There are seven ponds on the 200 acres at The Farm Adventure!. The three that are most popular for fishing are near The Farm House. When I was a kid, 40 something years ago, I spent a lot of time in, on, and at the ponds. The “big pond” was built shortly after we moved to the farm so it’s around 40 years old. It was nothing to catch a ten pound catfish out of the “small pond” when we got there (catalpa worms work great) so there’s no telling how old it is. These were two of my most favorite places growing up, but whether it’s age or beavers, both of the ecosystems are broken. I’ll explain.
The “small pond” is in front of the “big pond” in a huge watershed. Over the years the small pond has filled with sediment causing it to become shallow and almost completely drying up during the dry summer months. Beavers moved into the “big pond” and built a hutch right in the middle of the dam. They seemed harmless enough and were seldom even seen because they’re nocturnal, but, beavers don’t just live in stick houses. They burrow into earth. So these beavers were digging into the side of the dam, which eventually washed through and eroded a huge ravine lowering the water level of the pond about 20 feet. Long story short, the ecosystem of a huge pond was compressed into a small body of water, thus ruining the “big pond”, too. They can both be fixed, and we look forward to starting.
Fishing was one of my favorite things to do. I remember having a raft that was simply boards nailed together and tied to a tractor tire inner tube. I could catch a catfish in the morning, put it on a stringer, and it would pull me along as I bass fished the banks. Real Huckleberry Fin stuff! I’ve cut holes in the ice and caught catfish on shrimp. The bream are my most favorite to eat, and a hefty “red ear” or “blue gill” is super fun to catch especially with a cane pole.
First, we plan to fix the ponds and create healthy ecosystems. After building a fishing shack and dock we would like to have an electric pontoon boat which will allow all guests to ride. The fall behind the dam of the big pond would allow the construction of a huge waterwheel. Fishing will be a main attraction at The Farm Adventure!, and when the ponds are repaired they will be a beautiful addition everyone will enjoy.