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Old 01-11-2018, 04:00 PM
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NOTNKSNEMOR NOTNKSNEMOR is offline
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Default Private pond

This is a little different question.
Everyone likes to fish private ponds.
Would you buy a private pond, and if so, how would you manage it?
It's a broad question, what would you do?
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:45 AM
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That's a great question, and I'm interested in what ideas you get. I've thought about doing the same thing and I guess the two options are to buy property with the right characteristics to allow for building a pond - year round creek or spring, the right topo, etc. Or, watch the classifieds and contact some of the larger property and timber oriented realtors to find what you want. I've always thought it would be great to find the right property in an area you want and build one. I dont know how long it takes to fill and stock one before it becomes productive.

I have a buddy in SC that got 150 acres of timber land that had a spring-fed creek. He sold some of the pine timber and designed a 6 acre pond with depth variations and submerged downed trees. It is a really good set up. He also built a 1 1/2 acre duck pond a good ways down stream from the dam with a drain set up in it's dam. He plants rice or sorghum, like high gear, each summer and then floods it in the late fall for duck hunting. It really produces.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:01 AM
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I have a 3/4 acre pond in my backyard. Had it dug about 4 years ago, I have LMB, BG and CC stocked. It's fun just to sit and feed the fish, I hardly ever fish, but their there.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limitless View Post
That's a great question, and I'm interested in what ideas you get. I've thought about doing the same thing and I guess the two options are to buy property with the right characteristics to allow for building a pond - year round creek or spring, the right topo, etc. Or, watch the classifieds and contact some of the larger property and timber oriented realtors to find what you want. I've always thought it would be great to find the right property in an area you want and build one. I dont know how long it takes to fill and stock one before it becomes productive.

I have a buddy in SC that got 150 acres of timber land that had a spring-fed creek. He sold some of the pine timber and designed a 6 acre pond with depth variations and submerged downed trees. It is a really good set up. He also built a 1 1/2 acre duck pond a good ways down stream from the dam with a drain set up in it's dam. He plants rice or sorghum, like high gear, each summer and then floods it in the late fall for duck hunting. It really produces.
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I have a 3/4 acre pond in my backyard. Had it dug about 4 years ago, I have LMB, BG and CC stocked. It's fun just to sit and feed the fish, I hardly ever fish, but their there.
It is an interesting question.
I'm talking 5 to 10 acre size.
Would you let everyone that asks fish it?
Would you impose your own limits?
You read a lot about people that complain someone won't let them fish their pond. Just wanting to switch the thought process a little.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:10 PM
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Would you let everyone that asks fish it?
Would you impose your own limits?
You read a lot about people that complain someone won't let them fish their pond.


In a good pond that big, within reason, I would let most folks fish it, but some basic rules would have to be in place. Obviously anyone who leaves trash would be banned, folks that abuse the privilege wouldn't be welcomed back. Usually though it would be for friends and neighbors.

Setting limits is a sure thing and in the early years you'll need to control grow and ratios to ensure you get the best match that the fisheries expert recommends - % Bass to % Bream to % Cats.

After it's established and you keep it fertilized, you will be requiring folks to help maintain the ratios by throwing certain species and sizes on the bank if they're too small to eat. For example you can easily get overrun with small bass and need to thin them.

If you move forward on it, there's a lot of info available on the web and from FWC. I'm looking forward to seeing it!
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:55 PM
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Based on 8 acre lake I fertilize 2x a year and Lime as needed. I add bait fish 3x a year. Mostly thread fins and small bluegill. I let a few close friends take the 12'' and under out every year. I run 2 feeders of floating feed March through October. I take out the bream as needed based on size. I started out with the Florida strain bass since they get big but they are not that aggressive. In the past few years I have been catching F1's which are more aggressive from another pond and adding them to the lake.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limitless View Post
Would you let everyone that asks fish it?
Would you impose your own limits?
You read a lot about people that complain someone won't let them fish their pond.


In a good pond that big, within reason, I would let most folks fish it, but some basic rules would have to be in place. Obviously anyone who leaves trash would be banned, folks that abuse the privilege wouldn't be welcomed back. Usually though it would be for friends and neighbors.

Setting limits is a sure thing and in the early years you'll need to control grow and ratios to ensure you get the best match that the fisheries expert recommends - % Bass to % Bream to % Cats.

After it's established and you keep it fertilized, you will be requiring folks to help maintain the ratios by throwing certain species and sizes on the bank if they're too small to eat. For example you can easily get overrun with small bass and need to thin them.

If you move forward on it, there's a lot of info available on the web and from FWC. I'm looking forward to seeing it!
What about liability if someone gets hurt or worse, drowns?
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:50 PM
61BelAir 61BelAir is offline
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Default Started not to post all this, but maybe it'll give the OP more things to ponder......

.....before buying a pond. Some of the following are sure to be issues for any trophy pond program.

I'm really enjoying this thread. I've heard of getting a notarized "release" signed for protection from being sued, but I don't know if they would really hold up.

