Building your own private pond

Has anyone done this or been a part of doing this?

Anyone that knows me knows I don’t do things halfway. Before I get carried away, I’m looking for tips/tricks to not waste time, effort, and money. Is there anything you would or wouldn’t do again?

-I have the land
-Pond size is about an acre 2-8’ deep
-Planning on Bluegill, shellcracker, catfish, mosquito minnows, and eventually bass
-Structure in the pond-how much is too much?
-Will fish readily reproduce or do I need to facilitate this with structure?

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

August 2020

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

The first water started trickling in a few days later. Yes, I have my own island…

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

I’ve put some structure items in the pond, but I’d like to do more for the bluegill/shellcracker/mosquitofish population to help them thrive.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

Some of you have seen this place and some haven’t. I had about 20 acres cleared this past summer to make room for and pay for the pond plus a few other upgrades. I had the timber company leave all of my acorn bearing trees. I also plan to plant the rest in pines.

I planted the entire pond area with rye just to protect the soil over the winter. It was beautiful for several months, but is starting to brown up now as we approach the end of February. I’ve purchased a box blade and plan to really smooth it out as the water dries up, eventually using part of this area as my entry road to the property. Its like quicksand right now. But that’s the plan: boxblade to smooth and then plant with grass. Once established, this will be another area I keep cut with the tractor, but I don’t want one of those ponds you can’t get to. I want the family to be able to get all the way around it and fish where ever they want.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

Now, finally full to the brim thanks to all of that rain recently. My island is completely covered up! It shouldn’t stay this way though; it should probably be on average a foot below the top of the island I would imagine.

The deer like it too…

I’ve placed my fish on order. It seems everyone has an opinion on fish and quantities, but there is no set magical scenario. The fish companies disagree drastically with how many fish per acre DNR states, and then there’s the discussion of fertilized vs. non fertilized. Unless you plan on harvesting a bunch of fish, which I don’t, you are fine to go non fertilized. I really want a catch and release pond where we eat fish once in a while out of it. I’ve done a bunch of research and I ended up getting this spring:

400 bluegill
200 shellcracker
200 catfish
500 mosquitofish

Next spring, I’ll order 100 largemouth bass. The idea is to give the smaller fish time to establish and reproduce maybe before introducing the top predator in the pond.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

Thats real nice Clark,(said in my best cousin Eddie voice)

Do you have pigs yet?

Why no crappie?

Last years Christmas trees make great structure for establishing panfish.

I have some trophy snapping turtles in my pond, maybe you need a breeding pair?

Ducks would be a nice addition, floating coop for safety. Just my 2cents

Looks great

Good idea having it clear all the way around,it helps when using a fly rod ,which is my favorite way to fish a pond.You should have made it deeper. I hope those ain’t Arkansas blue cats you puttin in there.Big limestone rocks will help start the food chain.Don’t let it get over populated which is easy to do in a pond that size.

Man, exotic ski trips, vintage cars and fancy train sets, now a private fishing pond. You live the life most (except Peapod) can only dream of.

As for your pond, SCDNR used to offer guidance, information, etc. on ponds and pond management. Not sure if they still do. I can call a friend if you’d like.

Like many here at CF, I eagerly await the massive 1st ANNUAL CF THROWDOWN at Ricky’s pond. I hear Peapod has a new speedo.

"Apathy is the Glove into Which Evil Slips It's Hand", but really, who cares?

can’t hide $$$

DNR still has the pond management information available online and its a great resource.

There are a couple of deeper holes dug with the excavator, but nothing crazy. DNR says that anything greater than 10’ will contribute heavily to oxygen depletion. I plan on installing an aerator, so this shouldn’t be a problem, but even so, I didn’t want to go against what they said. I’m certainly learning here.

As for the crappie, for my size pond, they are said to take over and overpopulate quickly. They are also in direct competition with bass for food source and I don’t want that.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

This is where I’m getting my fish.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

ive seen that flyer before and don’t understand why anyone would stock mosquito fish into their pond, especially at that price. you can catch them with a dip net by the hundreds in any creek, swamp, or ditch. These fish will live in an inch of water surrounding your pond and very few will ever get eaten. The bass will forage on the bream and the bream will be eating aquatic bugs and terrestrial insects that make it into the pond.
yea ive tried crappie before and that was a bust. they never grew more then 6" and the few that did grew were super skinny.
oh stay away from anyone trying to sell “hydrids”. they were awesome for 2-3 years then when they started reproducing the off spring didn’t grow. had to kill off the pond and restock.
keep on top of the aquatic vegetation that grows, it can get out of hand quickly. Starting out with a few grass carp might not be a bad idea.

2 cents. replace your Island tree with a bald cypress, they will grow in water. I’m guessing yours will drown shortly? Border your pond with Cypress about every 20 yards, best thing in the world for keeping your banks from eroding and pretty too. Do not put any ducks in it, unless some small callers. They will scribble all around the edges eroding it and keep your pond muddy. Lime and fertilize it every spring.

I would hold off on Bass on a pond that size, You’ll end up with only a few big ones and a bunch of stunted ones and no more Pan fish. Also expect the Channel cats to decimate you Bream and keep the water muddy. I would not do any hybrid fish, unless you stock it regular. Put in a automated feeder.

If you want catfish, I’d recommend Just catfish, feed em heavy and keep what you catch. For Catfish structure some concrete culvert Pipes work well along with some fat lighter stumps. For Bream, the way you have it sloped they will bed no problem.

Looking good. Some Screw Willows are nice, maybe a couple of Tulip poplar trees, Heck, what ever floats your boat! If it dies no big deal, put in something else.

Oh yea, with our Hot summers you can have a pond “turn” especially if it is heavily stocked or has a large algae bloom. You may need some form of aeration . Nothing worse than coming to your pond and seeing a score of dead fish floating… I’ve looked to several windmills that you can use to pump stagnant Bottom water and re introduce it to the pond aerated. Really good if you don’t have a power source for a fountain.

read this real slow and loud for those in the back.

Just don’t look for spelling errors. What was said about crappy, don’t put crappy in that pond. Dad and I’ve tried em and the only pond we have that’s done OK with em is one that is really deep and is mostly shaded. Still never caught “slabs” out of it.

From what I’ve read, its a good forage fish for the other species in the pond. Is this not true?

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

I might be wrong, but I believe what Bioguy is suggesting is don’t buy the minnows. Get em out of several ditches or other ponds. Super easy to catch and if you have kids it can be a fun outing! We used to make some home made nets with an old broom handle, closehanger, and window screen. not perfect but it worked. I had a edge with Dad’s ponds having tons of em.

As for forage food, most everything will eat em and they multiply fast. The biggest bream I’ve ever caught was with a small minnow lip hooked with a #8 long shank golden hook about 28" below a cork. Wish you the best with your pond. You’ll have a lot of fun with it.

Understood. I have another source for my mosquito minnows, but I’m going to the above flyer for my catfish and bream.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017