Your pond is not created them same, even though it may have been built in the same manner as the one next door. A pond in North Texas will be different than one in south Texas, but even more noticeably is the two ponds built on the same property. The larger pond has higher clay content, while the content of the smaller pond is considerably less. Just like your neighbors garden isn’t like yours, due to different characteristics. These characteristics affect soil type, placement, and pond depth.
A ponds soil is important, just like the soil that a farmer, rancher, or gardener looks for that beautiful blend to grow the right plants. A ponds soil must be able to hold water, that’s its main purpose. The soil should be impervious and compactable not to allow seepage through the dam; the best soil is clay, silt clay or sandy clay. Sometimes its great to have a soil sample analyzed to determine these characteristics. Due diligence on soil typing early will pay off in the end.
Every watershed has a unique topography that can tell how much water you will need and what’s available during a normal year. Understanding how much water will help in sizing your pond correctly. An undersized pond in a large watershed doesn’t make sense, just as a large pond with only a small amount of water.
The greater amount of precipitation coupled with a large watershed allows for deeper ponds and lakes. An acre pond 10-foot-deep will require near 10 acres of watershed if all things are equal, but this doesn’t hold true when working in urban environments and plowed fields. One cannot talk about precipitation without its counterpart evaporation. You will always loose some water too evaporation, some days when it’s hot up ½ inch in North Texas and in others it 3 times that. The hotter the temperature, constant guts of winds, and lack of humidity is part of natures normal occurrences that must be accounted when determining available water for your pond.
A little diligence, understanding the watershed characteristics, and a handy topography map will increase the ponds success to be a great start for your underwater garden. A dream pond is starting to take place, can you see it. We can its right over there by those oak trees at the end of the driveway.
As we continue to cover topics in pond management, remember to look at your notes and compare. If you have questions call or email, we will get back to you promptly.
We look forward to helping you managing your pond and lakes in 2017.
Joshua Flowers | Fisheries Biologist