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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1 acre pond that we built 40 years ago. Largemouth bass and bluegil at almost state record sizes. Dry as a bone this year. We haven't been down to it in years and I'm wondering what could have caused this to happen? Could mud turtles or crawfish do something this drastic or is the drought that bad this year? When I go see it this week, what should I be looking for on clues to why this has happened?
 

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Water has a way of find its way out of its container.
Once it creates a pathway it will continue to erode away the duct.
It may take decades to do.
That along with drought may be the cause.
Look what happened to the st. Francis dam in california, a tiny leak led to catastrophic failure.

Without knowledge of the terrain, i can only suggest a downstream search for a new source or unexplained increase of volume of an existing stream.
 

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You may check to see if the banks have cracks in the side to where the water has leaked out.
In my Fish Management class, we learned how to properly stock and build a pond/lake. But other than what I mentioned, I don't know.. I can ask my teacher once I get to his class. He is like the Godfather of Conservation Law lol so if he doesn't know then no one does! Haha
 

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I have a 1 acre pond that we built 40 years ago. Largemouth bass and bluegil at almost state record sizes. Dry as a bone this year. We haven't been down to it in years and I'm wondering what could have caused this to happen? Could mud turtles or crawfish do something this drastic or is the drought that bad this year? When I go see it this week, what should I be looking for on clues to why this has happened?
Not knowing exactly where you live I can't say, but the drought where I am was that bad this year.
 

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Not knowing exactly where you live I can't say, but the drought where I am was that bad this year.
Yea but would that have drained it completely?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow that's pretty big, more like a small lake! (I think an acre is about 80% the size of a football field)
And what does "build it" mean, did you just scoop out a hole with a digger and let it fill up with rainwater?
We had a bulldozer come in and clear it out and build the dam to it. Its pretty big, and now its all mud. Going to walk down there this week and see if I can see any signs of the damage. I'm suspecting turtles, but don't know if they could have cause that much damage. Like jgriner mentioned, "would that have drained it completely" is what has me thinking. I'll try to take photos.
 

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Wow that's pretty big, more like a small lake! (I think an acre is about 80% the size of a football field)
And what does "build it" mean, did you just scoop out a hole with a digger and let it fill up with rainwater?
If it's one acre, it's consider a pond, over and acre equals a lake :) Learned that in class haha just sharing info
 

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In Texas... we used to have to line the pond bottom with clay... to slow water drainage. It's possible the turtles have dug into an area on a side bank that was previously sealed and now it drains down to that point. You can discuss with an expert about adding clay or something to reseal the sides. Other than that... a drought does increase evaporation because of low humidity in the air... but drought and heat combined are worse. Was it a hot drought... or just a rainless drought?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can discuss with an expert about adding clay or something to reseal the sides. Other than that... a drought does increase evaporation because of low humidity in the air... but drought and heat combined are worse. Was it a hot drought... or just a rainless drought?
Good idea with the clay. It was mainly a rainless drought this year in Kentucky. Not that much snow last winter. Only two or three days in my area.
 

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Good idea with the clay. It was mainly a rainless drought this year in Kentucky. Not that much snow last winter. Only two or three days in my area.
If you use clay, I'd be sure to use it on the outside of the pond. If it inside, it will cause the water to be turbid. This makes it difficult for the fish to breathe and can smother their eggs. It takes a very long time for clay to settle.
 
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I went back to a property that I lived on as a kid. There were two very large ponds on the property. No one had been living there in almost a decade. Mysteriously, the larger of the two ponds was empty while the other was still full. I actually found that the valve had been opened. Apparently, vagrants had lived in the house for a few years and found it easier to get the fish if the level was lower.
 

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Most all of the bottled water companys like Dasani, Aquafina. Ozarka ect... will go into an area to buy rights or access to water and remove as much as they can truck out of the area to bottle and re-sell. Lowering the water table and removing that water from the local hydrologic cycle, directly impacting farmers, well owners and eventually you and me. Once they drain a place dry they find another place, usually in need of new business and developement (money) and eventually drain them dry as well.
Meanwhile we pay for every gallon we consume. Soon we will pay more for water than we pay for gasoline. Wars will likely be fought over access to potable water. What little drinkable water is left in this country will likely be ruined by hydraulic fracking. If fracking is so damn safe? Why is it that big oil is exempt from the clean water act? Sorry for ranting.

pyro
 

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very low water table in mi right know
mild winter last year could cause this
plus lack of rain
watch the lake levels on your way there they should all be low
check other farm ponds should be the same
also this does not happen to often on public use lakes
state / county keeps water level up for recreational use / tax revenues
boating, fishing,hunting ect.
D"
 

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after 40 years I would think that some sedimentation has occured thus making the pond not as deep. Add that to possible low clay content in the earth and drought, and I could see the pond becoming a mud hole.
 

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wow! this is super good stuff i never new turtles could mess up a pond! reagan! good on you for taking these types of classes!
 

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As an environmental engineer, a few thoughts come to mind. You may have already thought of these.

1. Pond leaked out--obvious bank failure.
2. Water seeped through the pond's lining/base into the water table.
3. The water table dropped--not enough recharge to the aquifer or too much demand on the same. (your pond level may have been at equilibrium with the existing water table once you had it constructed)
4. Building the pond created an evaporative sink--in other words, your depression in the ground caused the adjacent shallow alluvium aquifer to migrate to your pond, whereby it evaporated.
5. Your neighbors snuck down and it's their new water supply!

Just a few--the last one is meant in jest.
 

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I have a 1 acre pond that we built 40 years ago. Largemouth bass and bluegil at almost state record sizes. Dry as a bone this year. We haven't been down to it in years and I'm wondering what could have caused this to happen? Could mud turtles or crawfish do something this drastic or is the drought that bad this year? When I go see it this week, what should I be looking for on clues to why this has happened?
I've seen this happen in a movie we watched recently...
... I'm afraid it may be....

GAMERA !!
 
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