Pond and People Management


| 11/18/2013 9:43:00 AM


Tags: ponds, pond management, Kenneth Rust,

I enjoy speaking on pond management and teaching its fundamentals. One of the ways I begin my talks is to let people know: It’s not always pond management, it’s often people management. People, their effects on the input to the pond, and their expectations of what the pond can do for them are the things I deal with the most. Contrasting uses for a pond can result in frustration. Actions have reactions, and finding out the root causes for a pond’s behavior is the key.

Ponds aren’t mysterious; they are behaving exactly as they should, based on their circumstances, and are actually pretty predictable. As with a lot of things, there are fundamentals to any subject and focusing on them as you begin is a good idea. A few “big picture” fundamentals on pond behavior:

Ponds are aging and trying to turn into land. As a part of natural succession, ponds generally are filling and losing volume to plant life and organic material. Some are doing this slowly, but some ponds seem to be transforming rapidly before our eyes on a seasonal basis. Each season ponds receive input from the watershed and environment: leaves, grass clippings, thatch, water runoff, erosion, and manure from fish, waterfowl, and livestock. The ecosystem digests this liquid compost, but generally not to completion each year, leaving residual organic sludge in your pond. As the volume of sludge builds over the years, it provides a bank of nutrients for the ecosystem, and creates chemical and biological demands on oxygen in the pond.

Pond ecology needs oxygen. There are two sources: mixing from weather, and photo synthesis. Submerged plants and algae provide oxygen through photosynthesis during daylight hours and respire at night, consuming some of the day’s oxygen and producing carbon dioxide. Wind, and rain and the resulting energy from wave action help to mix ponds and bring water in contact with the atmosphere for some healthy “breathing action.”pond filling 2


kenneth rust
11/27/2013 8:48:50 AM

Shewolf We will miss you in Louisiana, but Arkansas is a great place too! A few notes about your new pond project: You will need enough clay to line it with 18-24 inches of compacted clay. Use a sheepsfoot roller to compact-nothing else will work as well. NRCS has information that you can use regarding the soil types and strata on your location, so that you will know about your soil types for planning. Consider the influence and size of the watershed feeding the pond/drainage area. I would not stock sac au lait or perch in a pond less than 5 acres since they will likely stunt. Channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill are all good candidates. Hybrid bluegill are good for growing and eating but not a good reproducing population. Stay in touch as your project goes forward.


kenneth rust
11/26/2013 5:17:59 PM

K.C. Thanks for the welcome. I have really enjoyed the community at the fairs. I look forward to contributing here. We will be discussing algae and its impact in future conversations/ articles.


kenneth rust
11/26/2013 4:25:33 PM

K.C. Thanks for the welcome. I am looking forward to blogging here. I have enjoyed the community at the fairs. We will be discussing algae control and its place in the pond community in a future article.


kenneth rust
11/26/2013 4:25:10 PM

K.C. Thanks for the welcome. I am looking forward to blogging here. I have enjoyed the community at the fairs. We will be discussing algae control and its place in the pond community in a future article.


shewolf
11/25/2013 10:01:03 AM

we just moved onto our new homestead. We had a housefire that took our home, jeep, boat, and our livelyhood my husbands 18 wheeler kenworth and the dump trailer. When insurance failed to pay us enough to buy even another trailer, I figured why not move from Lousiana to one of four states thus starting a almost year of searching for the land we wanted. We have only a little one room cabin but some very nice land in salem Arkansas. By the bottom land we want to dig a pond to put in fish and also as use to some of the garden and berry bushes. We never did a pond. We picked a spot where the deer and turkeys also travel but they also have a year around small creek they call it a river here but to a cajun it's a creek. The ground has bermuda grass and of course rocks in all the ground. What is our best method to build a pond of say 1-1/2 acre here. We do have a backhoe, can we do this ourselves? Also how deep for sac a lay or black perch, bream and some bass? Any certain breed or fish? hybrid or not? Where do we go from here. Thank u. Ronda or shewolf


k.c. compton
11/20/2013 4:49:40 PM

Thanks for joining the Mother Earth blogging team, Kenneth. Having seen a couple of beautiful farm ponds completely ruined by algae, I'll continue reading to find out best practices!


k.c. compton
11/20/2013 4:49:31 PM

Thanks for joining the Mother Earth blogging team, Kenneth. Having seen a couple of beautiful farm ponds completely ruined by algae, I'll continue reading to find out best practices!




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