What does it take to add a farm pond, recreational lake or fishing lake to your property?
People here in the Southwest have a thing about water. Maybe it is because it is so arid or maybe it’s because of a more rural lifestyle where farmers and ranchers are dependent on stock tanks. For whatever reasons, we love our farm ponds and recreational fishing lakes. Just to give you some perspective, Virginia has about 50,000 privately owned farm ponds and recreational fishing lakes while Texas has over 800,000!
If you are visiting us as more than just a casual internet surfer it must be because you have an idea you want a recreational farm pond or fishing lake constructed on your own property. You have probably been out driving in a rural area and seen the perfect farm pond or fishing lake that enhanced the country residence or weekend retreat. It caught your eye because it was attractive, blended in with the landscape and most certainly it added to the land owner’s pleasure. Properly constructed farm ponds and recreational fishing lakes also add to the property value. A farm pond or fishing lake is a major construction project. Proper site planning, experienced construction and necessary equipment available put it out of reach of most land owner’s area of expertise. We see many more poorly constructed farm ponds and fishing lakes than we do water features that enhance your recreational experience and property value. Properly done, a farm pond or recreational fishing lake will add tens of thousands of dollars of value to your property.
So where do you start? Many people will decide on a location simply because it is appealing. Their next step is to find someone, a friend of a friend or just some unknown advertiser in the Yellow Pages or a website, to actually do the excavation. Over the years, we have seen so many projects that were done by the local good ol’ boy contractor that were just plain appalling. You can see it in the client’s eyes as they show you the unsightly mudhole or the leaking eyesore that dominates the view from an otherwise beautiful property. Most of the time, the results are disappointing to say the least!
So who knew it was that hard, right? Certainly not our clients! They have only the best of intentions. Most of them have been very successful businessmen or women who were very, very good at their chosen profession. We certainly couldn’t operate on someone, build a gas plant or pull a tooth! Wouldn’t even think it; we push dirt — and we are good at it. A mere 6″ of dirt will usually cover up the most glaring excavation mistake and don’t think those good ol’ boys won’t resort to that! Will you catch the mistake? Certainly! A few months or a year later when the lake leaks like a sieve, the banks are too steep to mow or the dam washes away when a Tropical Storm deluges you with 12″ of rain in a day. Yes sir, we have seen the aftermath of “lake building fraud” over and over through the years. Not a pretty sight……….. and talk about expensive to fix!!!!!!
We have provided a link to an article written by the Soil Conservation Service that goes into great detail regarding farm pond construction. It is 51 pages of graphs, tables and mathematical calculations. Read through the article for a better understanding of the many facets involved with proper farm pond and recreational lake construction. Not your cup of tea? We hope most people will realize an excavation project of this nature is better left to the experts.
At the very least, seek out a lake building professional with references and a proven track record for an expert consultation regarding building your dream. Nick would be happy to consult with you on your dream project.
“The proposition of redoing an improperly constructed farm pond or fishing lake is always more expensive then the initial pond construction.”
Click here to read the Soil Conservation article.