Pond-ering Property Improvements?

Aug 1, 2017 -- Posted by : admin

Beaches to cast from, docks to secure your row boat, and stand up paddle boarding are among a great many action-­packed activities awaiting the completion of your pond restoration or creation. Ponds provide a stimulating environment, for you, your family and an array of biological organisms.

Fluvial restoration is a simple 5-­step sequence: drain, dry, cut and install a dam, change interior contour, and re-­‐vegetation. Ponds almost never exist where you can just dig a hole without a dam. The State Engineer’s Office of Colorado caps dam size at 10 feet, though even this height is excessive for your every day Rocky Mountain ranch pond. For small to mid-­‐size projects, earth dams of cobble, dirt, clay and sand suffice for water containment.

Earth moving machines build a pond.

For post-­ski season snowmelt or excessive rainfall, an agricultural drain or, AGRIdrain, will compliment the pond dam to protect your property from flooding. As a precautionary backup plan, constructing a man-­made spillway provides surefire confidence your pond will not rise above the maximum desired water level.

To prepare your pond for browns, rainbows, and cutthroats, the bottom must be properly contoured. Experts recommend the base of a successful still-water fishery should range between 4 and 12 feet deep, depending on elevation and water source, such as proximity to mountain runoff. At these depths, water temperature will most always self-­regulate to a fluctuating range of 33-­70 degrees Fahrenheit. A little chilly for summer swim races, but optimal to provide a happy habitat for your fish!

Biological monitor for man-made pond.

Pond management requires crucial re-­stocking and awareness of biodiversity. Flathead minnows and brook trout will reproduce in a pond environment. However, owners should beware that browns, rainbows and cutthroats cannot. The last fundamental step to ensuring biological success and esthetic enjoyment of your pond is the planting of vital vegetation in the embankment.

Ideally, ponds should be built in a natural occurring wetland; yet doing so is not always feasible. Planting cottonwoods, pine trees, willows and other native flora will help cultivate your newly created ecosystem. Aside from providing trunks to hang your hammock from, trees along the riparian zone will cast necessary shade to regulate pond temperatures.

Artificial pond with mountains in background.

Consequently, with a lack of shade, pond temperatures will increase and thereby deplete oxygen levels in the water. To avoid this crisis of “floating fish,” oxygen diffusers can be installed to regulate the composition for all pond components; from fish, to plants, macro invertebrates, microbes and more.

Has this pond talk piqued your interest in finding out more? Trout Unlimited, American Rivers and Ducks Unlimited are your surefire subject matter experts on habitat restoration. And when you are ready to buy land for your new pond, contact Ranch Sellers to help you find the perfect ranch!


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