Open Water

Waterfowl will make use of open water on your pond if it is available during the winter months.  Ducks, geese, coots, teal, and the occasional swan will often stop in for a rest on their annual migration to warmer climates.  Bird watchers and waterfowl hunters both encourage these visits, albeit for different reasons.  Many pond owners also enjoy keeping domestic waterfowl on their ponds year round, and open water offers safe refuge from predators during the winter months for these pond residents.

It is possible to keep large areas of your pond open during the winter months by taking advantage of the unique physical properties of water.  As water cools it becomes denser, but only to a point.  At 39 degrees Fahrenheit water reaches its maximum density, and if it continues to cool it actually starts to become less dense.  For this reason, water at the bottom of your pond is warmer during much of the winter than it is at the surface.  By moving this warmer water to the surface you can keep ice from forming, thereby providing open water for waterfowl.

Compressed aeration systems are the most commonly used method for keeping open water.  A compressor is located on the shoreline with airline run to a diffuser on the bottom of the pond.  As bubbles rise from the diffuser they transport warmer water and keep the ice melted.  Circulators can also keep ice from forming, but they do so by mechanically pumping water to the surface to achieve the same results.Open Water Small

If you are interested in keeping open water on your pond during the winter contact your local Aquatic Control office and we can help you choose the best system for your pond.