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Before the dam washed out I had a really nice pond on a 12 acre farm plot. Thge best protection I could come up with was hog wire fencing. It didn't cost anything, replaced and rolled up for whoever wanted to haul it off. I blocked off one end of the pond to make a nursery that kept out larger bass. I also found that any green tree top with leaves on it last a long time if kept submerged. Cedars are long lasting, but too hard to fish, too dense. Oaks were the perfect solution for me. One pound coffee cans with both ends cut out work too, with a little concrete poured inside to make it lay on its side. Just pitch them in. I also used some old clear plastic storage tubs that were cracked, so instead of tossing out I cut holes in the sides and lid, then super glued the lids on. All that and more stuff helped increase forage until I could get some plants growing around the bank. From then on I just added tree tops and Christmas trees as needed for the bass, anchored with concrete blocks.