I have been doing a series on ducks and this is the last leg of a 3 part series.
When you dig a stock tank on your ranch or lease does it have to be just for ducks or fish or can it be for both? Dedicated duck hunters will argue that the perfect duck tank or pond if your from up north, needs to be shallow with a large surface area. Fisherman want a deep pit and something that will support catfish and bass and be sustainable through some of the many long droughts we suffer in South Texas.
I believe it is possible to accomplish both if you choose the right location to dig the tank. Most people choose to dig a tank or lake in a deep draw or drainage. This allows for great run off with rains to keep water in the tank but it also is very costly to dig the tank in a draw because of the amount of dirt to move to accomplish what you want. Choosing a flat location possibly on the bottom of a hill would accomplish both goals. Doing this can allow you to dig a deep pit that then flattens out to allow for shallower water. This is also a very cost effective way to create a water source for not only your live stock and wildlife but also for fish and ducks and doves. Ducks don't like deep water and if a tank is too deep they won't land on it because the feed is too deep. An ideal duck tank is no more than 4" deep and preferably 2.5' to 3' deep with lots of coon tail or moss growing. If you have a good well and the ability to manipulate the water level then you can easily do both. What we have done is choose an area that will have some run off benefit but is easy to damn up with a deep pit for the fish and a large flat area that is shallow for birds.
If you already have tank or lake that has a larger shallow area then plant some coon tail this spring and fertilize it. It will make it hard for late summer and early fall fishing because of the coon tail but you will reap the benefits come duck season. Also when we get a big cold front and lots of birds move in they will clean the tank up pretty quickly.
If you like and enjoy the outdoors and hunting as much as I do why not create yourself another hunting opportunity. Ducks are a lot of fun to hunt, very challenging and fantastic eating. Remember like Phil Robertson says "Being out in the wood soothes the soul".