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Did You Know? Professional Answers to Common Lake & Pond Questions

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 14, 2017

Watermeal

AS SEEN IN CAI New England: Written by Industry Expert Kara Sliwoski, Aquatic Biologist 

Despite the beauty, recreational space and natural wildlife habitats that our nearby waterbodies provide, lakes and ponds are often plagued by various ailments that can detract from the aesthetics, health, and functionality of their aquatic ecosystems. The following are a few responses to common questions often asked by those interested in lake and pond management.

Why is our pond green?
Without proper water quality testing and analysis, it can be difficult to determine the exact causes behind a green pond. The green you’re seeing may be algae. While algae look similar to some aquatic plants,

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Should I be concerned with genetics when stocking Largemouth Bass?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 17, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Dr. Vic DiCenzo, Fisheries Biologist

Largemouth BassFish stocking is one of the most common management practices employed by fisheries managers to help enhance recreational fishing. There are a variety of reasons why managers stock fish:

• Establish populations in new or reclaimed lakes and ponds

• Supplement a population that experiences poor reproductive success

• Create a “put-and-take” fishery (such as trout or channel catfish)

• Introduce an alternative species

• Introduce genetic diversity

• Control predator populations

• Enhance the forage base

• Control undesirable species with a biological solution

Given the myriad of reasons why managers stock fish, a number of decisions must be made prior to stocking. 

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Pond Management Best Practices

Erosion & Beneficial Buffers: Like Sands Through the Hourglass

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 10, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

Pond ErosionIt is often remarked upon how adept beavers are at creating their own aquatic habitat, but in my observation muskrats are nearly their equal in this regard. While beavers endeavor to turn every stream into a pond and every pond into a lake, muskrats seem intent on turning every pond into a marsh. Every muskrat burrow dug into the side of the bank collapses and erodes, washing sediment into the waterbody. The rodents continue stealing land from the shoreline as they dig new burrows into what was previously terra firma and the lake or pond continues to fill with what used to be its own banks.

This is but one example of shoreline erosion, which is (or at least should be) a concern of anyone with

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Buffer Management

Assess Fish Habitat to Maximize Better Bass Fishing

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 14, 2017

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

Bass Habitat.jpgWhen it comes to bass fishing, any experienced angler would agree that targeting the correct structure is essential to catching fish on a consistent basis. Throughout the year, changing weather patterns and seasons can trigger the natural instincts of various bass species to behave differently and seek different types of cover. While this can make day-to-day bass fishing more challenging, improving your knowledge about fish habitat and tendencies can help improve catch rates.

To anglers, the word “structure” is a very broad term that can be broken down into two main categories:

1) Natural fish cover (trees, brush, rocks, aquatic vegetation and natural contours of the waterbody)

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Pond Management Best Practices

The Importance of Properly-Sized Lake and Pond Aeration

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 07, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist

AerationOne of the great tools in a lake or pond manager’s tool box is the use of floating and subsurface aeration systems in a waterbody. Aeration is the mixing of water in a lake or pond to increase exposure to the atmosphere and decrease harmful gases like hydrogen sulfide within the aquatic ecosystem. A healthy waterbody that is well aerated will have suitable oxygen levels from the bottom to the surface.

Now, you may be wondering: why is it important to increase the oxygen levels in my pond? The benefits of an oxygenated lake or pond are tremendous. Oxygenation can help limit nuisance vegetation and algae by facilitating the conversion of pond nutrients to forms that do not sustain algae growth. Improved oxygenation and water circulation can also help reduce the accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the waterbody, which is one of the most common signs of an aging pond. Organisms that thrive in low or zero oxygen (anoxic) conditions promote poor waterbody health. A lake or pond that has no aeration will likely have anoxic conditions at depths greater than 8 feet deep in the summer months. In this zone, anaerobic bacteria can produce ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can be toxic to other organisms and produce foul odors. Anoxic conditions can also change the chemistry of a lake or pond. For example, pond nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus promote nuisance algae growth and can become excessive when low oxygen conditions exist in the aquatic environment

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, 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

The Benefits of Stocking All Female Largemouth Bass

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 03, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Dr. Vic DiCenzo, Fisheries Biologist

Fisheries AssessmentThere are approximately 4.5 million lakes and ponds in the United States, and many of these waterbodies are utilized for recreational fishing. Anglers often have wide ranging objectives for their fishing experience, including catching fish to eat, catching and releasing a variety of fish for sport, catching fish in a trophy fishery, or simply being outdoors and relaxing in a natural setting. These disparate motivations often require pond managers to develop different strategies to meet angler desires.

Largemouth Bass are the most popular sportfish in the US. Many anglers have transitioned from wanting to catch Largemouth Bass to eat to seeking trophy fish to catch. Because of this, most anglers practice catch-and-release fishing and rarely harvest Largemouth Bass. Low harvest of Largemouth Bass often skews the predator-to-prey ratio, creating an environment for fish to become overcrowded and leading to poor growth, poor condition and a population comprised of smaller individuals (< 15 inches). In the absence of harvesting, fisheries management professionals often seek alternative ways to mitigate the overcrowding (fish removal and resetting the pond) and improve population structure of Largemouth Bass.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Pond Management Best Practices

Dredging Alternative: Hydro-raking to Increase Stormwater Pond Depth

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 31, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist

Mechanical hydro-rakingAs communities continue to expand and infrastructure is heightened, stormwater management is becoming a crucial element in neighborhood planning. Oftentimes, community developers incorporate stormwater retention ponds into their plans to help control runoff during significant rain events. Retention or stormwater ponds look similar to natural ponds, except that their major function is to reduce the risk of flooding as well as filter collected pollutants.

Urban runoff is led to the pond through a series of stormwater drains leading to underground pipes. The majority of the water is then left within the stormwater BMP, allowing suspended particulates to settle and pollutants to break down through microbial activity and plant uptake. The water is then slowly released from an outflow pipe, positioned higher than the inflow pipe, to a nearby waterbody or stream. This has proven to be an efficient technique, with a detectable decrease in pollutants shown and a natural outflow rate achieved.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

Ponder These Thoughts - Summer Pond Management Tips

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 24, 2017

Floating FountainSOLitude Lake Management wants your lake or pond to be prepared for warm weather. With this in mind, we recommend that you consider the following during the summer months:

• Warm summer weather seems to bring out the best and the worst in ponds. Although pond algae and aquatic weeds seem to be more abundant at this time of year, a year-round maintenance plan is the best way to ensure a healthy pond all year long.

• Reduced flows and warmer water temperatures increase the potential for Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs), which can be a threat to the environment as well as the health of humans, pets and wildlife. If you experience blue-green algae and surface scum or suspect an increase in microscopic algae growth, contact one of our biologists.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

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