Super excited for this next year.

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Nrharris, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Nrharris

    Nrharris Member

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    Long story short, because of a watershed project my dad is building a pond this spring. Thanks to 90% funding by the taxpayers. Without it we could not afford this project. The pond is going to be 6.6 acres and 33 feet deep. But that isnt even the coolest part. The pond is being built in my dads cattle pasture. Since the pond is being built, dad is going to shut the cattle out of 60 acres of the pasture that drain to the pond. This pasture used to have a lot of deer in it, but 17 or 18 years ago all of the brush and multi flora rose was destroyed and the deer left. With cattle in it all summer it never grew thick again so deer move through but dont stay there.

    My hope is now with the cattle gone from a chunk of it we will see new tree growth and brush that will hold deer. Right now the trees are all mature but sporadic. Mostly burr oak with some hickory hackberry and elm mixed in. The ground cover is mostly brome grass that gets maybe thigh high if the cows aren't in it. Planning on planting a couple food plots and planting trees in the coming years. I'll try to attach a picture that shows the pond and some of the surrounding pasture. Screenshot_20200108-150522_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
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  3. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    That looks like you will have a great pond when finished. Plan your structure now, build some underwater humps, ridges, etc. Good luck. I think your pasture ground will thicken up fairly quickly too and should give you some good hunting.
     
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  4. Nrharris

    Nrharris Member

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    We are going to try to leave as many trees standing in the pond as we can and there is a creek bed for structure as well. My goal for the pasture is to be able to hold deer through the winter. Theres deer during bow season but they seem to get out of dodge around the time shotgun season starts.
     
  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

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    I've researched building a pond, and even doing much of the work myself, it was going to be quite expensive, so I abandoned the idea. How does a private property pond qualify for 90% public funding, and once completed, does the public have access to it and the land it resides on?
     
  6. Nrharris

    Nrharris Member

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    We are in a watershed project. This project was given like 4 million of taxpayer dollars to build terraces and ponds in the project area. Their whole goal is to slow down the surge of water runoff from heavy rains. They wont have anything to do with stocking the pond, only building the structure. It will still be a private pond so no public access. They are building several other ponds in our neighborhood as well. Our watershed here dumps into the cedar river about 10 miles away. I don't think they are going to build enough to make a difference, but dad has always wanted a pond out there and if they offer to pay 90%, we will let them. Only downside so far has been a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through because it is a government project.
     
  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

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    It will be interesting to see if it's tax money well spent over the years to come. For a personal landowner, how can you pass up a professionally designed/built private pond at 10% the cost. Even if there is a ton of red tape to maneuver. Thanks for the sharing.
     
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  8. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Trump 2020

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    Love it, that is gonna be a great project! Keep us posted.
     
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  9. Nrharris

    Nrharris Member

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    I will post pictures of the construction this spring/summer. It's still in the bidding process till Friday. Then we get better info on who is building it and when they will start.
     
  10. Khughes2345

    Khughes2345 PMA Member

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    That’s awesome. We have a similar pond on my dad’s farm. Not 6 acres big but it’s about 2 1/2 acres. Built by the government in early 70’s. I guess they built a lot in our area back then. It was the first real project we took on when he purchased the ground. It was all silted in and the back side of the dam had a lot of big trees growing on it. We stocked it about 4 years ago when the DNR still did they’re fish stocking program. We have some bass that are 4+ lbs and tons of nice blue gills. Always nice bonus sitting in a tree stand during the fall and seeing all the wood ducks and geese using it as well.

    Enjoy it!
     
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  11. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    It's not too early now to begin to assemble permanent structure that you can then put in the basin of the pond once the bulldozers, etc, are finished. I was building stuff to go in my pond as structure 2 or 3 years in advance of the pond being finished. I then hustled to get everything out in the pond before it filled up...only we were stuck in drought for 2+ years so my pond did not fill in for 2-1/2 years. :) Harrumph! No need to have hurried...oh well. :)

    But...I have a ton of sunken structure in it now...and forever, since most of what I put in was PVC or similar or concrete/rock. I did relent and put in a bunch of pallet structures too, so those won't last forever. I also preserved the giant root balls from some of the bigger trees that were removed during construction. I also have a good number of 12" diameter tubes, some fiberglass, some stainless steel, for catfish spawning. Overall, I am very happy with all of the structure I was able to add.

