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Dkoy

Building your own LAKE? Got any ideas?

9 posts in this topic

This a weird one, but got a couple buddies who moved down south and they sure miss how accessible Minnesota is with lakes and fishing. They bought a huge area(boonies)and they are planning project to build their own lake, and hope its and running in 5-10yrs. If you guys know, most of those home made ponds down there are stocked the heck up with cats. They wanted some insight on structure for some game fish such as bass and northern. Also maybe some crappies/gils Anybody attempted this or know if any one has attempted this? Or does anybody got any links/info on good stucture for these fishes. Thanks.

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What are they starting out with?? Will they be excavating the land, or is it an area that can be dammed off to create the lake? What depth are they planning and what is the material that they are working with?? There are so many variables that can differ. How many acres?? Will the water come from groundwater, runoff, spring fed, or river fed?

Starting a lake for multiple species of fish sounds like a fun project, but there are a lot of considerations to make it a well balanced fishery, unless they are going to be dependent on stocking. Bottom structure for a lake is simple in that you can use many materials for structure. Rocks, cribs, gravel... Good depth variation will be a plus also.

It would be best to have a plan and know what you want to accomplish to get that plan to reality. There are a lot of particulars that should be addressed. Brent

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There was a great article in a recent Field and Stream magazine on this topic. If you are interested, I could see about scanning it in and adding a link.

Let me know.

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Quote:

This a weird one, but got a couple buddies who moved down south and they sure miss how accessible Minnesota is with lakes and fishing. They bought a huge area(boonies)and they are planning project to build their own lake, and hope its and running in 5-10yrs. If you guys know, most of those home made ponds down there are stocked the heck up with cats. They wanted some insight on structure for some game fish such as bass and northern. Also maybe some crappies/gils Anybody attempted this or know if any one has attempted this? Or does anybody got any links/info on good stucture for these fishes. Thanks.


They do it all over in the south... Bill Dance had 2 whole segments about building your own bass lake.

As for the species selection...

If I remember correctly pike, like Walleye need the cold water temps of winter in order to generate a successful spawn... So Any pike they stock (from whatever source) would be unable to spawn, and the population would be stuck at whatever number stocked.

(Might actually be a good thing?)

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25 years ago I lived in Ky and we would fish all sorts of farm ponds, some of which were 4 or 5 acres. They had a good stock of lg-mouth bass, crappie, sunfish and cats. We also used them for froggin in the early sumnmer.

The larger lakes were usually in a ravine and the dam was made from rock and earth. They collected water that ran off the surrounding farm fields. I don't recall one that had any sizeable free flowing stream that had a dam that backed up the water.

The smaller ponds (1/2 acre) were shallow cattle ponds were usually just dug into the bottom of a hill.

There are lots of excavators that are doing ponds and lakes. I'm pretty sure that if anyone wants to dam a flowing stream there would be all sorts of regulations protecting the landowners downstream. I would also be concerned with my liablity if the dam should break or overflow causing a flash flood.

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Do a Google search for Ray Scott. He has a series of books out called "Great Small Waters". in that he will explain everything you need to know.

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Suggest to your friends that they contact the fish and game agency in the state where they live. They will get all the help they need.

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A relative of mine did it. He never fishes it any more. Too boring. But the key to him being able to build it was to have a creek that fed it. It's basically an reservoir of the creek.

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Field and Stream usually has a good article on this every-other year or so. Check their archives on their website.

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