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Nuisance Aquatic Plant Highlight: Fanwort

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 23, 2017


Written by Industry Expert Brea Arvidson, Aquatic Biologist

FanwortWhat’s purple and green, with a little white flower? Fanwort: it’s a competitive aquatic plant that grows in dense mat-forming patches. Its submersed leaves are its name-sake — dissected into a thin, flat fan-shaped display. The submersed leaves grow approximately 5 cm across and appear in opposite pairings on the stem. Small, diamond-shaped floating leaves are sometimes present at maturity, growing up to 3 cm long, but only 4 mm wide. The 3-petaled flower is inconspicuous and typically blossoms right at the water’s surface.

To date, fanwort occurs in 28 U.S. states, of which 12 

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

Combating Invasive Species While Protecting Native Plants Downstream

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 12, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Amanda Mahaney, Aquatic Biologist

FanwortAgawam Mill Pond, located in Wareham, Massachusetts, is a 150-acre waterbody owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is managed by the MA Division of Fish and Wildlife (MA DFG). It is used heavily for recreational activities, such as boating, fishing and swimming, and supports moderate residential development. The pond has an average depth of six to eight feet with a maximum depth of twelve feet; therefore, emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation has the capability to flourish, rapidly expanding into dense colonies. Currently, the invasive, non-indigenous submersed vegetation (fanwort and variable watermilfoil) has inundated the pond causing a decline in water quality and has severely limited recreational activities for residents and guests.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

The Nuts and Bolts—and Bubbles—of Lake and Pond Aeration

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 26, 2017

AS SEEN IN CAI ROCKY MOUNTAIN: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

CAI Rocky MountainThere are few events that can occur in a community pond that cause the amount of anxiety and uproar among the residents as a fish kill. Sure, we get plenty of calls about lake and pond algae blooms and clogged fountains and excessive trash, but nothing creates the level of panic that ensues when there are dead fish floating on the surface of the water. Many residents become concerned that there may have been a toxic spill or illegal dumping incident, or they think that the landscaping company must have used something on the surrounding property that killed the fish. In reality though, most fish kills occur not because of a poisonous substance, but because of low dissolved oxygen conditions in the water.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Aeration

Debunking Myths: A Professional’s Take on Herbicides and Algaecides

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 29, 2017

AS SEEN IN Virginia Turfgrass: Written by Industry Expert Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist

Aquatic HerbicidesIt’s not uncommon for irrigation pond managers to invest thousands on irrigation pumps, water quality tests, beneficial submersed aeration systems, and floating fountains, but it’s rare to find a manager who establishes and uses a comprehensive lake management plan. Often times, this apprehension is based on a misunderstanding of lake and pond management and how herbicides and algaecides could potentially have a negative impact on the waterbody from improper treatment. I’m here to set the record straight, and let you know that with the proper choice of a product, application style and timing, algaecides and herbicides can greatly enhance the effectiveness of an irrigation pond management program, while working in conjunction with proactive, sustainable solutions.

Many turf and golf managers fear that aquatic herbicide and algaecide treatments will damage their greens and the surrounding ornamentation, and put a hold on their irrigation water usage. These concerns are valid; shutting down an irrigation system for more than a day or two can be virtually impossible, especially during the growing season. But without proper herbicide and algaecide usage, an irrigation lake could experience more harm than good. If algae and aquatic weeds are allowed to grow and mature, this vegetation can enter irrigation intakes, clogging pipes and pumps and preventing irrigation systems from running properly. In the end, the headache of shutting down an irrigation system to fix a broken pipe or clear nuisance vegetation from a drain will often outweigh the inconvenience of scheduled beneficial treatments.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

SOLitude Lake Management Offers Tips to Prevent Toxic Algae Blooms

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 21, 2017

Toxic AlgaeLakes, ponds and reservoirs can provide drinking water, irrigation and space for year-round recreation, but it’s common for these waterbodies to develop algae blooms, especially during the heat of the summer. While many species of pond algae are harmless, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are becoming more prevalent as a result of increased nutrient runoff from commercial developments, industrial parks, livestock farms and agricultural facilities. 


