As many of you know, ponds are not natural in Clermont County. All the ponds that you see have been constructed throughout the years for many different purposes. Today there are over 5,000 ponds that dot our landscape. Why are there so many and how has SWCD helped residents plan, install and maintain these features?
In 1943, when Clermont SWCD began helping landowners with soil problems, ponds were installed to remove livestock from creeks and provide a source of water during drought. Beginning in the 1940’s ponds were designed and constructed throughout the county by Soil Conservation Service (now NRCS) and SWCD for this purpose; 207 were installed by 1954. Hundreds were constructed throughout the 1950’s to 1980 with over 500 more constructed.
Cheaper means of getting livestock water, such as public waterlines that were crisscrossing the county caused a shift in funding away from ponds. The district now designs livestock watering facilities from some of these ponds, but most water comes from public water systems.
Fishing lakes also became popular during this time with 19 reported lakes in 1970 including the colorful named Bob and John’s Ding-a-ling Lake. Eventually larger lakes were installed in the county for flood control and other purposes including Stonelick Lake in 1950 and Harsha Lake (East Fork Lake) in 1978.
Many of these ponds are still on the landscape today, with many landowners still seeking assistance from SWCD for continuing maintenance. In 1958, SWCD began partnering with other organizations and professional pond care specialists to educate pond owners at pond management clinics. These clinics were held every two years or so into the 1980’s. In 1992 after a few years absence, SWCD began their annual pond clinic that is still popular today.
The purpose of a pond today has changed from when we started constructing them for drought purposes, but ponds are still desired for other reasons and each year more are constructed. Most ponds constructed today are for recreational or storm water control. If you own or maintain a pond built through the drought program, most likely it may not meet the needs of today. Most of these ponds have outlived their life expectancy and will need to be rehabbed as per the pond owner’s desires.
To find out more, join us at our next Pond Clinic on April 10th. Learn how to combat nature that is always affecting a pond and learn new techniques and stocking recommendations to maximize your pond potential.
The Hatfield Brothers including Mark, Lowell, and Ernie are located in Franklin Township. They have been farming in the Felicity area since the mid 1970s. From the beginning, they have been exploring different ways to improve their farming operations, especially from the conservation side of things. Currently, the Hatfields farm around 1000 acres, all of it no-till, and practice conservation crop rotation, but they have placed a special focus on cover crops.
Showing their imaginative and innovative side, they have modified their combine by adding seeder boxes and seed tubes, so that during harvest, the cover crop seeds are planted in between the crop rows. For the past two years, they have successfully planted cover crops on every field they farm.
They have always been willing to share information on their unique planting method at field days hosted by Soil and Water, and Ernie Hatfield was one of five farmers highlighted in our Cover Crop Farmers of Southwest Ohio booklet.
The Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District commends the Hatfield Brothers for their stewardship efforts, and for being active partners in helping to protect the land and valuable natural resources of the county.
Thanks to all our cooperators for all the conservation best management practices installed this year!
2600 The Farm Fence, pipeline, HUA, watering facility
Doug Auxier Cover crop
Roy Barger Jr. Brush management (3)
Thomas Bellar Conservation cover, herbaceous weed control
Bob Bolce Brush management (3)
Tina Bosworth Conservation Stewardship Program
Cincinnati Nature Center Conservation cover
Cornwell Family Partner Cover crop
Weiderhold Farms Nutrient management, Cover crop
Charles Ernstes Brush management(3)
Bob Fee Cover crop
James Fulton Cover crop
Carlos Hamilton Critical area planting, roof and cover (2)
Hal Herron Cover crop
Ted Hollender Nutrient management, Cover crop
Rob Hutchinson Cover crop
L & L Farm Holdings Forage planting (2)
James Liming Cover crop
Mark Liming Nutrient management, Cover crop
Michelle McClain Forage planting (2), pipeline, watering facility, HUA, access road, underground outlet, brush management
Jim Metzger Brush management (2)
Jeremy Myers Cover crop
James Napier Nutrient mgt. plan
Tony Panetta Cover crop
Louis Rose Cover crop
Tim Rose Grassed waterway (2)
Verleigh Powers Fence
Don Smith Brush management (2)
Charles Stahl Cover crop
James Stahl Cover crop
John Stahl Cover crop
Robert Stahl Cover crop
James Tolliver Brush management (2)
Dave Uible Conservation Stewardship Program
Varick Family Trust Brush management (3), forest stand improvement
Laura Weber Brush management (5)
David Werring Nutrient management
Tim Werring Nutrient management, cover crop
Tony Werring Nutrient management, cover crop
David Werring Nutrient management, cover crop
Cost of Living: 1943 vs. 2016
|Average cost of new house||$3,600||$ 288,000|
|Average wages per year||$2,000||$ 57,617|
|Cost of a gallon of gas||$0.15||$ 1.95|
|Average cost for house rent||$40/mo.||$ 1,021/mo.|
|Bottle of Coca Cola||$0.05||$ 1.75|
|Average price for a new car||$900||$ 34,300|
Average Crop Production, 1943
Average Crop Production 2016
In the election held on September 14th, Dave Anspach (left) retained his seat on the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors, where he will begin serving his sixth term. Dave lives on the family farm in Owensville and is a past administrator for the district.
