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The Importance of Lake and Pond Aeration Systems

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 18, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

Floating FountainChoosing the correct aeration delivery system for your lake or pond is one of the most important decisions you will make for the long-term health and balance of your waterbody. Regardless of how big or small your waterbody is, the goal of an aeration system is to evenly spread an adequate amount of dissolved oxygen throughout the entire water column. Lakes and ponds naturally receive dissolved oxygen from several sources, most notably plant respiration and atmospheric surface mixing. This input of oxygen should be equal to or greater than the demand of the aquatic ecosystem. The entire ecosystem of the water needs that dissolved oxygen, whether at the very bottom of the food chain for microbial decomposition, or at the top for largemouth bass and other predator fish. In most cases, it is discovered that the oxygen supply is lacking due to pond nutrient pollution or other stresses caused by people and land development.

To determine what type of oxygen delivery method or aeration system is appropriate, the waterbody needs to be looked at from several angles. Many online resources recommend aeration systems based on only one or two aspects of the waterbody. To find the best aeration solution, several factors should be considered: 1) overall acreage of the lake or pond, 2) average water depth, 3) maximum water depth, 4) shape of the waterbody, 5) proximity to electricity, 6) desired aesthetics, 7) noise tolerance, 8) water quality. The more information we have, the better we can determine how to spread the dissolved oxygen throughout the entire lake or pond.

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Topics: Aeration, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

Fisheries Management: Grow Bigger Bass with Supplemental Fish Food

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 13, 2017

AS SEEN IN The Angler MagazineWritten by Industry Expert Steven King, Field Manager

Supplemental FeedingMany lake or pond owners interested in growing bigger Largemouth Bass would usually consider stocking forage fish as a primary method. However, there are several limiting factors that can affect growth rates, and the maximum potential size of Largemouth Bass, that should be considered first. For example, when a lake or pond already has a substantial population of forage fish such as Bluegill or other smaller species that Largemouth Bass feed on, adding more fish into the ecosystem could actually have an adverse effect by causing an overpopulation issue. Before implementing any fisheries management strategies, an assessment of your aquatic ecosystem and fish population should be performed by an experienced lake management professional to help determine the best strategies for managing your fishery.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

Stormwater Management: Key Points to Passing an Inspection

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 10, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist

Stormwater ManagementStormwater management facilities are man-made structures that help reduce flooding, slow down water flow and clean pollutants from water. It is important to ensure that your stormwater management facilities are functioning properly, especially when it rains.

Stormwater inspections can vary depending on the state and even municipality in which your stormwater BMP or stormwater control measure (SCM) resides and with newer legislation, strengthened by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, compliance is critical for many property owners and managers. Most inspections follow similar guidelines when determining whether or not the stormwater system is in compliance. The following are a few important key points to help you prepare—and hopefully pass—your next stormwater inspection.

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, Stormwater BMPs

Aquatic Vegetation and Trophy Fisheries

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 06, 2017

AS SEEN IN Pond Boss Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Dylan Kwak, Wildlife & Fisheries Biologist

PB_MayJun17_Kwak (1)-e.jpgLakes and ponds are scattered across many a countryside. Anglers often seek trophy fish and spend considerable amounts of time and money to create trophy fisheries. Although it is widely understood in professional circles that multiple strategies need to come together to establish and maintain a trophy fishery, many lake and pond owners struggle to reach their goals. Sure, pond owners understand the basic value of habitat, and know it takes ten pounds of baitfish for a game fish to gain a pound. They often seek the perfect mix of stocking rates, genetics, and water quality to create the best fishery possible, but don’t understand the importance of aquatic vegetation management as a crucial element that ties a system together to produce and grow those special fish.

When thinking about what an ideal lake looks like, the image of a clear lake with fishable banks and abundant wildlife often comes to mind. However, when managing a lake for fish production, it is important to take a step back, or in this case, a step into the water, and look at the lake from a different perspective—a fish’s perspective.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

SOLitude CEO Helps Lead Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards Panel

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 29, 2017

SOLitude Lake ManagementSOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake and pond management, fisheries management and related environmental services for the United States, is pleased to announce the leadership of CEO Kevin Tucker on the Inside Business 2017 Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards panel. The annual event recognizes Southeastern Virginia entrepreneurs for their ingenuity and perseverance in the creation of businesses that are “successful, sustainable and growing.”

The panel, hosted by Regent University’s School of Business and Leadership on June 12th, consisted of four accomplished business owners who shared their entrepreneurial background and wisdom with this year’s award recipients. Tucker, a 2014 winner of the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, discussed his experience starting SOLitude Lake Management in 1998 and cultivating it into the company it is today.

“I started SOLitude Lake Management to focus on the growing need for adequate management of lakes and stormwater retention ponds and the preservation of our natural resources,” he said. “We are now an industry leader with more than 180 team members and a presence in 31 states.”

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Topics: SOLitude News

Hydro-raking: A Lakefront Management Tool

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 26, 2017

 Written by Industry Expert Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist 

Hydro-raking“Cowabunga!!” shouts Jimmy as he splashes in the crystal refreshing water and laughs to his friends to the side of the rope swing. “Come on in, lunch is ready!” yells mom as she smiles happily at the thought of the memories currently in the making.

