Have you bought or inherited land that has a pond with years of silt build-up and average depth of only six to eight feet? Summer evaporation draws it down until fish are stressed by declining oxygen. Fish are stunted. You’ve even stopped going to the pond for cookouts. Renovating it is no different than remodeling your cabin or putting a new paint job on the ranch tractor.
The first step is meeting with a dirt contractor. He can measure silt density, calculate how much should be removed, and make the once treasured pond like new. While the contractor’s on-hand, ask him to evaluate other potential sites. You may be surprised to learn there’s another location that might allow construction of a bigger or better pond at comparable or more economical costs. If the original lake is 10 or more years old, it’s time for a facelift. Don’t assume it must be in the same place. There are multiple secondary uses for the old site, like a hatchery or catfish pond.
A new lake along wooded areas will attract more wildlife. Incorporate wetland zones to enhance waterfowl use. Starting from square one with a revitalized fishery will be exciting. Would you put a new motor in a 10 or 20-year-old car just to avoid the inevitable? Some of us are senior citizens. We understand the difficulty in letting go of the good ol’ days, but this change is for the better. Remember when your kids convinced you to get a computer? We asked why we waited so long.
Envision this scene. The old murky pond where you caught eight-inch mudcat, three-inch bluegill, and maybe an occasional 10-inch bass, now has sparkling water with a fish feeder. Friends and family thrill to bluegill chasing food pellets on the surface. Those once baby perch are now scrappy one-pound bluegill as big as your hand. You’re growing more bluegill. Bass are fat and sassy. Round-out the plan with a dock accented with water lilies, and a special underwater light projecting an aquarium-like view of nighttime fish activity.