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Invasive Species Highlight: Hydrilla

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 23, 2017

Written by Industry Expert, Emily Mayer, Aquatic Biologist

invasive-hydrilla-e.jpgHydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is a highly invasive aquatic plant that is plaguing freshwater ecosystems in the US, particularly in the South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and (most recently) the Northeast. Hydrilla has several distinguishing characteristics. Its small leaves are arranged in whorls of three to eight, and these leaves are heavily serrated and can be seen without the aid of magnification. Reproduction typically occurs through fragmentation, although hydrilla also produces tubers, which are subterranean potato like structures. These tubers can stay dormant in the sediment for up to 12 years, causing significant challenges in eradication.

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Topics: Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

No Electricity? Try Wind or Solar Aeration

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 18, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Brent Weber, Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader

Solar Lake and Pond AerationLake and pond aeration systems are used to circulate the water and add dissolved oxygen. The benefits of aeration systems are many; aeration helps enhance fish habitats, improve water quality, regulate temperature in advance of spring and fall turnover, reduce algae, remove harmful nutrients, breakdown adverse bacteria, prevent mosquito infestations and remove foul odors from a waterbody. Most of the time, however, a lake or pond does not have access to the proper electrical source to power an installed system. This is when a solar aeration system or a windmill aerator can serve as a valuable cornerstone to a lake or pond management strategy.

When it comes to power availability, we as lake managers run into this hurdle quite often. We may be called to a private residence, a golf course or a community that has a lake or pond off the beaten path. And depending on the health of the waterbody, an aeration system is usually an excellent first step in developing a sustainable lake management program. The hurdle of power availability can be easily jumped by utilizing the various types of solar and wind-powered aeration systems on the market today.

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Topics: Aeration

Which Mechanical Option is Right for your Waterbody? Harvesting or Hydro-raking?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 15, 2017

Written by Industry Experts, Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist, and Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations

Mechanical-Harvesting-and-hydro-raking-e.jpgThere is rarely one specific remedy for helping restore a waterbody. Often times, restoration includes a multiyear management program encompassing a combination of aquatic management tools and techniques, such as herbicide and algaecide treatments, nutrient remediation, aeration and biological augmentation. Mechanical removal is an additional management method that may be incorporated into a restoration program, and has a number of ecological benefits including nutrient mitigation, water circulation and open water habitat restoration.

Mechanical removal encompasses two distinct management tools and approaches: aquatic weed harvesting and hydro-raking. While both provide ecological benefits, it is important to distinguish which option is better-suited for the specific management objectives of your lake or pond.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae

SOLitude Named to Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Fantastic 50 List

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 10, 2017

Winner Photo_Fantastic 50 Dinner-d.jpgSOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake and pond management, fisheries management and related environmental services for the United States, is pleased to be named to the 2017 Fantastic 50 list, presented by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Honored as the 28th fastest growing company in the Commonwealth of Virginia, SOLitude was recognized at an awards dinner in Chantilly, VA, last month. The full list may be viewed here.  

Now in its 22nd year, the Fantastic 50 program is the only annual statewide award celebrating Virginia’s fastest growing businesses. Companies are judged on four-year total growth rates (2012-2015) and results are verified by Dixon Hughes Goodman, one of the top 20 public accounting firms in the nation. In 2015 and 2016, SOLitude was named 39th and 45th on the list, respectively.

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Topics: SOLitude News

SOLitude Completes Nationwide Earth Day Environmental Cleanups

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 08, 2017

earth-day-collage-the-solution-04.17-c.jpgSOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake and pond management, fisheries management and related environmental services for the United States, recently helped lead or participate in more than a dozen environmental events across the nation in honor of Earth Day. SOLitude employees, family members and friends volunteered a total of 223 hours of their time to help collect 3,180 pounds of trash and debris, complete the first step of a beneficial shoreline restoration project and install 2,000 native wetland plants in local communities throughout the country.

SOLitude’s Hampton Roads, VA, team and friends celebrated Earth Day by participating in the Lynnhaven River NOW cleanup and Keep Norfolk Beautiful Day, where they helped remove 142 bags of trash from beaches and streets weighing 1,800 pounds. The team also spearheaded a trash cleanup near SOLitude’s Virginia Beach office and installed 80 feet of Oyster Castles along the shoreline of the Little Creek Watershed in conjunction with the East Ocean View Civic League and the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership.

