Building a duck pond or impoundment for duck hunting

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Thread starter #1
Several folks post from time to time asking about building a duck pond or modification of existing waterways. If you have information on this please post that info here.
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Senior Member
A few generalities
A) Government oversight- you have a few different agencies: EPA, EPD, GSWCC, NPDES, and sometimes the ACE (SEC. 404 permit, etc) -
B) Laws- the Federal Clean Water Act and at the state level (based off the CWA) OCGA 12-7
C) Oversight by the various "riverkeeper/environmental groups, whom influence heavily the Government Agencies
D) last but not least, the definition of "state water" - any water that crosses property lines is considered a water of the state (I'm paraphrasing here). This includes wetlands, streams, lakes, ponds, etc. if you have a pond with an outfall and said outfall crosses property lines, it's a water of the state.- -
Ephemeral- no wrested banks, but is a wet weather watershed. There is no buffer here
Perennial- wrested vegetation at banks. Well defined bank, water flows here majority of the year. 25' buffer from edge of wrested vegetation, 50' if classified as a trout stream (cold water)
Intermittent stream-dry for 3+months of the year. Has wrested banks and is influenced by rainwater etc. 25' buffer

Anything you do to "impair" a state water is governed by the above laws and agencies.- -
One may be able to make it relatively painless if you could prove construction activity was a betterment/wetland restoration and/or mitigation project.-
Anytime you encroach upon the 25' state water barrier you must have a variance to do so.- -
Information on pond building can be found here

The GSWCC and NPDES web pages can answer a lot of questions.-
I hope the above is helpful on understanding what/who all can have a hand in it.-

on the "ask for forgiveness in lieu of permission" gaffe
Forgiveness in this case will consist of a consent order, followed by DAILY fines until the area in question is repaired, up to $32,500 a day


Senior Member
Thread starter #7
GSURugger had the idea and I thought it was a great idea. Hope this information helps folks I am sure it will.


Staff member
Never go to the government and tell them you are building a duck pond. Instead, build your pond for agricultural use and surface water storage with ducks being in the back of your mind, but not on the front of your pen.

For 99% of us, it is only the State and local government that has legal jurisdiction over our pond building. There is a US Supreme Court that says EPA has no jurisdiction unless your watershed is adjacent to navigable waters. The EPA doesn't like to be reminded of this, but I have done so in our area.
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