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POSTED IN: Building a backyard trout pond

The plan is to have rainbow trout in a backyard pond.  I've always wanted to have a fish pond, and now I'm doing it on a pretty big scale, at least for city backyard.  The pond will be more than 25,000 gallons, and more than 9 feet deep at its deepest.  Filtration will be through a bog filter -- plants growing in a gravel medium.  The water will flow down from the bog filter through a stream that will include several gravel spawning areas. 

I've been reading on what it will take for the trout to spawn in the stream, and for the eggs to hatch. The key questions are going to be oxygen levels, flow rates, and water temperature.  I think that I can address all of those, but it's clearly still a *big* stretch to hope that trout will spawn in my backyard pond!  There's only one way to find out, and that's to try.

Construction of the pond is well underway.  The hole has been dug, and right now Justin and Keith are digging out the fish ladder that the fish will use to get out of the pond into the spawning area.

I've found a hatchery which can deliver Kamloops-strain rainbow trout, Island Springs Hatchery near Portland.  The trout will be 12 inches or bigger by the time they're delivered.  I'll be getting a hundred or more of the fish.

The completed project will be an aquaculture system.  We'll feed the fish, and the fish waste will feed the plants.  We'll grow vegetables, squash, tomatoes and the like, and also flowers.  I picked up some Iris bulbs from Costco last weekend, and those will be going into the bog filter.  We will eat the fish some of the time, although my daughter Rebecca is going to be very upset if we eat a lot of them.  We'll figure out a rhythm.

It will also be a swimming hole.  Trout like temperatures below 68 degrees Farenheit, and most of the year the water will be quite a bit colder than that.  So it will be refreshing!  But you'll be able to jump in from the bridge, and even potentially from a jumping rock that will project a little ways out over the pond.  It won't be big enough for diving, but you should be able to jump in without hitting the bottom on the way down.

Starting excavation for the fish ladder.  There's about 4 feet of rainwater in the hole for the pond.


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About the Author

Chris Tennant

Chris Tennant

I co-founded Dream to Learn in 2013. I love the outdoors, growing and building things, and the challenge and beauty of writing computer code. I live in Eugene, Oregon with my wife Giuditta, my two kids Joshua and Rebecca, and our cats Sprinkie and Hugino.

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Created: February 27, 2018


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