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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Finding bliss on the water

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Feeling the gentle breezes that we have been experiencing makes everyone want to spend time relaxing in the evenings out on the water.

Whether you enjoy relaxing on the water while fishing or just enjoy catching some rays while floating, it is important to realize that a lot of time and energy is often spent keeping that pond in good condition.

Pond maintenance starts with a good understanding of construction. Some ponds are natural and asymmetric, while others are manmade.

Typically, there are two basic types of ponds: embankment and excavated. When the pond is built by placing the dam across a stream, it is considered to be an embankment pond. However, if the pond is made by digging either the pond itself or the surrounding area to make the levees, it is considered to be an excavated pond. No matter which type you might be thinking of building, realize that a good site for a pond contains level ground that is safe for construction, high clay soil that will help hold the water, and an adequate water supply.

Once a pond is built you might experience some alarming problems. One problem that you might have is low oxygen levels. Oxygen levels are influenced by plant growth and death, which can result in the loss of fish.

During the day, plants perform photosynthesis and will use oxygen throughout the day and night. Sometimes, this can result in low morning oxygen levels during the summer causing fish to come to the surface to get oxygen. If the oxygen levels get too low, fish kill may be imminent. If the fish do not die, they are at greater risk for disease and to toxicants that can be introduced into their environment.

A potential way to handle the issues that arise due to low oxygen levels is by aerating your pond. Some of the common ways to aerate your pond include using paddlewheel aerators, pump-sprayer aerators, vertical pump aerators, and diffusers/bubblers.

Paddlewheel aerators are used on large ponds and consist of a hub with paddles attached to it that is often powered by a tractor's power take-off (PTO), a self-contained diesel or gas engine, or an electric motor.

Pump-spray aerators have a pump that discharges water at high velocity through pipes while the vertical pump aerators consists of a submersible motor that is suspended beneath the water with a float and will spray water into the air through an opening in the center of the float.

The final type of aerator, diffusers/bubblers, use blowers to supply air to diffusers. The diffuser then releases the bubbles from the bottom of the pond through small pores.

Taking care of a pond can be a lot of hard work. Yet, in the end, it is always great to spend time out there on the water relaxing and taking a break from your everyday life. If you are interested in learning more about pond construction, aeration and pond care/common problems, then register to attend the Pond Workshop that Purdue Extension is sponsoring April 26, from 3:30-7 p.m., near Greencastle. The workshop will be presented at Kevin Hutcheson's seven-acre pond, located near 4543 S. County Road 25 W.

To get there, take United States 231 to Veteran's Highway and turn on Cemetery Road. You will take Cemetery Road until you get to a T intersection. Once there, turn left and follow the road until you see signs for the workshop. The pond is located on the left and is not visible from the road, so please look for the signs.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, contact 448-9041 by April 19 to register.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about agriculture, horticulture or natural resources, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly via e-mail at smith535@purdue.edu.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Monday -- Purdue Club of Owen County meeting, Hill Top Restaurant, 6 p.m.,

* Monday -- Cow Sale, Owen-Monroe Feeder Auction, 7:30 p.m.,

* April 17 -- Purdue Beef Unit Golden Girls Showcase and Production Sale, West Lafayette, www.purduebeefsale.com,

* April 17-18 -- Spring Fest, Purdue University, West Lafayette,

* April 22 -- Earth Day,

* April 24 -- 2010 Youth Dairy Conference, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Beck Center, West Lafayette. Cost is $15. Contact Kelly Heckaman (574-372-2340) by April 14 to register,

* April 26 -- Pond Workshop, Greencastle, 3:30-7 p.m. RSVP by April 19 by contacting 448-9041, and

* April 17 -- Purdue Beef Unit Golden Girls Showcase and Production, West Lafayette.