Found an old pond - needs water

   / Found an old pond - needs water
  • Thread Starter
What part of Missouri are you in? I have a friend who owns a D6 but he is in Southeast Mo near Freder*cktown.
He builds and repairs ponds and does dozer work.

Thanks for the lead, unfortunately I'm in NW Missouri.

A grapple would also be ideal, with or without the dozer.
I've been thinking about that Markham grapple. Sounds like this may be just the excuse I was looking for. ;)

Our neighbor on the north property line has a small dozer and skidsteer that sits on site. He's been doing work on his land the last year or so. I think I'll take your advise Jim and talk to him first. While I'm itching for the tractor time, the larger trees and reworking the dam would present problems with using only my tractor. I'll follow up on the post as things progress this spring.
   / Found an old pond - needs water #12  

If that's the best place on your property to have a pond, then proceed with repair. However, it may be just as cost effective to build a new pond in another location. By the time you clear the silt, remove the trees and associated roots, and redo the dam, you will move just as much dirt as if building a new dam. And with the old pond, you have no idea if it was built correctly with an impermeable clay keyway in the dam. You should also consider the install of a siphon outflow, where the intake in the pond is below the thermocline and the tube runs through the dam at the water level you want. This exchanges old water lacking oxygen for new water from runoff whenever it rains.

Most importantly, you have a great resource with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Contact your local biologist and they will provide you with assistance. That's what your 1/8 percent sales tax pays for.

I'm a fisheries biologist by trade, and I can tell you that there is no substitute for professional on-site advice. Everything else should be used with great caution.
   / Found an old pond - needs water
  • Thread Starter

Thanks for the reply. To answer a few question, no this is not the best place for a pond, however as I mentioned earlier I'm only looking to hold some water for a small watering hole for deer. Just one more piece of the puzzle to help attract them and hold them close to my hunting property. I really don't care if its brought back to its glory days. If it ended up half the size I'd be happy as long as it held water year round. I was just kind of hoping to create a watering hole on the cheap. Also - thanks for the suggestion for the MO Dept. of Conservation. I knew they did this as a service but it had just completely slipped my mind. I never even had thought about consulting them.

I did go back out today to take a more detailed look at the pond and did a couple of hours of cleanup. I found a couple of things.

1. The pond is not as large as I first thought.
2. A majority of the water runoff looks like it's now channeling into a ditch and around the south side of the pond and into the large ravine behind it. A few hours on the tractor can easily divert it.
3. The pond is completely silted in. There is actually no longer anywhere for the water to hold. It's silted to the point where any water that did flow into it would simply flow out the west end and out to the field edge.
4. It takes me exactly 20 minutes to drive my tractor to the property. About the same time it would take me to hook up the trailer, load the tractor, chain and bind. So its kind of a tossup on whether to load or drive. :)

Here's a few pics of todays cleanup.

About half of the surface area has been cleared. The pond goes back from where the brush starts left of the tractor about another 50'. I'll try to clear this remaining area next trip.

Its hard to tell here do to my camera angle when I took the picture but the cleared area is actually flat to downhill from left to right. You can see to the right of the picture where the pond surface actually meets the top of the dam. I don't think the pond could fill with more than 6" of water before it flowed out at this spot.

One more view
   / Found an old pond - needs water #14  
I think your problem with the pond was probably the silt. If you cannot stop it from coming into the pond every time it rains, you will have the same problem again after you dig it out. Riprap, grass and a pit all help to catch and slow it down. Since you want it for a watering hole for wildlife and not a fishing hole, then dig it out as deep as you can and let it be. The deeper you go, the longer it will take to silt up again and the longer it will take to evaporate.

   / Found an old pond - needs water
  • Thread Starter
Eddie thats my hope as well. It would be nice if a good clean out was all that was required. I may look at the idea of running drainage into the pond from another retention pit to slow down some of the silting. I plan to get back out this weekend and finish up the brush and tree clearing. This will give me a good idea of the area and work to be done. I'm hoping I can talk my neighbor into bringing his dozer over. He's using it on his property now and its sitting only 400 yards from my site. Hopefully this will help with the hourly rate. Money for fuel and beer would be even better. :D
   / Found an old pond - needs water #16  
Its a foreign concept to me, all the pond building stuff! Around here any time you dig a hole in the ground, you automatically have a pond very soon, unless you were lucky enough to find a gravel deposit!
   / Found an old pond - needs water #17  
Yes, if you just want a wildlife watering hole, it sounds like a really fun tractor project! In the past I've mentioned the dry pond on my place and I really enjoy playing in the dirt when it isn't holding water. Good source for dirt and gravel that I use for projects all over my place.
   / Found an old pond - needs water #18  
Don't know the first thing about a pond but I'm excited to see how you'll work on this. The fact you can start digging a pond and work on the outer side of it later would make this a fun project.

Is the dozer the best way to do this or would a backhoe be better?
   / Found an old pond - needs water
  • Thread Starter
A large excavator would probably be much better than the dozer, the silt could easily be dug and piled on the backside of the dam. Only problem is paying to have someone haul in and operate it. The pond is not in the budget right now, just something I happened upon while exploring the property. The dozer and friendly neighbor approach may be my best bet. I'm sure this will probably be a slow DIY project over the long haul though. Gonna head out this afternoon and do some more clearing.
   / Found an old pond - needs water #20  
Good Afternoon JK,
I have something similiar on my property to what you have. Mine probablly isnt as big. Im guessing that my little wet spot is 100' bt 30'. In the spring time while all the snow is melting and we are gettin lots of rain I have plenty of water back there. But by the time May rolls around its usually pretty dried up by then. Its a great place for wild life to drink, and I allways have a bumper crop of frogs back there also! :)

I would think if you knew someone with an excavator, they could make short work of digging it out and clearing trees at the same time ! As Eddie said, if its deeper it will take longer to dry up !