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Country Discussion Topics
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Pond and Spring Maintenance
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Donald Plugge    Posted 07-03-2002 at 10:18:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a spring feed pond in our woods that we calculated at about 85,000 gallons (60 feet diameter with areas of 7 feet or more). The pond is 50 years old on family property. We recently build a house on the property and I've been working on improving the pond.

It had a leak behind the dyke from a pipe my grandfather used to drain water during construction. The overflow is totally blocked with dirt, however the pond level is well below the overflow.

Once I fixed the leak and mucked out the source of the spring, water began to fill up the pond again. I caught two nice sized bass (10-12 inches) and several sunnies. I also stocked the pond with some small catfish and redear, along with some minnows. I can see the sunnies spawning in the holes they made in the silt.

I've added a bail of barley and used some BZT enzymes to help with the main problem of decaying leaves. The pond had lots of branches and fallen trees, which I removed using a 1/2 inch nylon rope and a 4x4 (lot's of work). I even mucked it somewhat with a grapping hook by throwing it into the center and dragging it out (I may switch to the bedspring idea from this site).

I have two main problems -- first off we have had little rain in the Maryland area and the spring has stopped running. Additionally, even with the bailey straw and BZT the water is still dark brown, although the spring flows clear. However, my first attempt at testing the water showed good oxygen levels with nitrates and ammonia with a safe range.

The Maryland fisherie gave me some small bass and advised against introducing any new plant life. Their idea is that all plants are weeds and they will find their way into the pond from the water foul (which we don't have). I'm tempted to plant some deep water oxygenators anyway.

After all that explaination here are my questions --
1) can I do anything to reinvigorate the spring such as augering down a few feet
2) what sort of plant life would be recommended to handle the mirky brown water (I imagine it is from the tanins in the leaves)?


PS I'm enjoying the country life after moving from a townhouse and I just happened to stumble upon this helpful site.

Ollie    Posted 07-03-2002 at 14:28:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you're going to have bass, sunfish, etc. You might want to leave some pieces of the tree or large rocks in the pond, if not put some vegetation in.

Any young fish needs somewhere to hide or they may become dinner for the larger fish (big bass will eat little bass as well as the others).

Don't make the pond too clean and sanitary. It's a part of nature with it's own requirement and life cycles. Easy to mess up and hard to fix. You will need insects, frogs, etc. to feed your fish and they need places to live, breed and lay their eggs. Don't just think of just the water or the fish. It all interacts. One thing affects another.

We have lots of people around here that think they are doing good things for their ponds and find they have a sterile environment and have to start from scratch.

Check with your local Conservation District. Many times they can help you. They will have advice for your area as well as publications that explain about springs and ponds.

Some springs are seasonal. Don't go mucking around in it unless you know what you are doing. It is possible to "lose" a spring. Then you're in real trouble ;-}

Salmoneye    Posted 07-03-2002 at 10:25:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Can't really help with your pond as you seem to have a good start already.

Can say 'welcome' and warn you to wear your waders when you come in.
Some of us let it get a bit deep at times...

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