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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Was out at the farm today and it wont be long until the family is able to ice skate! Supposed to dip down below zero this weekend.

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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
The local auditors site finally updated! So I can show a decent satellite view of them from sometime in the last year and how they look with a little detail, the wood duck boxes show up from space.

Front pond;
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Back pond;
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Telemark

5 year old buck +
Just wondering why you chose the shapes of your ponds. Was it the natural lay of the land, or is there wildlife/hunting strategy involved?
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Just wondering why you chose the shapes of your ponds. Was it the natural lay of the land, or is there wildlife/hunting strategy involved?

The shapes really are different than most ponds you see.
I worked with a state biologist from the ODNR on that very closely, he was the one that came up with design on both ponds and had it all mapped out for the contractor when we dug, it has sure worked out perfectly for waterfowl and other wildlife. We put them in specifically for wildlife use.
I originally wanted the ponds out further from the woods but for whatever reason some rare salamander was found on our place and the ponds being closer to the woods benefits them better. I’ve only ever seen one salamander on the farm so far and it was solid black, I think they are more nocturnal so I wouldn’t notice them much anyway. We have had college kids out a couple of times once to look for salamanders and last summer they came out to seed milkweed in the pasture.
The center of the woods also stays pretty wet down the middle with standing water from a few inches to two feet in a huge long vernal pool for four to five months out of the year off and on depending on rainfall, we have wood ducks and mallards in it in the spring and woodies also nest in some of the trees.
The state biologist was also very involved in our first shrub strip plantings with great suggestions and ideas on what to put in.

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Edit 5/6/19 Added pics
 
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Today was fish stocking day and that was an experience, wish I had some grandkids that kind of thing would have been ideal for young ones.
The fish delivery folks met everyone with orders at the local TSC parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the fish for the price.

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I ended up with four bags of fish and was able to get them out to the farm in about twenty minutes from when they were bagged.
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Tried to get a couple pics of the fish as I released them but I was a little anxious to get them on their way.
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Hopefully at least half of the bigger fish keep ahead of the eagles/herons/mergansers/king fishers/turtles so that one day grandkids can catch a few of the offspring from these.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
I was out at the farm Saturday spot spraying some cattails and saw what I thought to be a good sized fish in the shallows compared to what I know that we stocked. At first I thought it was one of the bass but it stayed in one place like a spawning fish would, then I saw what looked like white edges on tail and fins...it was over a cleared spot on the bottom and as I looked there were a few others just like it a few feet away.
To me it looked like bluegills, the one thing I did not really want in the pond! I went back to the truck grabbed a fly rod and caught two of them pretty fast...yep bluegills, or more accurately I think green sunfish. It was neat catching fish for the first time ever in the pond and made me feel a little better about putting some crappies in the pond after reading some of the comments on here. So the "sunfish" are here to stay I guess I'm not that worried about it, I'll stock a few more bass next spring and it will give the boys something to ice fish for besides crappies.
It is crazy how they just showed up in a three year old pond and are big enough to be spawning already, had to have been there last summer too?

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First fish ever out of the pond
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At least they will be easy for kids to catch.
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
I was out at the farm Saturday spot spraying some cattails and saw what I thought to be a good sized fish in the shallows compared to what I know that we stocked. At first I thought it was one of the bass but it stayed in one place like a spawning fish would, then I saw what looked like white edges on tail and fins...it was over a cleared spot on the bottom and as I looked there were a few others just like it a few feet away.
To me it looked like bluegills, the one thing I did not really want in the pond! I went back to the truck grabbed a fly rod and caught two of them pretty fast...yep bluegills, or more accurately I think green sunfish. It was neat catching fish for the first time ever in the pond and made me feel a little better about putting some crappies in the pond after reading some of the comments on here. So the "sunfish" are here to stay I guess I'm not that worried about it, I'll stock a few more bass next spring and it will give the boys something to ice fish for besides crappies.
It is crazy how they just showed up in a three year old pond and are big enough to be spawning already, had to have been there last summer too?

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First fish ever out of the pond
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At least they will be easy for kids to catch.
Perfect flathead bait! And it is amazing how fish find a way in.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Perfect flathead bait! And it is amazing how fish find a way in.

That is the exact same thing my youngest son said when he saw what type they were!
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
The latest addition to the front pond, a ten inch flathead to teach some of those little sun fish some manners.

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ksgobbler

5 year old buck +
Those green sunfish typically become the apex predator in the pond. Highly aggressive with a large mouth. Great catfish bait. They stay alive longer than regular bluegill on the hook.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
We put up two new woody boxes in the vernal pool last Friday. Went with the capsule style figured it would help from keeping squirrels from jumping over onto them, also kept them at least twenty feet away from trees and branches. They went up surprisingly easy and fast. If they get good use next year we will add a couple more.

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buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
I haven't seen those before will be interesting to see how they work.I have 5 new cedar ones out now
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
I wish I had a pond full of those when the flats start running.They do make pretty tasty fillets also.I like the hybrids for fishing
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
I haven't seen those before will be interesting to see how they work.I have 5 new cedar ones out now

We have ten or so of the fiberglass ones up on my buddies property along the river and they use them fine, to me I think the hens would be more cramped in them. It's all the state uses here at our lake. I like the cedar or pine better but for in the woods I thought the fiberglass was more practical to keep predators off.

Here is a hen hoodie in one of my buddies.
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Got the older woody boxes cleaned out and ready for spring, flushed a few pair off the front pond carrying the ladder and bag of cedar chips in. All three of them were wet on the front from hens scouting nesting spots that morning.

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I did have a couple good sized V's shoot out from the shallow to the deeper water as I came up on pond. I am looking forward to seeing how much the bass and catfish have grown since last year.

West side of front pond
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When I hauled the stuff to the back pond a drake hooded flew in and landed..it is thirty feet to the right in front of the nest box.

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The whole time I was working with the nest boxes mallards and geese were trying to get into the front pond.

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woodduck

5 year old buck +
What's the duck report? Any new activity around your boxes?
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
What's the duck report? Any new activity around your boxes?

I'm going to be out Mon-Tue at the farm doing some shrub planting, got the waders in the back of the truck so will try and see how they are doing. Hopefully a couple have hens in them!

If so I’ll post up some pics.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
I took at look at the boxes in the front and back pond yesterday. As I came up over the hill I could see a drake hoody standing on top of one box on front pond and a drake woody on the other. There were around fifty hooded mergansers that flushed as I walked up, not sure if that is good or bad...cool to see them and they like the habitat but has to be hard on the fish! A couple pair of woodies also got up along with eight or ten mallards and some geese.

First box I checked had a nice bunch of eggs in it looked like hooded merganser with one wood duck egg.
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Second box had a nest mound in the middle so should be setting soon.
Box on back pond had a hissing woody hen sitting in it.
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Saw and heard a lot of woodies swimming around in middle of woods so I would think the two new boxes are seeing action too...I didn't bring the ladder so couldn't check them.

Did see a bunch of egg clusters all over in the run off from the front pond. At first I thought they might be salamander eggs the way they were balled up and I didn't notice any around the ponds. I looked them up after I got home and think they might be leopard frog?
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woodduck

5 year old buck +
That's a good report! Lots of action. I have been trying to slip down and check my boxes out but haven't made it there yet. There's been a few woodies, a pair of mallards & a pair of geese there quite a bit.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Checked the two new capsule style boxes in the woods Friday.
First one had a spooky hen woody in it that almost knocked the camera out of my hand getting out.
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Second has a hen hoody sitting.
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So I am pretty happy how the duck boxes are turning out this spring.
 
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