Steve Phillips (right) has also retained his seat by being elected to his fourth term as board supervisor. Steve was the District’s Cooperator of the Year in 2008 and a lifelong resident of Clermont County.
Their terms will begin January 1, 2018 and run through 2021.
Congratulations to both gentlemen and thank you for serving your conservation district and county!
In 1990, Clermont County established storm water management regulations to help manage storm water in an urbanizing county. With more businesses, houses and roads, there is less open ground to absorb the rain that falls. Most new developments are required to have storm water runoff controls, such as detention basins, to help manage the extra runoff. In most cases, the responsibility to maintain and repair detention basins falls on the owner of the property, or possibly a homeowners’ association.
To help owners understand the tasks involved, Clermont SWCD recently published a resource guide titled “Maintaining Your Detention Basin: A Guidebook for Private Owners in Clermont County.”
A detention basin is a low-lying area designed to temporarily capture and hold storm water runoff during periods of heavy rain. After the rain ceases, the basin slowly releases the water over a period of one or two days to minimize flooding and stream bank erosion problems downstream. Basins also help remove sediments from storm water runoff, which improves the quality of local streams.
The guidebook will help answer questions and provide owners with detailed instructions for basin maintenance activities. The booklet includes information on the components of a detention basin, recommended maintenance activities and inspection schedules, vegetation management, mosquito control and more.
Routine maintenance will help prolong the life of the detention basin, help prevent flooding and property damage, and protect local streams and lakes. Routine maintenance will also help minimize the necessity for more costly repairs.
Click here to download a copy of the “Maintaining Your Detention Basin” guidebook, or call the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District at 513.732.7075.
Stocking cool water fish such as trout, perch, or walleye can bring added enjoyment to your fishing lake. Typically these fish are stocked in deep spring fed ponds in our region of Ohio. Cool water fish require more oxygen than the traditional stocked pond fish, so aeration is highly recommended.
Landowners with smaller, warmer lakes can also stock these fish on a seasonal basis. They are typically stocked in the fall and are fished until early spring when the water begins to warm again. At this point the fish will typically die. Cool water fish stocked in this manner are typically “pan ready”, meaning they are harvestable sizes when stocked. If you are looking for a fun option to put food on the table, this may be worthwhile.
Speak with a certified fish hatchery to determine if your pond will meet your expectations of a cool water fishery. Order early in the season to guarantee shipment for when you plan to stock. If you are planning a family or community fishing party/tournament, this could add to the excitement of your event.
Fair goers were given the opportunity to meet (and play) with representatives from the Clermont SWCD along with ODNR Division of Wildlife and Parks, Brown County Beekeepers, National Wild Turkey Federation, Clermont County Parks, Ohio Trappers, and USDA-APHIS-Asian Longhorn Beetle experts during the Natural Resources Day held at the Clermont County Fair. Archery, BB-guns, reptiles, and other exhibits were on display along with our own stream table (see photo on right) and paper recycling station for people to interact with.
Thanks to everybody who stopped in and made it our largest event to date!
Clermont SWCD, along with representatives from ODNR-Forestry, OSU Extension, and USDA are planning an open house to answer questions regarding private timber harvesting operations.
With the loss of ash trees across the region, many landowners are faced with difficult decisions on what to do with their properties. This opportunity will allow landowners to gain knowledge and meet forestry experts that can assess their situation and provide guidance on how to successfully manage their properties. There will also be opportunities to speak with an urban forester on those properties with just a few or no trees.
Please stop by our office on October 25th between the hours of 3-7 pm. Obtain maps, learn about funding for timber management and invasive control (sorry-still no ash tree removal funding), and threats and opportunities that could affect your forest.
In June, 2014, Governor Kasich signed the agricultural fertilizer applicator certification law (Senate Bill 150), requiring farmers who fertilize 50 acres or more to become certified by September 30, 2017. Under the certification law, fertilizer is considered to be any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation. Lime and limestone are not considered fertilizers.
All application types (broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing, etc.) are included in the certification requirement. The only application exempted is start-up fertilizers applied through a planter. All certifications will be valid for three years. After the deadline, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will conduct random record audits.
Algae, especially hazardous algae blooms, across the state was the main reason for this law to be enacted. Aquatic habitat health, recreational value and drinking water are inhibited by high nutrient amounts in our waters. This is a problem that affects everyone within the watershed where these issues occur.
Nutrient problems are not just related to agriculture, we affect water quality at the household also. Anything we apply to the landscape can be washed into our streams when not done properly. Nutrients from landscaping activities, failing septic systems, and erosion all can contribute to water quality degradation and lead to algae blooms in our water bodies. Remember, things that enter a stream are natural only if we don’t put them there (leaves for example). Below is a list of a few things that can be done to improve our water nutrient problems.