We have four ponds on our 53 acres here in central NC (zone 7b). I have attached pictures of the two largest (about 1.5 acres and 1 acre respectively for the one with the algae bloom). When I bought this small farm a bit over a year ago everything had been neglected for about a decade. There are a lot of sweet gums here, and it took some months to selectively clear large stretches along the pond edges. Since then, the wild blackberries, sweet gums, and various thorny vines have come back with a vengeance. Maintenance right now involves regular trimming, which takes a lot of time and feels like a lost cause.
I am tremendously inspired by Sepp Holzer's farms and would like to put in more ponds, but my questions are about their maintenance:
How does he keep the bank growth low and accessible? Are there particular plant species like cattails I should be looking at in this zone?
How does he keep his ponds from silting in, particularly with the heavy vegetation surrounding them (must drop tons of debris)?
Locals here seem to be of the consensus that the only option is draining regularly and then bringing in a dozer to fix up the banks and clear the silt. It's expensive and I really hate to do that to the pond-ecosystems. We've looked into dredging but that is way too expensive, particularly if we were to add even more ponds.
Your thoughts or expertise are much appreciated.