How to build a pond less than 20 acres in size for between $3,000 and $10,000 per acre.
1. Contact The Feds: After you?ve chosen a spot, contact the local office of the National Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil ConÂ¿Â¿serÂ¿Â¿vaÂ¿Â¿tion Service), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They will do a site exam, analyze the soil, provide specifics for building a dam, and even throw in a blueprint, all for free.
2. Know The Regs: Make sure you?re up to date on all regulations. A conÂ¿Â¿sulÂ¿Â¿tant can help.
3. Start Digging: As you hatch your design, keep in mind that you?ll want ambush points (ledges, peninsulas, islands, rock piles), deep water, shallow water, and maybe even some spawning grounds (use some pea gravel).
4. Stock: Get your baitfish established first. A few weeks should do. In terms of numbers, you should have 10 bluegills for every bass you intend to stock. Then go to a local hatchery and get your baby bass. Ray Scott prefers the F1 hybrids (see story). Throw in a couple of mature 5- to 7-pounders for entertainment in the early years.
Ray Scott will build you a pond starting at $50,000. For a video of the process, start to finish, get a copy of Scott?s DVD Great Small Waters ($9; 800-518-7222; www.rayscott.net).