Long Hard Winter on the Pond

van plowing snowErie Pa, at the time of this posting, is still in the lead for total snowfall but Syracuse NY is running 10″ behind. I know this Snow Derby is not a goal to be winning, but the pond is froze over and its way too cold to go out for too long.

So far this winter has been long and hard. And  Punxsutawney Phil didn’t help out at all predicting the weather. Over the years we seen the pond freeze over and thaw at least once during the winter season. Not too many times has it stay froze over the entire season until this year.

With the temps reaching -15 and only single digits during the day the past two months I really thought the pond would have been frozen enough to try and get out and ice fish. I invited our neighbor over since he has all the tools and we started out on the pond. I made it a couple feet out at the beach area and his first step ending up almost to his knees.

This is why I don’t get on ice any more, unless the water is only a foot deep. There are few reason the ice was no good. Off to the right is an aerator running to keep the dock from freezing and the flow of water kept undermining the ice. He also went to the opposite side of the pond and tested out to a couple feet away from shore. The ice? was a good foot or so deep but had layers of good  ice and slush in between. The only reason we could figure was that the snow cover on top kept the pond insulated.

The area by the dock was simple undermine by the diffuser moving water to keep the deck from heaving. So once again we are looking at pond safety which we cover in our book in detail from designing the pond to best practices of using the pond.Winter pond

Beyond all this nasty weather spring will eventually come and the ice will disappear revealing our clear body of water. One of my biggest concerns this year is a bigger chance of a fish kill for those who haven’t had proper aeration running last summer and keeping a hole in the ice to release the toxic gasses that build up and trapped under the ice all winter long and with the ice not melting off at all this winter the chances of a fish kill are worse.

The best tool and first tool to invest in is a properly sized aeration system. Under sizing or choosing the wrong system can be very detrimental to the ponds health and the fish. We go over the details of aeration in our Pond Aeration 101 book. Please let us design a system for your pond, we’ll do the layout and calculations to be sure the oxygen demand for your pond is met and this is a free service. Use the contact menu button above and let us know where to find your pond, the depth, and nearest power location.

More information on our Proper Sized Pond Aeration page

About the Author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of Whatpond.com. A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at Whatpond.com. . No physical store, but has items in stock.