Private Ponds and Lakes

There are over 1,000,000 ponds or lakes in the United States ranging in size from under an acre to over twenty-five acres.  These all have different applications and usages.  A lake or pond can often increase the property value of land.

Some ponds and lakes are on farms or ranches.  These can be used for irrigation, flood control, erosion control, or as a source of water for wildfires.  There are other ponds or lakes that are used to raise fish and wildlife.  Still others are used for recreational fishing, boating and swimming.

Ponds and lakes can be naturally occurring, or they can be designed and built.  When it comes to designing and building a pond or lake, it is far better to go to a professional to design it, rather than initiate a do-it-yourself project that has to be fixed later.  It is generally more cost effective to let a professional handle the job from start to finish, than to call in a professional later to correct amateur mistakes.

Ponds can be built by digging with large construction equipment, or sometimes people build embankment ponds.  An embankment pond is one that is created by building a dam.  However, this type of body of water could be washed out by a heavy rainfall, or through a rising stream, as when winter snows melt.

Excavation ponds are creating through digging and building up levees.  These are the safer ponds/lakes to create.  Permits are required to build a pond or lake, similar to the idea of having a building permit for a house.

A private pond is defined as private if it is surrounded by private land and not located on a natural stream channel.  Stocking or maintaining a private pond requires a permit.  This is because there is the potential of foreign species being introduced that can contaminate adjacent lakes, rivers, or streams and threaten the native fish population.  Those foreign species could then become invasive and upset the ecosystem.

Private lakes and ponds provide private families with opportunities to fish, boat, or swim.  Or the lake can be part of a larger design for entertainment, relaxation, and even meditation.

When creating a private lake or pond, part of the consideration is the design.  If the fishing is to be a big part of the picture, then the lake may be constructed with special considerations to accommodate fish species lifestyles, and also fishermen.  Trees may need to be removed in the process of creating the lake.  The type of soil is a consideration.  Gravel or sandy soils are too porous.  Sufficient levels of clay can hold water, or sometimes lines are used.  The source of water to fill the pond is also important.  Underground water or spring water can be some of the best water.  The slope is also important.  Certain slopes are more or less conducive to excessive growth of weeds.

A private lake or pond can be a lifelong prize addition to a property, offering years of enjoyment and fishing or recreational pleasure.  Private ponds and lakes can be designed with the landowner’s goals in mind.