Ponds are built for
a variety of reasons, but two basic rules remain the same. The pond must
be sited on suitable soils and properly constructed to hold water, and there
should be enough water available to fill the pond but not in great excess.
Careful attention and expert advice on pond site selection and construction
are essential. Once a pond is built, proper maintenance extends its useful
life and beauty. In addition, most farm ponds depend on runoff from their
watershed (land uphill from the pond) to fill and maintain the water level.
Protecting the watershed ensures a quality supply of water to the pond.
For ponds built for
recreational fishing, there is no advantage in deep ponds (over 12 feet to
14 feet deep) or to a deep area within the pond. Deep ponds are not more productive
and tend to have more oxygen problems. Ponds should not have extensive shallow areas (less than
3 feet deep) unless aquatic plants are desired. Constructing ponds to drop off rather quickly to a
depth of at least 2 1/2 feet helps prevent aquatic weed growth.
The Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) publication "Ponds - Planning, Design,
Handbook 590) contains detailed information on design surveys,
site selection, drainage area, pond layouts, soil analysis and
spillway construction. It is recommended that you contact
the NRCS for assistance in pond site selection and construction, to make
sure the site, watershed, and soils are adequate. NRCS can ensure
that you select the best location for your pond. For a list of local
NRCS service centers click
Additional information on pond
design and construction as well as other aspects of pond management in Arkansas
is available in the publication "Farm Pond Management for Recreational Fishing"