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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 Maintain 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

6 Tips to Prevent Summer Fish Kills

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 20, 2017

Fish KillHot summer temperatures can put a strain on aquatic environments and often push animals, such as fish, to their limits. As temperatures increase, so does the possibility of a fish kill. When a fish kill is discovered, it’s common for communities to fear the worst – from chemical spills to foul play. However, most fish kills are a natural occurrence that can happen as water warms and dissolved oxygen levels become depleted. While nature is often to blame, communities can take action to improve the summer conditions of their waterbodies.

“The risk of a fish kill can remain high over time unless proactive steps are taken by property owners to break the cycle,” said David Beasley, Director of Fisheries at SOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake, pond and fisheries management. “It’s important for communities to understand the cause and introduce proactive lake and pond management strategies before a fish kill occurs.”

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Pond Management Best Practices

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

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