Cleaning a pond regularly is one of the best ways to prevent some of the common problems in a farm pond. The more silt, algae and fish waste accumulate on the pond bed, the more bacteria, insects and unwanted water life--and stench--you are going to have. A dirty pond can also become uninhabitable by fish, and accumulated waste means a shallower pond. Run a homemade dredge bucket through your farm pond a couple of times a year, and you'll probably find your pond maintaining a healthy level of cleanliness.
Drill tiny holes in the lid of your 55-gallon barrel. Generally, 3/8 inch to 5/8 inch will suffice. Make sure the surface of the lid is thoroughly perforated so water can pass through easily.
Drill four holes an equal distance apart around the rim of the open end of your steel barrel large, large enough for the eye bolts to slide through.
Firmly attach four eye bolts so that they stick out perpendicular from the walls of your barrel.
Assemble your cables by cutting four lengths that are long enough to span the distance of the pond, plus about 10 to 15 yards.
Make a loop at one end of each cable, and use cable clamps to secure them in place. This is done by positioning the two cable clamps according to the manufacturer's instructions where the cable doubles back on itself.
Attach carabiners or some other kind of heavy-duty clip to one end of the cables. These will be used to attach and remove the bucket at the eye bolts more quickly for easy disposal of any dredged materials.
Loop and clamp the other end of the cables. Make sure the loops are large enough to slide over the ball of a trailer hitch.
With a truck or tractor, slowly and repeatedly drag the modified steel drum through the pond. Loose silt and waste will slide into the barrel, but water will flow out. When the drum comes out the other side of your farm pond, the water will drain out, and you'll be able to dump the waste.