Pond Dredging

The Pros and Cons of Pond Dredging

Aug 23, 2013 – Many pond owners are dredging their pond in order to get it deeper or wider and to get rid of all the pond scum and sediment at the bottom.

Dredging traditionally was used to increase the depth or width of water channels so that boats could pass through or it was used to increase the flow rates of water.

Simply put dredging ponds is the removal of earth or sediments from the bottom of bodies of water. This process can be done using a type of scoop or a suction apparatus. This material, often called a “spoil”, is deposited along the shore, formed into an island, or can be transported elsewhere from the site.

Pros of Pond Dredging

There are pros and cons to pond dredging so as a pond owner be cognizant of both. The times when dredging may be beneficial to the environment may be when you are trying to create an island or contoured shoreline in order to form a nursery habitat for fish, ducks or other wildlife.

By increasing or enlarging your pond to create a larger water surface so that it can support additional wildlife and biological diversity within your pond location. These are potential benefits of the dredging process and even though it may disturb the normal balance and productivity of an aquatic ecosystem perhaps the long term benefits outweigh the short term effects.

Cons To Pond Dredging

Here are some of the possible environmental fallouts from dredging. There is a possibility of disturbing the natural ecological balance of the pond through the direct removal of aquatic life. One example of this may be certain bottom dwelling organisms or plants that are providing food for your fish. Eliminating them from the food chain could have a dramatic effect on your fish production and health.

Sediment released from dredging activities can potentially cover and destroy fish feeding and breeding habitats. You may release contaminants in your water that had accumulated and been buried over time and now are re-entering your water source. Finally, dredging can also release additional amounts of nutrients which can cause pond eutrophication. This can result in the depletion of oxygen and potentially the death of fish and other aquatic organisms.

To eliminate this from happening before dredging you should consider installing a pond aeration system in your pond. This will provide additional levels of oxygen for your fish and other wildlife. It will also assist in releasing additional nutrients from your pond to avoid pond stagnation and the replenishment of the sediment that you are dredging to get rid of.