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Old 06-14-2018, 09:06 AM
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Default minimum pond size for practical food



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Wondering if anyone knows, or if there's some kind of rule of thumb or formula for determining the minimum pond size to house a sufficient fish population such that you could catch and eat, say, 5 fish a week.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:17 AM
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Merlin

Here's what I've learned so far...from Canadianpond.ca. I have a pond on the property that was dug for Geothermal but wasn't made deep enough to be useful byt he previous owner. Am looking to convert it to house fish:

Source: Canadianponds.ca
Ponds less than acre in size will not provide adequate amounts of natural food or cover to support a healthy sport fish population. Pond depth depends on the climatic conditions. In areas where freezing weather is common ponds must be deeper in order to avoid the possibility of winterkill. At least 1/3 of the pond should have a depth of 6 feet or more. Ponds used for irrigation, livestock watering and other high consumption uses, or those with intermittent water sources and high evaporation rates, should be deeper than 6 feet. Although shallow water areas serve as spawning and nursery sites for sport fish, they readily become weed-choked. To prevent excessive growth of nuisance water plants, shallow areas should be more than 2 feet deep.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:28 AM
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So, more than 1/4 acre and 8-10 feet deep? With edges around 3 feet deep? Is that the consensus?
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:00 AM
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My neighbors pond is about 5 acres and 16' deep. no water source except winter rains and run off from surrounding area. Seasonal creek only runs in the winter. Supports great bass, crappie and blue gill. It is full of weeds and dried up during our drought two years ago. Lost everything. It is full now, weeds came back. Some ducks. He does not allow hunting and very little fishing. In a time of chaos a dry pond would be useless.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by goat daddy View Post
My neighbors pond is about 5 acres and 16' deep. no water source except winter rains and run off from surrounding area. Seasonal creek only runs in the winter. Supports great bass, crappie and blue gill. It is full of weeds and dried up during our drought two years ago. Lost everything. It is full now, weeds came back. Some ducks. He does not allow hunting and very little fishing. In a time of chaos a dry pond would be useless.
would depend a lot on how much rainfall your AO gets I suspect
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblingvanman View Post
So, more than 1/4 acre and 8-10 feet deep? With edges around 3 feet deep? Is that the consensus?
sounds like that would be the minimum to sustain a healthy population period

though i feel confident that small of a pond wouldn't support me fishing out 5 decent sized fish a week

maybe a pond 4 or 5 times that size would be my guess. but its just a guess
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:14 PM
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Oxygen levels are important. I think pond size and design impacts this. I also know land runoff into the pond can produce problems. I do not know the answers but you should ask about these IMO.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:42 PM
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Too many variables are unknown. Do you plan to "grow" them by feeding them daily? Are you wanting an unattended lake to let fish (and wildlife) flourish? What kind of fish are you talking about... pan fish, catfish, carp? Give us some details and we can give you a better idea. a small lake of 2-3 acres can hold some big blue cats (larger lakes, larger fish). If you feed them, one blue cat can feed you for a week once you fatten them up. They will eat pretty much anything too. Stock the pond with panfish and bass too, but don't expecd bass in a 2-3 acre lake to get giant. But the best eatin bass are 3-4lbs anyway. Pan fish can be eaten, but best to be left as feeder fish for the others. Personally, as a food source, I would "grow" channel cats in a 500 gallon cement tank and just process/freeze them when grown. The scraps can be composted, fed to animals, used as bait, etc. I think growing them to grab a few here and there would be too much work. You would have to constantly rotate small crops of fish so they can grow at different intervals. That would almost guarantee the need for multiple growing tanks.

My philosophy is to diversify your food, just like you would your wealth. Don't put all your eggs in one basket and think it will go perfectly. Do your fish, but also grow nuts, fruits and berries. Have a nice garden, have small farm animals, learn to trap/hunt, learn what plants are edible in your area, plant edible plants in your yard/property (mint, wild onions, etc). There are tons of things you can do to diversify, but the key is to start now.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:02 PM
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FWIW, most don't know this, but the whole reason that KOI are so popular in Japan, is because way back when, they were actually bred and used as a food fish during the winter. They were a staple to fall back on during hard winters and food supplies dwindled. They chose Koi, because like any other carp, they can live in a variety of environments and are hardy. They are also prettier coming in a variety of color patterns. They later because popular as an ornamental fish.

Koi are just drum, they gulp air, so don't need an active aerator. They are scavenger fish, so easy to grow. They can be tough, so I would recommend marinating them or at least slicing them thinner than usual. Koi, like other drum can get very "meaty" and will require butterflying.

If you're in an area where the water freezes, you have to make sure they have the means to get to the surface, so a waterfall or fountain may be necessary. At least dangle a tree limb into the water and shake it daily.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:40 PM
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Here, this is where I go for info

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:56 PM
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BTW, I would go 1/2 acre minimum
Read the the FAQ sub-forum on Pond Boss
Crazy amount of info, byt that will get you started
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:04 PM
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I have see a lot of failed small ponds. One reason is drought. The ponds do not dry up but they get to small to support the life expected. So IMO I would build my pond 3 times the size of the minimum I expect to have.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:12 PM
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Well, most "ponds" are actually just watering holes for livestock. Birds eventually bring in the fish.

I agree, if you dig something, make it at least a half acre if not a full acre. The deeper the better, I would say 15ft deep if you want variety fish (catfish, bass, pan). However, if it's a normal stocked pond (small and shallow), your 5 fish a week, unless pan fish, isn't going to happen (at least not for any length of time). If it's a managed pond where you feed them all the time, you could easily get 5 fish a week. Channel cats would be your best bet IMO. I would definitely diversify your food sources regardless.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Swilling View Post
Here, this is where I go for info

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php
wow, that is a lot of info. thanks
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:22 AM
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Expanding my small Ag pond, and building a new pond for fishing are next on my list.
Right after completing the house my wife wants.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
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Expanding my small Ag pond, and building a new pond for fishing are next on my list.
Right after completing the house my wife wants.
So basically, it'll never happen right? LOL
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:13 PM
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I have a great spot that is about a half acre with spots that will be up to 6-8 feet deep and it is spring fed as well as run-off. Now I just need to get it cleared, the dam built and the bottom sealed. Anyone have a spare 5-10K laying around?
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