Winter Pond Maintenance
By Bob Lusk
Winter is a great time to do some maintenance on your small pond. If you have any unwanted plants, remove them. Transplant trees in late winter. Prepare for spring landscaping. Most everything is dormant this time of year.
Here at Lusk Lodge, Two, our ponds seep. Since several of the ponds are designed as hatchery ponds to grow fish for sale, we have the benefit of a water well. Consequently, we can allow the ponds to drop without worrying about refilling. Five of the eight ponds are surrounded by post oak trees. Those five ponds receive the bounty of too many leaves each fall. The leaves float, and many of them head toward the shore, collect in bunches and then sink. It's sort of like our own little wet leaf rake.
You see where I'm going.
We let the ponds drop a foot or two until the leaves are revealed. They sit for a few days and I'll get a leaf rake, pile them up and if they are too wet, we'll load them onto the gator and haul them to the mulch pile. If they are dry (which some of them are), I'll pile and burn them on the spot.
If we leave all that organic matter in the pond, it contributes to water quality deterioration and siltation. Winter is a good time to get rid of it.
In the north, winter is a good time to cut standing timber. Just be sure the ice is safe.
Another winter task we do in winter is structure placement. This task is much easier in the north because you can put it on top of the ice, and most of the time it will sink right where you want it. In the south, where the only ice we see is tinkling in our tea glasses, structure placement is still pretty easy, especially right after Christmas, when trees are easy to get. Lash a piece of plywood to the bow of your boat, put the trees on top and haul them where you want. Anchor them with concrete blocks loosely tied to the trees and push overboard. Better yet, buy some of those cool porcupine fish attractors made by Larry Harper. They are easy to put together and sink. But, be sure to do it like Bill Dance suggests. He says to put them in a "T" formation, kinda like that logo on his hat. Put them perpendicular to the shore in a straight line, then at the end, bunch them. Don't just put out two or three.
So, just because it's winter time, don't think there aren't a few things you can do for your mini-pond.
Reprinted with permission from Pond Boss Magazine