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Recent entries


Lake Doctor

Meadows Lake Renovation

Tue, January 06, 2015

 Here is a neat video of the Meadows Lake renovation that is just about completed. We’ve been working nonstop renovating the Goose Ranch out in Canton, IL for the last year. The Giant Goose Ranch is quickly becoming the Midwests’ Premier fishing, hunting, camping, and family recreation area!

The meadows lake area is at the north end of the property and was a low, swampy 40 acre jungle. We raised the elevation of the whole field by adding 3-4’ of dirt along the east edge of the field and gradually sloped the water to the west. We raised the level of this lake by 2.5’ and we pulled the dirt needed for all this from along the edges of the lake.  By doing all this, we more than doubled the size of the lake and created the coolest future camping area ever.

This area is being turned into a new premium camping area. We have 70 new lakefront campsites going in this area. The sites are all 60’ wide and apprx 60-100’ deep. These campsites lease by the year and along with having your own private lot, you also have access to all of the other lakes and ponds on the property. Over 35 of these sites have already been reserved in advance, and I’m thinking the remainder will be spoken for sometime around Memorial Day.

The Goose Ranch really is the coolest concept ever for outdoor family recreation. You and your family have your own private lakefront lot on an 830 acre intensively managed property with tons of lakes and miles of trails to explore and here’s the best part: Herman Brothers does all the work, you guys just come out and have fun! Catch some trout and about 15 other species of fish, hike, cookout, hangout, and top off the evening with a campfire!

Here is a before and after shot of the Meadows Lae area. The main lake and field in the center of the image was the main focus. Oh yeah, we also needed even more dirt so we dug a new lake on all along the south edge of the field and connected it to meadows lake as well.

Meadows lake after a major remodel.

It sounds kinda crazy for a property with 52 existing lakes and ponds to be digging new lakes, but thats the best way for us to get the dirt we need is to simply dig a pond…. When moving dirt, a big key to efficiency is to not move it far. For us at the goose ranch, that means there are going to be quite a few more lakes and ponds all over the place, cause we need alot of dirt all over for various projects!

Also as part of our renovations, you will see lots of islands. To gain depth in many situations where depth is critical, the most efficient way to do it is to make islands. You only need to touch the dirt once with the machine and can quickly turn a shallow area into fish heaven with good depth and contour. Fish tend to congregate around islands, just as much as people do!

Alot of people have asked about the stocking strategy for this lake. My answer is there wont be any additional stocking, and the fishing is gonna be dynamite quic!. You see, when you double the size of a lake whether it be by excavating or flooding, the existing fish typically respond by growing much larger than usual! This lake already had a good population of average sized crappie, bluegill, and bass. By the end of this upcoming summer, this will be one of the better fishing lakes on the property just from these average sized fish getting more room to roam and more food to eat….

You will see in the video, alot of Caterpillar machinery. None of these renovations would be possible without the guys from Altorfer- the local Cat Rental Store. This portion is gonna sound like an endorsement, and it kinda is, but I feel is appropriate because it will help many landowners knowing this information.

Renting bigger machinery or any machinery is a pretty intimidating thing for most guys to do, or they dont even know its possible to begin with. The guys at Altorfer have helped us tremendously, by not only providing equipment, but helping us utilize the exact right equipment for each specific task.

This summer we have used Altorfer’s equipment on properties all over the midwest. Skid Steers, Concrete Mixers, Lighted Generators, Mini-Excavators, Big Excavators, Bulldozers, Manlifts, Water Pumps, Vibratory Compactor, and many other items. They drop the equipment off for us at the jobsite and then pick it up for us when we are done.

The reason I mention this, is because MOST landowners do not know how convenient and affordable renting equipment is compared to owning. No maintenance, no trailering, no storing, and no worries. Just rent the right piece of equipment for the specific task at hand and let the rental company take care of the rest.

Fixing roads, spreading rock, clearing food plots, clearing timber, making trails, creek crossings, digging ponds, or anything you can think of at your property is now possible once you start a relationship with your local rental company. Don’t be intimidated by any job (big or small) on your property ever again, just rent the right machine and get er done.

Not only have we been doing projects around the area this summer, but weve been tackling projects across the country utilizing rental equipment. We’ve had crews working down as far as Alabama for a couple weeks at the same time as crews are still working full bore up here. Starting our relationships with equipment rental companies this past year has helped us take on 5 times as many projects as normal, because we dont have to tie up manpower transporting or maintaining equipment, and we dont tie up capital purchasing 20 different high dollar machines.

This project in Alabama we utilized small skid steer type machine along with a transit, a trailer, and a compactor from a local rental company. Here are some befores and afters. You can see tv cameras in some of the pics. Starting in April, we will have a new episode of our show Lake Life out every week all summer long on Great American Country Channel and the DIY Network. The camera crew from New York followed us around for over 4 months putting together the episodes for a whole series this upcoming summer!

So now we are into 2015 and it is flat out cold outside. December was relatively mild and we just got about 4 inches of snow and looks like the temps are gonna be potentially as cold as negative 15 degrees tomorrow night.

Ice isnt safe quite yet for ice fishing, but should be soon with those cold temps predicted. We are planning an ice fishing day on Saturday, Jan 31 and February 7th. Just email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more details.