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Gents,

I am in the process of ond desing/permitting on land I own in Larimer County. THe parcel is at 7000' elevation and will be "onstream." The stream flows year round but in November it was only a measured 25 gpm. It does not appear to have any trout in it. Two plans are being drawn up in "first pass." One is for a 7 acres pond with a depth of 20' at the dam and the other is 10' depth ....maybe 3 acres....to make it "non-jurisdictional" and avoid permit issues.

My question is how deep does the pond have to be to hold trout all year round?

I have been told that it must be 15 feet but 20 is preferred and others have said that 10' will be just fine.

Is it a winter carry issue or summer temperature isssue or what?

Thanks,

Slim Wallet
 

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I sent you a more detailed email, but in short both winter and summer could be issues for you.  A deeper pond is better, because there will generally be less sunlight to cause plant/algae growth in summer.  Plant/algae decay in the winter, and use up the oxygen in ponds.  if 25 gpm is Nov. flow, it will generally only get lower during late fall and early winter, so your pond won't be getting much new water in the winter.   With a constant flow and depending on the size of the pond, you could get away with 10 feet of depth, but your flows are pretty low, so I wouldn't bank on that.

You could aerate them, but your walley might be too slim for that.  There will be less need to aerate in winter with a deeper pond, but you may still get some winter kill, regardless, since your stream flows are so low in winter.

It's really hard to say what your problems will be without knowing all the details, and even then, it's hard to predict exactly what will happen when your ponds are a reality.

There are a lot of other issues I assume you have looked into already?  Water quality of the stream.  type of subsoil, etc... 

Good luck. You can find some publications from local extention offices in Colorado and New Mexico (possibly Wyoming as well), that have useful information for setting up trout ponds.
 

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I love how someone w/ the forum name "slimwallet" is putting in a 7 acre pond on the stream that flows through his yard.  ::)

Welcome to the site.  :)
James
 

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how have water rights issues hapered your quest or do you have a boot load of water rights

how much water right are you required to have for a pond of that size

what is the predicted water consumption (thru evaporation and soaking in) for this size pond at your location?
 

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Gents,

Thanks for the welcome James!   Money is all going to "the place."

RE: water rights.... one of the previous owners had a conditional storage right of 30 acre feet granted in 1972 and it was been "re-affirmed" in 2002.   This grants the right to store water and essentially consume 30 acre feet of evaporation per year.   It is a junior water right, but if one can fill the pond during times of "free water" then it is a relatively simple matter of either letting the pond evaporate down 18 inches or so per year then re-filling each spring when "free water" is available or........ 7 acres times 24 inches of evap means adding 14 acre feet of water per year......leasing 15 - 30 acre feet of Colorado Big Thompson water from a senior every year and keeping it full.   Lease water goes for $30 per acre foot now....so $450 - $1000 per year for make up water.   Pond will take some mgmt but not too much.

Re: Approvals..... if you go 20 above the steam line you need every Tom Dick and Harry's approval from here to DC.  At 10 feet, you just build it.  Difference in cost and permit hassles is great.  This is on ereason why the 10 dam has appeal.

My dilemma is that the one site for a 20 foot deep 7 acre lake may have a gravel layer that precludes me from building a dam.. it will just leak.  There is another site on the 80 acre parcel that would likely not leak but only a 10 dam hold water could be built there... any larger and the water would back up off the property.

I'm just trying to get a spot for family picnics and where the kids and grandkids can go catch a fish.  Cuttroat has been helpful in providing advice... seems like this is getting a little complicated.

I have been told by a nearby lontgerm resident that 10 is OK as I will be "onstream" and fresh cold water will be added to the pond daily.  He is more concerned about winter freezing than summer heat.

BTW... all the State Water Commissioner staff that I have dealt with so far have been very helpful!  Real standouts!

Anyway ... thanks for any and all advice.

Thanks,

Slim
 

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thats cool that you got the storage right intact. ive been looking into buying westslope water rights to fufill my pond dreams but at 25k per acrefoot right now it will be a while over here i might have to look into leaseing some to get me started


good luck man when your done all the hassel will be worth it
 
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