When directly exposed to toxic algae species like cyanobacteria, which is often referred to as blue-green algae, humans and animals can experience liver and kidney toxicity, skin rashes, nervous system problems, respiratory complications and even death. Toxic algae blooms are also known to cause undesirable tastes and odors in drinking water from affected waterbodies. 

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Nuisance Aquatic Plant Highlight: Watermeal

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 10, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Amanda Mahaney, Aquatic Biologist

Watermeal_Woes_pic1_cropped_e.jpg“What is that green scum on the surface of my pond?”

Is this a question you have asked yourself before? If so, further investigations are in order. It may not be “green scum” or pond algae after all, but rather a tiny plant called watermeal, with no roots, stems or “true” leaves. By simply rubbing this tiny, pale green plant between your fingers, it will most likely resemble cornmeal.

Watermeal prefers slow-moving or stagnant, nutrient-rich waterbodies and is frequently found among its closest relative, duckweed (Lemna spp.). Although it is commonly used as a food source and camouflage cover for wildlife, it can easily develop dense mats when proper conditions allow for it. Sunlight penetration necessary for aquatic vegetation growth and oxygen concentrations essential for the health of underwater wildlife can all be negatively affected by concentrated growth of watermeal and duckweed.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

Invasive Species Highlight: Starry Stonewort

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 30, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

starry-stonewort-d.jpgStarry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) is a species of macroscopic green algae in the Characeae family. It was first discovered in the United States in 1978 in the St. Lawrence River, but has since spread to Michigan, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Vermont. When the algae were first discovered in new areas, they were often misidentified as less invasive native species of macroscopic algae. However, the growth habit of starry stonewort is much more aggressive and robust, and can reach nuisance abundances. These nuisance plants can reduce the growth of desirable aquatic vegetation, reduce suitable fish habitat and cause fishing frustration. Although the algae are non-vascular and have no true plant structures, they have been found to grow as much as eight feet tall. The blooms have severe negative impacts on the habitats where they occur, and have posed unique challenges for lake managers in these areas.

Now that the presence of starry stonewort has become more familiar to lake managers, it is actually quite easy to identify. The blooms appear more “raggedy” than other macroscopic algae species, and have much greater height and biomass. They are also characterized by distinctive “starry” rhizoids, also known as bulbils, which are the reproductive structures of the pond algae. The blooms are very transient, and are subject to a “boom and bust” phenomenon where large blooms will crash suddenly and unpredictably. This can cause hazardous low dissolved oxygen conditions in the waterbodies where it occurs.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

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

Five Irrigation Water Management Tips for the Golf Course Superintendent

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 21, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist and former Assistant Golf Course Superintendent

Golf Course with Beneficial BufferWhether the golf season is just getting started or already in full swing, it’s important to address the growing irrigation needs of your course. Turf health is highly dependent on the irrigation source and delivery system. While there are a multitude of management techniques that dictate the amount of irrigation water needed, there are also a handful of strategies that can be used to benefit your turf and help ensure that your waterbodies remain healthy. Healthy lakes and ponds equate to superior, reliable and predictable irrigation water quality.

Conducting an audit of your irrigation system may be the best place to start when developing techniques to maximize the efficiency of your irrigation water supply. This audit should include documenting and repairing any leaking or malfunctioning irrigation heads, checking and confirming the overall output of the system, and adjusting any site specific needs for dry or wet areas by reducing or increasing the application time of these areas. In addition to conducting an audit of your irrigation system, collecting samples of your water sources and testing the water quality can help uncover any underlying water chemistry problems or nutrient imbalances.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

Hydro-Raking: Prolong Stormwater Pond Dredging with This Alternative

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 07, 2017


AS SEEN IN Various Community Associations Institute Chapter Newsletters: Written by Industry Expert, Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations

Every community will, at some point, be faced with implementing water quality management strategies to slow or reverse the aging process of their stormwater pond. Size of the waterbody, overall condition and available budget will determine which management options you can consider.

When a stormwater pond’s function of collecting and retaining stormwater runoff is impaired due to accumulated organic and inorganic sediment, as well as nuisance aquatic vegetative growth, physical removal of this sediment and vegetation by dredging or hydro-raking should be considered. These two management techniques are typically considered once proactive management techniques are no longer feasible or effective to manage a pond. Determining which of the two management options is right for your community will be highly dependent on the management objectives, ecological goals desired and budget.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Published Articles

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