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Topics: SOLitude News, The SOLution

2016 Aquafix Research & Case History Program - Winning Project Report

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 05, 2017

The Aquafix Research & Case History Rewards Program is an annual contest created to allow lake and pond managers to show off all the great work they do with Aquafix products. Biologist and Territory Leader Matt Ward was named by AquaFix, Inc. as their Research and Case History Program winner for 2016. Read his entire report below:  

2016 Aquafix Case Study
By Matthew Ward, Biologist and Territory Leader

Aquafix Product Used: VSMD and Aquasticker

• Location: Private Residence in Magnolia, TX
• Timing of Treatment: Algae treatments combined with Aquasticker and monthly applications of VSMD
• Acreage: 0.25
• Target Weeds/Algae: bushy pondweed, chara, filamentous algae (especially tolypothrix), and water primrose
• Objectives: Keep the pond clean and clear of aesthetically undesirable growth and keep submersed growth to a minimum

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Five Benefits of Feeding Fish with Automatic Fish Feeders

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 04, 2017

Written by Industry Expert, Aaron Cushing, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Scientist

automatic-fish-feeder-fisheries-management-blog.jpgRegularly feeding the fish in your lake or pond with an automatic feeder can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Many waterbodies are lacking a natural food source or don’t produce enough natural food to support the desired predator population. And while not all species eat fish food, every fish in your lake or pond will benefit from the additional food source. Here are five reasons to consider adding fish feeders to your lake or pond this year:

5. Fish feeders are flexible, dependable and come in multiple sizes to meet the exact needs of your aquatic ecosystem. They are solar powered and operate on timers so they can easily be placed in almost any location on your property. Feeders can be installed on the shore, on a dock or on a float. Quality feeders require minimal maintenance and can last a lifetime.

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Topics: Fisheries Management

Sustainable Lake and Pond Solutions Through Nutrient Remediation

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 02, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Matt Salem, Permit Coordinator and GIS Specialist

Beneficial Buffer - Fountain - Community Pond (16) - e.jpgReducing excess nutrients in a waterbody has proven to be an effective means of managing harmful algal growth and shifting the remaining algae population towards more beneficial species. Nutrients enter lakes and ponds from a multitude of vectors including watershed inflow, stormwater runoff and accumulated bottom sediment. As management practices are refined and better strategies are developed, successful nutrient remediation projects are a paramount part of an integrated lake and pond management program, with the ultimate goal being to sustainably manage internal and external nutrient vectors.

The most effective nutrient management and remediation programs are ones that limit external and internal nutrient loading. Performing low-impact design on a watershed can provide relief from nutrient-rich water from entering a waterbody, but that strategy has limits to its effectiveness. Excess nutrients introduced into the waterbody can recycle and cause annual impairment, even after watershed management strategies have been implemented.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation

SOLitude Announces Greg Blackham as Volunteer of The Quarter

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 26, 2017

volunteer-quarter-1-greg-blackham-the-solution-e.jpgThrough its corporate volunteering program, The SOLution, SOLitude is pleased to name Greg Blackham as their Volunteer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2017.

Greg spent 15.5 total hours volunteering and participated in four team events during the first quarter. He frequently spent time helping sort and load several tons of meals and meal boxes for families in need through the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, and also volunteered with the Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity. He helped the organization build two homes – one for a veteran with Multiple Sclerosis and another for a family with seven children. Greg helped cut out doors, build interior walls, install new studs, paint, clean and more. Greg also donated his time to the DNREC Beach Grass Planting event at Cape Henlopen State Park. The plantings will help reinforce and protect the coastline from storms and tides.

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Topics: SOLitude News, The SOLution

10 Ways to Help Reduce Mosquitoes and the Threat of Disease in Your Community

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 25, 2017

Mosquitoes are a royal pain that nobody wants to deal with. And in addition to being an annoyance, mosquitoes pose a serious threat to public health, as they transmit dangerous diseases like Zika and West Nile virus. Here are 10 ways to help reduce mosquitoes in and around your lake or pond, and throughout your community:

1. Remove cattails and other non-beneficial shoreline vegetation, which can provide breeding habitat for mosquitoes.

2. Maintain a buffer of beneficial vegetation, such as Pickerelweed and Cardinal Flower, to help provide habitat for mosquito predators like dragonflies.

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Topics: Mosquito and Pest Control

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