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Is my pond big enough for aquaculture? Conflicting stories...

 
Posts: 9
Location: Oklahoma
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I've done lots of research and everywhere I look people tell me I need a 5 acre pond to have a good amount of edible fish.
Yet I see videos of Ben Falk's Vermont homestead on 10 acres with ponds that LOOK smaller than my current one with small mouth bass in them.
Here is the cattle mud-hole that was on this property when I bought it:





I know its not nearly deep enough and its roughly 50 foot wide and 100 foot or so long when full. Its only a few feet deep though and its in the most slimy clay Oklahoma has.

This is in central Oklahoma and there are very few trees near the pond so evap is a huge problem.
I can cure that easily and I know it needs to be deepened.
Its dead right now except for a billion tadpoles and skeeters.
I can make it a bit wider maybe around 100x100 but my property is a looooong strip only 360 feet wide (total of 5 acres) and being at the tippy top of the property at the very back on the north end and the dam being on the south I'm restricted on all 4 sides unless I move the dam more south.
I'm wondering if I should simply use it as catchment or is it something I can use after some work to have enough fish to supply me all I can eat?


 
pollinator
Posts: 428
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Joshua,

The pond is a bit on the small side to have a substantial amount of 'free forage' fish. However, it is plenty big to raise catfish. They have the highest ratio of turning grain into protein than any animal and will eat anything...literally. No pond is too small to have 'some' fish, so it is really a matter of raising what you can for food or fun.

As far as the 5 acres, I can call BS. I have a couple of 1-2 acres ponds in the area that don't get fished much. I can pull 4-10 lbs of fish a day out of those lakes and I am not a fisherman. The fish are underfed. County agent says I need to pull about 30 #'s of little fish out of the water to reduce the pressure on the food source, if I want bigger bass. If 30#s of 'excess' fish can come out of a 2 acre pond, I don't believe a person needs 5 acres for a steady supply of fish.
 
Joshua Morgan
Posts: 9
Location: Oklahoma
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Yes I knew it was small, I can double the size for sure and make it much deeper. I was just watching a video of a pond that looks the same size with a good number of fish in it. I could probably expand the pond to about an acre if I take the entire rear of the property to near where the creek crosses but that would cost thousands. I was hoping on pulling maybe around a 5lb fish a day worth out of a pond. I don't mind catfish but of course would prefer bass.
I defiantly read that someone should never pull more than 10lb of bass per acre of pond a month! so what your saying proves that wrong by far.
I just don't get how the small little ponds in the videos I saw could produce food fish as well as stated. I am sure they would be smaller than mine if I doubled the size. I have no clue to how this is being done. The fish pond in one of Geoff Lawton's videos is nowhere near 100x100 but in the video he says its going to be a massive production of meat fish.

I'm glad to hear that 1-2 acres would be more than enough for me. Now the problem would be making one that's that big or enlarging the one I have with a maximum width of 200 feet to work with on the width of my property... 100x100 is slightly less than a half acre if my math is right. so at 200 it would need to be 220 for a full acre...
that's a bit more doable than I thought. It would still be an odd bit of a pond being darn near square in the back of the property...

I should talk to some pond builders about if its doable back there.

On a brighter note its a good amount above the rest of the property so if I wanted gravity irrigation it would be easily doable.



Jack Edmondson wrote:Joshua,

The pond is a bit on the small side to have a substantial amount of 'free forage' fish. However, it is plenty big to raise catfish. They have the highest ratio of turning grain into protein than any animal and will eat anything...literally. No pond is too small to have 'some' fish, so it is really a matter of raising what you can for food or fun.

As far as the 5 acres, I can call BS. I have a couple of 1-2 acres ponds in the area that don't get fished much. I can pull 4-10 lbs of fish a day out of those lakes and I am not a fisherman. The fish are underfed. County agent says I need to pull about 30 #'s of little fish out of the water to reduce the pressure on the food source, if I want bigger bass. If 30#s of 'excess' fish can come out of a 2 acre pond, I don't believe a person needs 5 acres for a steady supply of fish.

 
pollinator
Posts: 3114
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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The reason why all those other guys on a hill can get more fish from there small pond is because they have running water. So it is more like a 20ft wide river with fish than a 20ft circle pond. With running water/creek/spring. Fresh dissolved mineral is being brought in for plants. Fish generated pollutants are being washed away and recycled. Food/invertebrates/etc is being washed into their pond. The flowing water also makes their pond less likely to freeze so a 3ft deep enlarged stream area vs a 15ft deep isolated pond. And most importantly the water is being oxygenated as it flows so their pond is always right in oxygen.

You might need a solar-battery powered water fountain/ air stone to oxygenate the water.
You might also need a trap for insect, zap them and then let them fall in the water or BSF.
You might have to create some high-surface growbed with some spinach.

Check out these guys. http://gardenpool.org
They retrofit a tiny pool and now harvest hundreds of pound of fish per year.

 
Posts: 141
Location: Campton, New Hampshire
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Joshua Morgan wrote:100x100 is slightly less than a half acre if my math is right. so at 200 it would need to be 220 for a full acre...
that's a bit more doable than I thought. It would still be an odd bit of a pond being darn near square in the back of the property...



An acre in square form is approximately 208ft x 208ft so 100 x 100 would give you a ~1/4 acre pond. 100 x 200 would give you a ~1/2 acre pond.
 
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