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    The Benefits of Utilizing Grass Carp in Your Lake Management Plan

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 08, 2020

    Grass Carp

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

    As professionals in the lake and pond management industry, we view ourselves as the caretakers of our freshwater resources. As such, we continually seek ways to improve and create Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that preserve those valuable ecosystems. If an improvement can be made to an IPM that is beneficial to the environment and can possibly save pond owners money, we view it as a win-win for all. One such improvement is the use of Grass Carp to help manage nuisance vegetation in lakes and ponds.

    A voracious plant-eating fish native to Asia, Grass Carp were originally imported to the United States in the early 1960s to serve as a “biological control” option for nuisance aquatic vegetation. Unfortunately, as a non-native species without natural predators, they also had the ability to reproduce quickly, posing a substantial risk to the environment. In the 1980s, researchers developed a process to create a sterile triploid fish that cannot reproduce and establish undesired populations. Currently, commercial hatcheries propagate Triploid Grass Carp for stocking in many states across the country.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Social Distancing? Here Are 15 Activities To Enjoy On or Around Your Waterbody

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 03, 2020

    family-fishing

    By: Ysabella Bhagroo, Digital Marketing Specialist

    During this time of social distancing it’s easy to feel alone, overwhelmed or stir crazy. Although we can’t control the state of the country, we can control how we decide to use our time. It’s important to stay hopeful and focus on your physical and mental well-being. An excellent way to do this is by finding sanctuary and solitude in nature. Water heals our bodies and minds. And right now, that makes our lakes and ponds more essential than ever.

    So, if you're looking for ways to keep yourself and your family entertained and healthy during this time of self-isolation and social distancing, we have some excellent recommendations.

    Here are 15 outdoor activities you can enjoy on or around your waterbody:

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    Protect Essential Water Resources in Our Communities

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 23, 2020

    In addition to serving as a space for peace and natural solitude in the face of coronavirus (COVID-19), our lakes, ponds and wetlands are an investment. One of the best ways to enjoy and protect these essential resources is by ensuring the progress you have made towards your freshwater goals is not reversed. Ongoing proactive management through the upcoming spring and summer months will prevent serious and costly problems from developing that could be detrimental to the health of the waterbody, as well as the surrounding community:

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Pond Management Best Practices, Seasonal Pond Tips

    How to Get Rid of Aquatic Midge Flies in Freshwater Ponds

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 16, 2020

    Midge Flies

    Written by: David Cottrell, District Manager and Botanist

    I recently met with a client who recounted a story of a lakefront cookout that was plagued by thousands of swarming insects. The culprits were midge flies and they created a terrible nuisance as neighbors tried to enjoy a beautiful evening together in Northeast Florida. The midges covered all surfaces, including—to the horror of the hosts—the freshly melted cheese adorning their juicy grilled burgers… pizza anyone? The client has a lot of fun with this story now, but the sad reality was that the beautiful setting which attracted them to their fantastic neighborhood was ruined during midge season. Unfortunately, in some parts of the country like Florida, midge fly infestations can last for the majority of the year!

    There are two common groups of midges that cause headaches for many waterfront residents. One is often referred to as the bloodworm midge and the other as the phantom or ghost midge. Both groups get their name from their appearance in the larval stage of their lifecycle. While it’s reassuring to know that midges do not bite or spread disease like mosquitoes, they can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of outdoor spaces; they create a mess to clean up, mar painted surfaces, and may even cause problems for asthma sufferers.

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    Topics: Aquatic Products, Aeration, Mosquito and Pest Control

    Case Study: Managing Invasive Watermilfoil in Reservoir

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 10, 2020

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    Written by Noel Browning, Aquatic Biologist

    A Central Colorado town about 25 miles north of Denver has experienced rapid population growth over the past decade. A large 30 surface acre drinking water storage reservoir serves the growing population of more than 25,000 people. The lake is classified as a “no contact” waterbody, which prohibits swimming, wading and boating, but is otherwise open to the public for recreation and fishing. This unique ecosystem of the lake and surrounding landscape is home to several species of warm-water fish, waterfowl, birds, amphibians, and other small mammals. This waterbody is an important asset for its drinking water supply as well as a venue for the outdoor recreation valued highly by locals.

    In 2019, SOLitude Lake Management was contacted regarding concerns of over abundant aquatic vegetation growth in the reservoir. During the initial site visit, the plant causing concerns within the resource was identified as watermilfoil. The client was mainly concerned with their infrastructure continually becoming clogged with the vegetation as well as the nuisance growth limiting fishing access for the public.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

    SOLitude’s Heart & SOL Award Honors Top Volunteer of 2019

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 05, 2020

    Jim Sheeran

    Following another successful year of volunteering and community outreach efforts through The SOLution program, SOLitude Lake Management is excited to announce that the company’s annual Heart & SOL recognition was awarded to Aquatic Specialist Jim Sheeran of Southwest Florida (second from left). 

