Monday, October 3, 2011

Episode 82 (October 3, 2011): Ponds

Click to listen to episode (2:17).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 3, 2011. 

This week we feature another series of mystery sounds!  Have a listen for about 30 seconds, and see if you can guess what kind of place the following sounds have in common.  And here’s a hint: bigger than a puddle, it’s where lots of things can make a splash.


If you guessed that all of these sounds can be found at a pond, you’re right!  Wind blowing through cattails, ducks, geese, frogs, and even splashing fountains can be found at ponds.  By definition, a pond is a quiet, relatively shallow body of standing water, differing from lakes by having little temperature change from top to bottom and by having little wave action.  Some seasonal ponds—holding water only a few weeks or months each year—are vital to many amphibians.  Other ponds hold water more or less all year round and last for decades.  In Virginia, these permanent ponds are built and used for many purposes, including stormwater management, farming, fishing, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics.  And chances are, there’s a pond near you—the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries estimates that the Commonwealth has about 80,000 ponds.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water. 


Acknowledgments: This week’s script was researched and written by Alyssa Hart, a senior English major at Virginia Tech who is doing an internship with the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The ducks and geese sounds were taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Sound Clips” Web site at, 10/3/11. 

*A Golden Guide: Pond Life, by George K. Reid (Racine, Wisc: Western Publishing Company, 1967).
*The Pond Guidebook, by Jim Ochterski et al., (Ithaca, N.Y.: Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service Cooperative Extension, October 2007).
*Web site of Spring Creek Aquatic Concepts of Lake Placid, New York, at (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Pond Construction: Some Practical Considerations,” by Louis Helfrich and Garland Pardue, Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 420-011 (2009), online at (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Detention Systems: Dry Ponds,” Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual, online at (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Farm Pond Ecosystems,” U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Leaflet No. 29, online at (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Private Pond Management,” Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Web site, (accessed 9/29/11).

Recent Virginia Water News

            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at

Water Meetings and Other Events

            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.