I have a close friend who let's my family and I fish his private lake that's about 70 acres. It's only about 15' at the deepest and has stumps, logs, lilly pads, and thick grass (which I hate) along with a lot of flooded pines. It was built in the 1950's and hasn't been completely drained in probably 20. It's fed by a large creek so there's no way to control what most would consider unwanted species like bowfin, jack, and warmouth. Personally I like that they're in there. Besides just loving to catch them, I believe the jackfish help the overall quality. I think they eat enough small bass to keep them from overpopulating and stunting. Then the bass that survive are the strongest and smartest (or luckiest) and then get to feed on the jacks which rarely get over a couple pounds. I'm not sure if that's correct or not, but this place doesn't get fished much yet still isn't over crowded and produces double digit bass. It's also home to bullhead catfish, suckers, shiners, shad, bluegill, shellcrackers, and black crappie. A few Altamaha bass have even been caught there....I guess since it eventually flows into the Oconee River. I've always heard that crappie will take over a pond, but perhaps the various predator species keep those under control too. It's very rare to even catch one and when you do it's always a pretty good sized one. The catfish are extremely few and far between. None have been more than a couple pounds.

This place isn't fertilized, stocked, or managed in any way. There are only a handful of people that fish it and most of the ones who have permission don't go often. I've done a lot of reading and talking to people about management, stocking, size limits, harvesting, and trophy management.
Most of what I find is about small ponds or huge reservoirs. Also most of what I find for ponds always recommends draining or rotenone to get rid of everything and start fresh by restocking correctly. That's not a good option here for several reasons -
1. the place is so large it'd cost a fortune to poison and then restock.
2. Even if you could afford it, there would still be all the fish that would come in from the creek and keep things out of balance.
3. Most importantly - given the history of large bass I'd hate to remove the genetics that must be pretty good.

I'm pretty sure the owner's are not going to spend anything on managing the lake, but he's open to me doing what I will to help it out. Hopefully I can do a little bit.
For now the plans are:
1. Add a couple of automatic feeders.
2. stock more bream and some channel catfish (and pray that I'm not just feeding the bass and jack) These should be 3" plus bream and 7" plus cats.
3. stock a lot of fathead minnows to try and help #2 work by providing more forage.
4. stock some grass carp to help with the grass problem, but not anywhere near the number recommended. They seem to do a little too well in other places I've seen them.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:45 AM
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I have a 15 acre pond and let most anyone who asks fish it. As far as getting sued the way I read the law is that you can only be sued if you charge or leave an obvious hazard. The law was written so people would let others use their land for hunting and fishing. I could be completely wrong on my interpretation and if I am please let me know. As far as management there has been very little of it since the original stocking 25 years ago.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wycliff View Post
I have a 15 acre pond and let most anyone who asks fish it. As far as getting sued the way I read the law is that you can only be sued if you charge or leave an obvious hazard. The law was written so people would let others use their land for hunting and fishing. I could be completely wrong on my interpretation and if I am please let me know. As far as management there has been very little of it since the original stocking 25 years ago.
My insurance agent tells me a pond is considered an "attractive hazard" much like a swimming pool, and you could be held liability even if someone is trespassing.
It's a huge investment to either buy or build a 10 acre pond.
Maybe an insurance agent or attorney will read this and comment.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:19 PM
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I have to think your agent is wrong about being liable for a trespasser. If such was the case, you'd see a lot of fenced ponds. I see ponds go right up to U.S. and state route highways without so much a guardrail installed. I have an 8.5 acre pond and couldn't imagine the cost to fence it in. If it was someone who had permission, I tend to agree with Wycliff on the law that was changed, gosh, probably 20 years ago the way time flies now.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:58 PM
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I grew up with a 12 acre pond in the backyard that belonged to the absentee neighbor. He issued written permission in the form of "fishing licenses" that he signed a gave to pretty much anyone who asked. The game warden was told to write tickets to anyone who didn't have this license.

This back when the state would still stock your pond, for free or a nominal charge, I can't remember which.

We had a lot of fun on and around that pond.
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:39 PM
2busy2work 2busy2work is offline
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I have a 2.5 acre pond on property I have owned for 18 years. I have restocked it twice in that time. The first stocking was when I first bought the property. The pond was full of large shiners, hundreds of mud cats and some crappie up to about 3 pounds. The bass were all very small. I put in a siphon drain system and drained it. The state requires you to allow access to others for fishing if they stock it for free. So, I purchased the fish from a supplier and stocked it myself both times.

The first stocking, I fed the fish often. The crappie were now gone and the shiners under control. The biggest bass got to about 9 lbs. before finally, the fishing got slow with no large bass being caught and the catfish were taking over the pond again.

Hence the second stocking in 2011. I have not fed the second stocking at all. The pond is not as vibrant this time due to the lack of feeding I am sure. There are bass, but they are usually not over a couple of pounds. However, the catfish and shiners are gone. I plan to begin a feeding schedule this year to get back to having a viable pond. I also am going to add some shad to the pond to feed the bass.

I let people who ask fish but do not want them to keep the bass, especially the large ones. All catfish or shiners caught must be removed from the pond. My family and I have enjoyed fishing in the pond over the years and we plan to enjoy it for many more years.
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