Recommended minimum depths vary depending on the site and location. Adequate depth is necessary for continued fish survival. Ponds which are spring fed should be at least 8 feet deep over at least one-quarter of the impounded area. Ponds which have surface runoff as their primary source of water should be 15 feet deep over one-quarter of the impounded area in western Kansas and at least 10 feet deep in eastern Kansas. Not more than one-fifth of the impounded area should have a water depth of less than 2 feet. Slopes along the shoreline for two-thirds of the distance from the dam to the upper end of the impounded area should be no flatter than 3 feet horizontal for every 1 foot vertical.
Deep water protects fish from winterkill and discourages excessive growth of aquatic vegetation. A pond over 15 feet deep is usually a waste of money, as extra-deep waters are rarely used by fish in the summer and do not add to the pounds of fish produced in the pond.