I own a 57 acre farm in Tuscarawas County, Oh. 50 of the acres are wooded and...
I own a 57 acre farm in Tuscarawas County, Oh. 50 of the acres are wooded and are under a forestry program for producing hardwoods. I'd like to add 1 or 2 ponds in a currently wooded ravine. I'm interested in eventually using these for fish farming, but, don't know who to ask about the area that I'm considering for the ponds. My land is mostly rolling hills, but, this area being considered is a pretty deep ravine.
To start, please consider this excellent booklet published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife:
It's an excellent general overview of all things pond, beginning with construction itself.
There are some issues with situating ponds in forested settings. The reason small ponds in forests are so rare naturally is that the natural aging process is substantially hastened by the continuous input of organic matter in the form of leaf litter. In relatively little time, such ponds fill with nutrient-rich organic muck to become some form of forested wetland.
Another issue is any earthwork constructed to form an impoundment and hold water can potentially be compromised by the encroachment of roots, especially of hardwood species. Tree roots growing into the cores of earthen dikes--cores engineered to be generally impervious to groundwater flow--can compromise both their ability to hold water and their safety.
You will need to consider your intended sites carefully to determine if the above factors will limit their long-term usefulness for pond construction. A site visit from your local soil and water conservation office might prove informative.
If you do determine your site can support the ponds you'd envision, and you arrive at the point you would like to begin farming them, watch for programming from OSU Extension's facility at Piketon:
Their programs and those of Laura Tiu in particular could prove valuable to any aquaculture efforts.
Please let me know if I can be of additional service.