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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

The Importance of Monitoring Before Active Lake and Pond Management

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 08, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Brea Arvidson, Aquatic Biologist

Parks and Rec Water Quality Testing SLM 3-e.jpgNatural or man-made, big or small, freshwater lakes and ponds are all aquatic ecosystems that serve an important role in our environment. So, they’re all the same? Water is water, right? Not quite. The individual characteristics, uses and management goals can vary drastically from waterbody to waterbody. That’s why actively monitoring and testing your lake or pond is so important.

How are waterbodies different?

Our waterbodies are an enigma; they are connected by rivers, streams and groundwater flow, but also function as their own interactive ecosystems. Differences in dimension, flow, nutrients, watershed, pre-existing organisms and plant growth all determine the variation of the lake or pond system. Exceptions to this are synthetically-lined ponds and stormwater ponds that are specifically constructed for flood management. These “closed systems” are typically disconnected from other waterbodies.

Not all waterbodies are formed or created equally, and most lakes and ponds quickly reach their biological and ecological threshold without proper management. Fish, plants, invertebrates and plankton may live within one waterbody, while another may not be capable of supporting the same amount of growth without becoming unbalanced. Furthermore, we use lakes and ponds for enjoyment – wildlife and scenic viewing, boating, swimming and fishing. High recreational activities and land development in and around lakes and ponds often lead to nutrient loading, nuisance aquatic plant growth and other water quality problems. When it comes to internal loading, sediment and biological decomposition are the two primary contributors.

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

Mosquito Control: Tips to Reduce Mosquitoes & Disease in Your Community

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 25, 2017

Aedes aegypti-e-1.jpgMemorial Day marked the unofficial beginning of summer—and the onset of mosquito season. Cold-blooded mosquitoes thrive in balmy temperatures and can get dangerously out of hand without proper management. To limit the impact of mosquitoes during summer travel and activities, SOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake and pond management, fisheries management and related environmental services for the United States, recommends the following ecologically sustainable, preventative, and proactive measures to homeowners, landowners, golf courses and municipalities. 

Eliminate breeding habitats
Throughout her six- to eight-week lifespan, a female mosquito will lay about 300 eggs, often in standing or stagnant water. Clearing gutters, picking up litter and emptying buckets and small outdoor containers can help decrease the number of available habitats for mosquitoes to reproduce and thrive.

Circulate stagnant lakes and ponds
In aquatic environments such as lakes, ponds and stormwater basins, the introduction of aeration can help consistently circulate warm stagnant water and help create unfit mosquito breeding grounds. 

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Mosquito and Pest Control

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

The Stages of Lake and Pond Succession

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 01, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Paul Conti, Environmental Scientist

VA golf course - flamentous algae_e.jpgLike any ecosystem, lakes and ponds naturally change over time through succession. As many outside inputs accumulate, changes in water chemistry, sediment makeup, and organism presence occurs. The aging of a lake or pond is a natural process, but can be highly accelerated through human activity and industry, reducing a waterbody’s life by decades. Through proactive and sustainable lake and pond management practices, we can slow the aging of a waterbody and, in turn, help keep it healthy and looking beautiful.

How is a lake or pond formed?

Initially, a lake or pond is created as a depression is formed; a depression can be formed in a number of ways, including the recession of the glaciers, a damming of a river, the impact of an asteroid, or a manmade digging event. Through rain and runoff events these depressions are eventually filled with water and become a lake or pond.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices

Pick Up Your Pet’s Waste! It’s Polluting our Lakes & Ponds

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 06, 2016

By Industry Expert, Derek Johnson, Certified Lake Manager and Fisheries & Wildlife Scientist

wallace-fall-fredericksburg-va-daveb-10.15_e.jpgWho doesn’t love a walk through the park with their four-legged companion on a cool, crisp morning? Think about the sound of the ducks quacking in the nearby pond and the leaves crunching beneath your feet. Remember the fresh air and feel the coldness in your lungs? Imagine smelling that canine creation on your shoe from that hidden surprise beneath those leaves on the trail back there... Well, maybe not that last one. But, this has surely happened to us all, and nothing can spoil a day faster than stepping in a pile of someone else’s laziness.

A common epidemic in many lake and pond communities is the issue of residents leaving their pet waste on the ground because they are under the false impression that a magical “poop elf” follows them around and will clean up after them. Unfortunately, the majority of cryptozoologists believe that poop elves do not exist, and therefore, picking up waste should be the responsibility of the pet owner. And those who don’t pick up after their pet are causing more than a simple annoyance for their neighbors; they are contributing to the pollution of our waterbodies.

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

Pond Management: The Benefits of Native Aquatic Plants

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 23, 2016

Written by Industry Expert, Chris Doyle, Certified Lake Manager

Pickerelweed_shoreline_buffer_Long_Neck_Shores_Pond_3_Millsboro_DE_Jason_L_06.15_e.jpgA healthy lake or pond should have a variety of native aquatic plants, preferably including submersed, floating and emergent plant types. A diverse community not only adds beauty to your lake or pond, but also provides an array of benefits for your ecosystem and can ultimately help lead to a more balanced waterbody.

Native aquatic plants:

Act as a Food Source for Aquatic Animals

Forage fish species and aquatic invertebrates consume plant material, providing a crucial link in the food web of a lake or pond. Many waterfowl also consume the seeds or tubers produced by aquatic plants.

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

5 Key Reasons to Use a Lake or Pond Aeration System

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 08, 2016

Written by Industry Expert, Dave Ellison, Aquatic Biologist and Regional Director

Fountain in Maryland PondIn many cases, aeration is the most essential component to an effective lake or pond management plan. Aerators increase diffused oxygen in the water, which in turn helps to improve the overall aquatic ecosystem. Aeration is added to a lake or pond by installing either a submersed air diffused unit or a floating fountain. Either type of aeration helps to mitigate the damage caused by excessive nutrient loading, and helps to restore and maintain water quality. Specifically, here are five key reasons to utilize aeration as part of the ongoing management of your lake or pond:

1. Aeration helps to reduce and eliminate many of the water quality issues that often lead to problematic pond algae blooms. The use of aeration may also result in improved water clarity as well as a reduction in foul odors that are frequently emitted from stagnant waterbodies.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration

Pond Management: Keys to Prevention and Early Detection

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 21, 2016

Written by Industry Expert, J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist and Territory Leader

Cody_checking_effluent_structure_Linded_Point_Richmond_VA_Brent_W_10.15_e-1.jpgThe comparison I use most often when trying to explain routine lake or pond maintenance and management to people that are unfamiliar is performing maintenance on your car. Your car needs oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance activities in order to operate correctly. If you ignore these items for too long, and you are looking at a hefty bill or prematurely replacing the car entirely. Performing regular maintenance on your aquatic resource is important and whether that resource is a lake, pond, or stormwater facility, maintenance is the key to avoiding nasty surprises. In aquatic management, an ounce of prevention is often worth a ton of cure. That is why when developing a pond management plan, a comprehensive approach that establishes a routine frequency of inspections and addresses regular maintenance needs is key.

When SOLitude Lake Management typically begins to work with a client on a management and maintenance program, we stress clear communication. Establishing contacts with all concerned parties is essential to cultivating a successful relationship. With proper communication channels, understanding routine maintenance and responding to any problems is much easier, saving both time and money.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

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