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what to do with a pond...

 
Posts: 21
Location: Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
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I am still a bit of a newbie, so I am not sure how all elements of a property "fit in" to a permaculture framework. We have 12 acres with about 6 cleared. We have retirement property with a spring fed, 1/2 acre pond stocked with bass and bream. So...
1) what uses exist for such a pond?
2) is it big enough to use for growing a sufficient number of fish to use as a food source? (At the deepest point, it is probably 8 to 12 feet deep)
3) if so, what type of fish?
4) what else do I need to know about ponds and permaculture?

 
gardener
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
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What uses?  Recreation, water for crops, water for fire protection, fish, mitigating winter temperatures for nearby plants come to mind.

A half acre pond should be plenty big enough for fish for a food source.  

As for types of fish, sorry can't help there.  Maybe check other ponds in the area?

What else do you need to know?  Read through this forum.  Pretty much anything anyone could want to know about
permaculture and ponds has been covered here, and there is a quite a bit.  
 
master steward
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Bass and bream are both excellent fish to have in your pond.  Are you wanting to add more fish?

Check with your local fish supplier for what they offer. For me, that might be the local feed store or the State Aquarium.

If you have grandkids you might consider a small boat or paddleboat.  I always think of ponds as a place to go swimming.
 
pollinator
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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I found this researching around
Fish for farm ponds
 
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I WAS planning to build a 1/2 acre pond for a food source and then I found out how few fish you can harvest from a small pond like that unless you plan to restock every couple years. For example if you're stocking with largemouth bass and bluegill, you should only harvest 5-7 lbs of largemouth bass and 25-35 lbs of bluegill per year which obviously is only going to end up being a fraction of that amount in meat. Not worth messing with IMO for a food source. Check out this vid:  
 

I'm still going to build a very small pond for a swimming hole and as a backup water source but not a significant food source. One good buck per year will provide 5x as much meat.
 
pioneer
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Paul Ladendorf wrote:... then I found out how few fish you can harvest from a small pond like that unless you plan to restock every couple years.



If you're lucky enough to have a lake, river or even a significant creek nearby consider fish traps. They can be made fairly small and can catch fish while you're sleeping. It can be a steady source of protein to supplement your buck.
For your pond, consider a living pool. The 30,000 foot view...you dig a big hole, line it to keep the water in, add plants around the edges and fish in the water. A solar water pump can keep the water circulating through a sand filter. Good for swimming, a few fish and your buck may go there to drink. You can stock the pool with the fish from your traps. Youtube has many videos on the subject.
 
Posts: 52
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
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A home or greenhouse positioned such that the pond is just to the south will have added winter light (and warmth) reflected into the building.
You could cordon off a section of the shallow water to grow duckweed as feed for pigs, chickens, or other animals. Use a net to harvest the duckweed. (We had to cordon this area off so the ducks didn't decimate the duckweed before it could multiply!)
You could plant edible water plants.
You could raise ducks for their meat, yummy fat, and eggs. A floating dock with duck house on a rope that can be reeled in would give them predator proof housing. Ditto Geese.
You could use the pond to create "refrigeration" (no electricity needed)..lots of ways to do this. We put foods that needed to be chilled in water-proof weighted containers and bags stored under a dock. Place a hatch in the floor of the dock with a handle for easy retrieval. But a more elaborate cold house could be fashioned above the pond edge with thermosiphon or evaporative cooling effects.
Is the pond uphill of other structures on the property, such that you could gravity feed water into other systems: duckaponics? garden? orchard? Chinampas?
You could grow rice!
You could add a little beach area and camping outfit and garner an income via short-term rentals like AirBnB or glamping.
 
pollinator
Posts: 239
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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Congratulations to you as it seems you are living the permaculture dream!  12 acres and time to spend on it, how wonderful!   I'm not sure where you are but probably in a location where you can grow nelumbo lutea for the nuts, roots, and leaves.  https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Nelumbo+lutea
Some people might not like this idea as these plants can be very 'successful' so please do your own research before planting these.  To me, a pond with many of these growing sounds like an edible paradise.
Here is a great article about using them http://www.eattheweeds.com/american-lotus-worth-getting-wet-for-2/
 
pollinator
Posts: 896
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
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That is plenty of pond for producing a lot of food, especially protein which theoretically can exceed land production by 20x. I have not raised fish, but I have done quite a bit of duckuaponics. Ducks produce more valuable products than fish, (a single duck can be worth 200$ to a good chef at a nice restaurant, and I’ve seen duck eggs go for 18$/dozen at a grocery store). They can also be stacked in function with fish with proper protections for small fish and balancing of the system (ie oxygenation and waste filtration). Duck manure is also the highest in phosphorus of any common livestock, and has a nice balance of most other nutrients, so their pond water makes for excellent fertigation. At my previous place I used hugelkultures and woody debris filled trenches to passively absorb and filter the duck pond overflow. The garden is now swallowing the new owner. I will be building Chinampas on my new larger pond. It is still only 20x16’ and 10ft deep, but I plan to expand it and enhance the habitat with more shallows and varied depths with terraces to plant as it recedes in summer. I would look into chinampas and terraced pond edges for planting, and consider how to irrigate with your pond water, as unless it’s heavily polluted it is almost always vastly better for plants than well or city water.
 
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