (well, after the pond is filled in)...
Call the local fishery and get a delivery...
Stock annually to keep it going great.
He was feeding his fish the meal pellets that they were used to at the fishery, so even if he wanted to take any of them for dinner sometime, he couldn't because the flesh was just nasty tasting from all the pellets.
The fish even got comfortable enough in the pond to start spawning in the sand, he said it was a great way to learn about fish and watch them that closely. He was using Brookies to begin with, and got some upwards of 20-22" and about 5 lbs.!!!! (originally stocked 6-8" trout)
The last time they stocked the smallies, he watched one of the big ones come up (saw the flash of his sides) and then dissapear, when he watched for him along the bank, he got a little mad when there was a tail sticking out of his mouth!!! After that he only stocked 10-12" for their own protection. He also started stocking Bow's to see if they could grow em' bigger than the wale-sized brookies they got... never got to find out because they sold the house a few years after that...(wish I was buying land when they did!!!)
I was wondering if anyone has heard of others doing something like this and if they had success by leaving the pond to feed itself...no pellets??? IF it would be feasable, it would sound like a great hobby, and make for an easy fishing spot when you just don't have time to go anywhere else. (or your stuck home watching the kids who are too small to fish yet)
I have posted a pole to get an idea of how others feel about this sort of thing too...
Depends on the part of the country your in. Getting permits to do something like that here is impossible. Other places I can see needing a way to aerate the pond. Where I grew up I tried something similar but just turned into a nice mosquito hatchery. But if you could make it work with minimal upkeep and cost I think it would be neat.
I see someone doesn't like this idea...
care to explain why? I enjoy other points of view, but only if I can get to understand it more.
This has a lot to do with where you are located like colotrout said. A couple of friends back in the UK have done this with mixed results. Apart from local permits and other regulatory stuff, the quality of water and year-round flow rates are important. Up here in the North East, the little brook than runs past my property almost dries up in the summer and that would be disaster for trout even at 20ft deep.
If you have good alkaline soil and a good constant water flow you can get very good results and natural insect life will flourish. The need for supplemental feeding with pellets etc. will depend on how many fish per acre etc.
The problem comes when stocking the pond since there will be an occaision when fish will escape into the wild and that could start a downward spiral in the viability of the wild fish population if your escapees actually breed. It doen't matter how careful you are, at somepoint it happens (major flood etc.).
That idea rocks!
I've wanted to do something along those lines ever since I was a little kid (and I even grew up on a lake), though I must say I had something much larger in mind, say 2-3 acres or so. Also, not certain as to whether or not I'd stock trout; it would depend upon which part of the country the property was located in as well as the actual water volume of the lake and the forage available. The key would be to begin the newly-established lake by stocking it with dace or some other such baitfish, allowing the biological filter (i.e. bacterial bed and aquatic vegetation) to mature, then adding the gamefish the following year, or at the least much later in the season. That way, you are starting out slowly and building up without crashing the system. Of course, if the rate of water entry and exit from the body are high enough, you will in effect dillute the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and organophosphates quite effectively, which is great news to keep the system healthy. Also, remember that if the gamefish start breeding, you will probably want to remove some of them from time to time to keep the entire population from stunting (in the event that the food source is at its maximum). This is what's called "culling".
Either way, yes, permits can be difficult, however there is a way around practically anything in this country, and if government wants to dump sewage into natural bodies of water and drainage systems I think we all have the right to take a piece of land housing no endangered species and "create a lake" if we feel like it. I have a pretty extensive background in this sort of topic, growing up in the pine barrens of NJ and then college in Eastern SC (both wetlands areas) where lakes are created and drained by developers on a regular basis. To make a long story short, whether or not a mand-made lake or body of water requires supplementary water movement depends mostly on the topography of the area and the rate and source of water input into that body. There are ways to engineer such a water body so as to get all the water flow required simply by doing a little fancy work with a bulldozer or backhoe. Seeing as this is the sort of thing I do for a living (freshwater and marine chemistry, specifically as they apply to aquatic organisms), it wouldn't be too hard a project and I'd be very happy to help anyone if they had questions. Personally, I'd love nothing more than my own 3-5 acre lake stocked with smallmouth, brookies, and maybe a few pike.
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