Ten years later mom stares off into the distance where that rope swing used to sway to the beat of her children’s laughter. She now notices the empty space, along with the aquatic vegetation and accumulated organic matter that has been slowly creeping in year after year. She sits there for a few minutes, pondering how much life has changed – not only for her family, but for the aquatic ecosystem as well.

This moment, as it relates to our lakes and ponds, is one that is shared by many private shoreline residents. As time elapses, organic matter buildup can slowly increase from a variety of sources including leaf debris, woody sticks, inlet flows, and point sources such as culverts or non-point sources such as rainfall runoff. Input of organic matter slowly accumulates, leading to decreased water depth, altered hydrologic movement, hindered aquatic habitats, increased turbidity and impeded recreational value.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Pond Management Best Practices

SOLitude Supports High School Pond Restoration Project

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 21, 2017

Environmental StewardshipAs part of SOLitude’s commitment to community outreach, members of the company’s Mid-Atlantic team recently joined forces with 30 students from Maple Shade High School to begin a long-term restoration project at Steinhauer Pond in Burlington County, NJ. The pond, located in a park near the school, suffered from poor water quality, a lack of beneficial vegetation and insufficient water circulation.

Environmental Scientist and Senior Business Development Consultant John Phelps provided ongoing educational expertise for the project, meeting with the students throughout the spring to answer questions about lake and pond management best practices and help them develop a long-term pond restoration plan.

The program began with a dedicated trash cleanup in March and a beneficial vegetative buffer planting of more than 1,000 plant bulbs in May, where SOLitude’s Director of Marketing Tracy Fleming and Business Development Specialist Shane Edwards provided additional guidance. In 2018, the project will culminate with a native fish stocking

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Topics: The SOLution, Pond Management Best Practices

Managing Mosquitoes: Help Reduce the Spread of Disease

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 19, 2017

AS SEEN IN Various Community Associations Institute Chapter Newsletters: Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

Managing MosquitoesI was on a genealogy website not long ago when I was reading about an ancestor, and this line stuck out to me: “…the first year after his return from the army he was able to do but little work, as he suffered greatly from fever and ague, which he had contracted in the service.” Fever and ague was, at the time, the terminology used to describe what we now call Malaria, and the war in which my ancestor contracted the disease was the American Civil War. He probably was bitten by an infected mosquito somewhere in Virginia.

Zika virus is making a lot of news lately, but mosquito-borne diseases are nothing new in the United States. Malaria was common over most of the country up through the 1800s, and wasn’t eradicated here until the early 1950s. Other mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus, and more recently Chikungunya, are currently carried by mosquitoes in the United States, and can pose a serious threat to public health. Preventing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, and the other unpleasant consequences of mosquito infestation, requires a proactive multi-pronged approach. It is important to understand the biology of the mosquitoes involved, their behavior, and how environmental conditions contribute to mosquito problems.

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Topics: Mosquito and Pest Control, Published Articles

Fisheries Management: The Benefits of Electrofishing

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 15, 2017

AS SEEN IN The Angler Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Steven King, Field Manager

ElectrofishingWhether you’re interested in creating a prized trophy fishery or just want to improve the health and longevity of your fishing pond, electrofishing is an essential tool for fisheries managers. This method is the primary sampling technique used to gather necessary information about the current state of a waterbody and determine what can be done to meet or exceed the goals of the specific fishery.

What exactly is electrofishing?

Electrofishing helps biologists track reproductive success and survival rates of fish species. The assessment is performed by sending an electric current into the water in order to safely stun any nearby fish. Stunned fish can then be easily scooped up in a net and placed in a temporary holding tank where they can revive and be observed for data collection. Most often, fish are measured, weighed and marked with PIT or Floy tags, which are used to determine the health and growth of the fish year over year. Then, they are released back into the water completely unharmed.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

A Dirty Day in the Life of a Lake and Pond Manager

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 13, 2017

AS SEEN IN Quorum Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

cai-dc-metro-page-pond-manager-e.jpgThere are numerous reasons why a homeowner’s association would hire a professional company to do certain jobs rather than having the work done “in-house” by members of the community. It may be that the task requires technical expertise or special training, and there may not be residents qualified to perform the service. Or perhaps the nature of the job would require extensive manpower or specialized equipment. But let’s face it—sometimes the job is just so unpleasant that no one from the community would be willing to do it.

Welcome to a day in the life of a lake and pond manager. Our job requires all that was noted above - education and technical certification, physical exertion, training with specialized equipment, and yes, the willingness to perform services that others might find objectionable. One of the necessary tasks performed by our aquatic specialists is the application of herbicides and other products used for water quality management. In every state where we work, pesticide applicators are required to receive extensive training and to pass an examination prior to receiving a license to apply the products. And while all of the substances that we apply to the waterbodies that we manage are completely safe for humans, wildlife, and the environment when used according to the product label, many of the products do require that personal protective equipment (PPE) is used by the applicator when handling the products at full strength, and during the mixing and application process. Although there is increasing concern from the public regarding the use of pesticides, the process is very safe for the aquatic ecosystem when the appropriate product is selected and applied properly by an experienced licensed technician.

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Topics: SOLitude News, Published Articles

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