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Mark Christianson

Making a pond

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Definitely check with the zoning/planning in the county where this land resides.

I live in Sherburne, and did a lot of checks and balances before digging a pond out.

In the end, I needed nothing special to do my digging.
Thankfully, because if it would have been certain types of areas, I would have had to get up to 5 different agencies to approve digging. I was ready to hang up the idea, until clarification cleared all that up for me.
I needed nothing at all. Just hired a trackhoe, and dug away.

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Hey biglake, how big of a pond did you dig? How deep? What's it's purpose? Is it serving it? What kind of backhoe hours did it take to accomplish it?

I'm asking for future reference, as I'm hoping to do one maybe in 4-5 years. Unfortunately mine would have to be in a wetland, so I'm sure I'd have to jump plenty of hoops.

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I know "people" that used a dozer in the winter and built a really nice pond in the middle of a cattail swamp
It is sweet for ducks!!

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Hmmmm.
I did it 3 years ago I think.
It is 150 ft long by 50 ft wide. Roughly that. I actually measured it, and I think thats close.
I had a big trackhoe come in. They were digging a basement for a new house just up the road, so they just came over and dug.
I want to say it was $500. The depth hits 6 to 7 ft when its full to the brim.
The primary use was for fish for the kids.
The first summer I had a few kids fishing on the shore of it on a few nights. It was pretty cute.
I had bass and walleyes in it.
Believe it or not, I swear this is true, the bass spawned in spring of 2003. I had 6 bass in there I think, and they spawned. Yes, they lived, and how they lived is beyond me. Well, it is very low to the water table, so obviously there was some underground movement of some sort.
Last winter they all died. frown.gif
It was so dry late last year, that the water dropped a few feet.

[This message has been edited by biglakeba$$ (edited 09-14-2004).]

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If i want to dig a pond on private land on a low spot can i legally just go dig one thinking about 50 ft by 50 ft or do you need to pull permits to do this (DNR COUNTY ect..)

Just wondering if any one has done this. the aera i am thinking about doing this on is not a swamp just a low aera and the water table is high. thinking about 8ft deep and then leting nature take it course

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Private property is still under Wetland Conservation Act laws (WCA). If the pond is being dug out of a "wetland" area there may be some restrictions for the project depending on where the project is located in the state.

Keep in mind that a wetland as defined in the WCA laws isn't just an area that has cattails but can vary in type basically based on amount of hydrology (water) and cover type in the area (i.e. wet meadows, shrub meadows, etc.)

The proper steps would be to get a hold of you WCA Local Gov. Unit. Most times not knowing where to start with this, first contact you local county Soil and Water Conservation District office. They should be able to let you know (or get you in contact with who would know) if your pond will be dug in a wetland area or if it will occur outside of a wetland (if it's in a "low spot" there is a good chance it is in a wetland area). From there, there may be some permits to fill out at the local county level to get the project completed.

If you let me know where the project is taking place I may be able to let you know more what your up against and then possibly a contact number.

WW

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Here is a little more back groung from what i have learned. The aera is where the county used to take sand from for salting road and other projects. they left huge mounds of dirt that create the low spot where we are going to dig up (before we bough the land)there is no standing water and it would be more about creating a wetland. Would we still need to jump through the hoops

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Hate to say it dawg...if the pond is planned to be dug in an area where sand was being taken, you might not have an area that will hold water (sand veins in the soil still allowing water to leach out??? But I don't know the area.

Regardless you won't need approval from many different agencies, just your Local Goverment Unit(LGU) for WCA if at all. Contact your county's Soil and Water Conservation District and talk to them regarding the project. Many times they (or someone) can come out and let you know if the area is going to fall under some jurisdiction or not.

If your looking at creating something for ducks...Make sure and dig something that has an irregular shoreline with gradual sideslopes and varying shallow and deeper water (5' or so) areas. This allows for a diversity of cover types and submergant veg. to grow. i.e. what ducks like. If you give me the county I probably can get you a contact number.

WW

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sorry to dive in but we own 120acers in benton county and it is a peat swamp about 80acers of it. it has 2 ponds on it. do you think they would let us make the ponds bigger? all 80 acers is cattails and other wetland grass

thanks for the help

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Don't be sorry Slab...your just digging for some information (no pum intended).

Always hard to say without looking at the site but if it is covered in cattails it may be considered a type 3 wetland. Hate to say it but if this is so, you are probably going to have a hard time in getting permitted to do what you would like to do legally.

Not to say that people don't do things illegal (imagine that) but just want to make you aware that your activities may not be totally legal. Once again I would contact the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District and they may be able to come out and give you a determination of a wetland type. Good Luck

WW

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I have land in Itasca County and talked to the local SWCD about digging in a pond, to attract and hold ducks. My land has a lot of black ash swamp that winds through it - tall swamp grass in 2-3 inches of water, lots of "buck brush", big black ash trees, and in some places the water gets deep enough for cattails. I'd like to modify it to hold more water and plant wild rice, and maybe create a small island or two for nesting.

What the SWCD told me is that they're not too concerned with the type or class of wetland. I could make it deeper so it would hold more water, but I would have to do something with the dirt I dug out. I could not put that dirt in a different part of the wetland since that would equate to filling in a wetland. The ideal scenario would be to bring in a dozer to push the soil to higher ground. A less ideal scenario would be to use a backhoe to dig out the dirt, because then the dirt would have to be hauled away.

Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by PerchJerker (edited 09-16-2004).]

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