    If I was doing it again though...I would have had the bulldozers make more humps here and there that would be about 5 to 7 feet tall and then top out about 3' - 4' below the finished water level. Then...I would top those humps with what we call "6 x 9" stone, also called erosion stone. It is bigger stuff and will provide forever structure AND if your humps are 3 to 4 feet below the surface, you should get some weed growth on top of them...which will produce some fantastic cover for your panfish to hide in and your bass to ambush your lures out of. :)
     
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  12. Nrharris

    Nrharris Member

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    Thanks for the advice Daver. Definitely will put a bug in dads ear. I think this will fill up fairly quickly. It is fed by 2 springs. That was one of the hangups was they said we were damming a creek so we needed the approval of the army corp of engineers. Even though the "crick" starts from the springs on our land and some field tile.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  13. cybball

    cybball PMA Member

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    Re-did a half acre pond on my place this past summer. Really looking forward to stocking this coming spring. Did lots of structures for fish too. All the snow and rain should fill it nicely by then.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Wapsi Tree

    Wapsi Tree Well-Known Member

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    Please use caution taking pond advice from Daver. He's got some really strange things in his.


    Daver 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  15. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Ouch! :) I should have never posted that pic! Good one, I have to humbly acknowledge a real knockout blow there in the tit-for-tat "slam war" with Wapsi. I can now clearly see that I am just going to have to up my game. :) Yes sir...I need to up my game with this guy! :)

    For real, seeing that picture reminds me of snapping turtles. :) Because not long after this pic, I climbed out of the refreshing water and slipped and slid my way up, yes, up, the bank and then along came a snapping turtle. Yikes...good thing I was out of harms way...if you know what I mean. :)

    But I also noticed in the background there were some old wooden beams and telephone posts in the upper right corner of the pic. That was another structure element that I placed out there. Mixed in with them are some old concrete pilings too.
     
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  16. Wapsi Tree

    Wapsi Tree Well-Known Member

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    I knew that pic was gold the second you posted it. :)

    I promise to do my absolute best to put it away for at least a year.

    Funny story though...

    My son is a senior now and will graduate this spring. My wife is putting together a bunch of photos from over the years and is digging deep on every computer in the house for those "golden oldies". Yes sir, I did have some explaining to do when she found ol' Daver in the pond! :oops:
     
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  17. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    I don't remember if I had posted this before or not...but a little more info on that pic. I was in my birthday suit at the time of that selfie...still one of the VERY FEW selfies I have EVER taken...and I sent a group text to a the people back at work that the next text that they received from me would be a company first...the first ever naked boss selfie. :)

    My feelings were hurt when many of them instantly replied in horror and begged me not to do it. Well, I wouldn't be a good boss if I listened to all of the folks now would I? So I sent the pic you see there. :) They still bring it up nowadays. :)
     
  18. HawkeyeStateHogs

    HawkeyeStateHogs Member

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    This will be a great project. Congrats!

    Also, if you want any meaningful habitat in that 60 acres, kill the brome!!
     
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  19. C-LINE10

    C-LINE10 New Member

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    """""kill the brome!!""""

    I second that, get rid of the brome. Congrats on the pond, what a fun project to look forward to, along with 60 acres of habitat improvement!
     
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  20. Nrharris

    Nrharris Member

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    What do you guys suggest planting in place of the brome? A lot of it is fairly steep so probably cant rip it up. Only real possibility would be spraying and the drilling something in.
     
  21. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    I would consider a mixed bag...maybe go with big bluestem in an area, or two. CIR switchgrass for a big chunk of it. Can you plant plum trees, ninebark, etc?

    If you have some south facing slopes, consider creating excellent deer bedding habitat by planting a block of CIR, with a "hard line" where it would meet up with some less taller and thicker grass, like big blue. The deer will bed in the shorter grass, in the sun, right where the edge is.
     
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