FISH-POND. In making a pond its head should be at the lowest part of the ground that the trench of the flood-gate or sluice, having a good fall, may not be too long in emptying. The best way of making the head secure is to drive in two or three rows of stakes about six feet long, at about four feet distance from each other, the whole length of the pond-head, whereof the first row should be rammed at least four feet deep. If the bottom is false, the foundation may be laid with quicklime; which, slaking, will make it as hard as a stone. Some place a layer of lime and another of earth dug out of the pond among the piles and stakes; and, when these are well covered, drive in others as they see occasion, ramming in the earth as before, till the pond-head be of the height designed. The dam should be made sloping on each side, leaving a waste to carry off the over-abundance of water in times of floods or rains; and, as to the depth of the pond, the deepest part need not exceed six feet, rising gradually in shoals towards the sides, for the fish to sun themselves and lay their spawn. Gravelly and sandy bottoms, especially the latter, are best for breeding; and a fat soil, with a white fat water, as the washings of hills, commons, streets,sinks, &c. is best for fattening all sorts of fish. For storing a pond, carp are to be preferred for their quick growth and great increase, breeding five or six times a year. Carp delight in ponds that have marie or clay bottoms, with plenty of weeds and grass whereon they feed in the hot months. A pond of an acre will every year feed two hundred carp of three years old, three hundred of two years old, and four hundred of a year old. Ponds should be drained every three or four years. Method for replenishing a canal or pond.—Towards the end of April or beginning of May, take the root of one of the willow trees which grow upon the side of some river or piece of water, and which is full of fibres: shake the earth well away from it; then tie it to a stake, and fix it in a river or pond well provided with such sorts of fish as you desire to have: the fish will gather about the root, cling to it, and deposit their spawn or eggs, which will remain entangled amongst the fibres. After a few days, draw your stake with the willow root out of the river or pond, and carry it to the canal or pond which you intend to replenish with fish; into which you are to plunge it about half a hand's breadth below the surface of the water; and in about fifteen days you will perceive a great number of little fry round it. But if you intend to furnish more than one canal or pond, you must take care not to leave it too long in the first, lest the heat of the sun should animate the whole of the spawn; for as soon as the fry begin to be alive, they will disengage themselves from the root.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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