    The Heart & SOL award recognizes one individual within the company each year who goes above and beyond in personal volunteering, inspiring others, and displaying a true commitment and passion for making the world a better place. Sheeran was selected for his never-ending dedication to supporting charitable initiatives in his local community of Fort Myers.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, The SOLution

    SOLitude and BioSafe Systems Improve Pond with Organic Management Tool

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 03, 2020

    A Florida community in the Greater Tampa area is home to a bird rookery, giving it an up close look at the unique species that call the property home. Wood storks, great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons and white ibis are enjoyed by residents and local bird watchers alike. However, this exciting window into nature is accompanied by a severe nutrient loading problem. Over the years, watershed inputs, recurring bird feedings, and bird droppings from the trees above the 2-acre community pond have created imbalanced water quality conditions that support the growth of unrelenting algae and cyanobacteria blooms. In addition to causing an eyesore, these harmful blooms are known to create toxins that can threaten the rare wildlife and endanger the health of community members.

    The bird species that live on the property are protected, making long-term management of the undesirable blooms a challenge. The community chooses to avoid many traditional solutions to ensure the natural characteristics of the ecosystem are maintained year-round. Often, this commitment means sacrificing the aesthetic beauty of the property. However, in 2019, SOLitude Lake Management introduced an alternative option to the community - one that aligns with the environmental principles of the residents while also nurturing the health and appearance of the aquatic environment.

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

    SOLitude Establishes Long Island Presence Through Acquisition

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 27, 2020

    jon-boat-fountain-2-1

    The nation's largest freshwater management firm has established an official presence in Long Island, NY, through the acquisition of The Pond Guy, Inc.

    SOLitude Lake Management is an industry-leading environmental firm providing turn-key lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management solutions to clients in more than 36 states. The rebranding of The Pond Guy, which will be officially completed in April, further expands SOLitude’s nationwide presence in the state of New York and across the East Coast.

    Founded in 1998 by owner Joe Kastalek, The Pond Guy, Inc. is one of the original lake and pond management companies to serve Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Westchester, and New York City's five Boroughs. Kastalek's team specializes in a broad range of freshwater management services, including fountain and aeration system design, aquatic plant and algae management, wetland remediation, mosquito control, and fish stocking.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Published Articles

    Should I Stock My Pond with Threadfin Shad?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 20, 2020

    Threadfin-Shad-(1)

    Written by Paul Dorsett, Fisheries Biologist

    When asked to choose my favorite species of fish, Threadfin Shad is always the first thing that comes to mind. Threadfin Shad play an incredible role in many fisheries as a prolific prey species and their high fecundity (ability to produce lots of offspring) makes them an especially attractive option for stocking. Not only do they occupy a unique ecological niche, they can also provide an exciting angling experience by altering the behavior of predators.

    Threadfin Shad are primarily pelagic, meaning they inhabit the open water, rather than the areas near the bottom or the shoreline. They travel throughout their environment in large schools—almost like a single organism—with rhythmic movements reminiscent of flocking birds. When pursued by predators, they will “pop” along the surface and easily lose bright silver, golden or blue-green scales into the water column, which causes further confusion to their pursuers, which include Hybrid Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass and Crappie.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management

    The Pros and Cons of Supplemental Fish Feeding

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 18, 2020

    blog-header

    Written by Logan Cowan, Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist

    Throughout the country, small ponds serve a variety of uses in our communities. Biologists help manage ponds for aesthetics, recreation, and stormwater collection—as well as for trophy fishing. Establishing a trophy fishery can be a complex endeavor that requires many tools and strategies to support the goals of the property owner. Supplemental feeding is one of these important tools, which is often essential to establish and maintain a productive fishery. However, the success of a supplemental fish feeding plan can depend on a variety of factors. Before implementing a fish feeding program, it’s important to confer with a professional Fisheries Biologist about the expected benefits and potential undesirable impacts.

    Supplemental feeding with a high-quality pelleted fish food is a cost-effective technique to increase forage production. Feeding forage such as Bluegill and Golden Shiners can improve Largemouth Bass growth and condition. Depending on the unique goals and characteristics of the fishery, managers may also opt to feed Largemouth Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass instead of the forage base. No matter the approach, automatic fish feeders can be highly effective at providing consistent feed and attracting sportfish, including catfish and Rainbow Trout, to specific locations for improved catch rates.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management