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    Benefits of Professional, In-House Water Quality Testing Labs

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 10, 2019

    Lab-1

    Written by Sam Sardes, Laboratory Manager and Weed Science Director

    If you were sick, would you perform an at-home blood test or would you count on an experienced medical professional? Most of us would choose the expertise of a doctor or nurse. Water quality testing should be viewed in the same vein.

    Picturesque lakes and ponds don’t occur by accident. In most cases, they are the result of rigorous, comprehensive aquatic management plans. And water quality testing is often considered the backbone of these successful programs. Like a blood sample, water quality testing can reveal a plethora of information about the status of a waterbody, which can be used to diagnose problems and design custom solutions.

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

    Colleagues Volunteer 423 Hours on National Day of Community Service

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 05, 2019

    VA

    SOLitude Lake Management is pleased to share the impact of the company's first ever Heart & SOL Day, which took place on Friday, Nov. 22. This day of volunteering and community service aimed to inspire community members, homeowners and businesses throughout the country to contribute to charitable causes they care about. SOLitude's 445 colleagues were also empowered to volunteer during work hours. 

    Across SOLitude's 35+ nationwide offices, participants volunteered 423 total hours on Heart & SOL Day by contributing to trash clean-ups, food banks, animal sanctuaries, Cardz for Kidz, Habitat for Humanity builds, tree plantings and more. Click to view photos and details about these efforts.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, The SOLution

    Choose a Perfect Lake & Pond Aeration System with Bathymetric Mapping

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 03, 2019

    lake-mapping-survey-bathymetry

    One of the great tools in a lake manager’s tool box is the use of submersed aeration. Sub­mersed lake and pond aeration adds oxy­gen directly into the water column and involves the mixing of water to increase exposure to atmospheric oxygen, thus, decreasing harmful gases like hydrogen sulfide with in the waterbody. This proactive management solution significantly helps promote positive changes in lakes and ponds; however, aeration sys­tems must be properly sized and placed in order for aquatic ecosystems to fully reap the benefits. Surface mapping used in con­junction with depth-sensing technology, such as bathymetry, can help determine the correct size and location of aeration systems to ensure the entire waterbody is receiving adequate oxygenation. 

    Submersed pond aerators use diffused air to push water from the bottom of the pond to the surface, where it can be exposed to the atmosphere. The water on the surface then gets displaced and driven down to the bottom of the pond, creating circulation and mixing from top to bottom. This mixing creates a more uniform and oxygenated body of water.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    Fisheries Management: Water Quality Woes

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 25, 2019

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    AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by Fisheries Biologist David Beasley

    One of the most amazing attributes of water is its ability to provide people with a sense of happiness. Regardless of upbringing, nearly all of us have something to gain in life by having access to a recreational lake or pond. Some people find enjoyment being surrounded by crystal clear water—the type of environment that entices people of all ages to jump in. Others find greater happiness with fertile, emerald water teeming with life as they spend hours trying to outsmart and entice hearty fish thriving beneath the surface. Likewise, there are some people who have a passion for waterbodies choked out with invasive vegetation, attracting a wide range of waterfowl with an all you can eat buffet.

    Although lakes and ponds have a variety of water uses, each waterbody has natural characteristics and water quality that determine its clarity, vegetation coverage, productivity, and a plethora of biological and chemical influences. Water quality is a primary factor that determines how much effort it will take to transform and maintain the waterbody to meet your goals. As a result, a strategic plan for monitoring and manipulating water quality should be at the center of nearly all aquatic management strategies. 

    After all, water is the medium. If your water isn’t healthy, your pond can’t be, either. If your waterbody is not meeting your aesthetic or recreational needs, it is fair to say that altering the water chemistry will likely increase the chances of success.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects, Published Articles

    SOLitude Delivers Thanksgiving Meals, Launches Annual Volunteering Day

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 20, 2019

    Little Gobblers 2k19-1

    This season, SOLitude Lake Management is proud to announce that the company served nearly 300 families through the Little GOBBLERs program. This annual program provides food and donations to ensure families across the country, within the local communities we serve, are able to celebrate Thanksgiving.

    SOLitude, an industry leader in lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management solutions, donated $7,075 in turkeys and grocery gift cards to 292 deserving families in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

    SOLitude worked with 32 elementary, middle and high schools in each of these regions to identify families in need. School principals and guidance counselors collected the donated items from SOLitude on behalf of the families and ensured they were distributed appropriately. Since the inception of the Little GOBBLERs program in 2012, SOLitude has donated $35,850 and helped more than 1,600 children and families have a happier Thanksgiving.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, The SOLution

    What Exactly Is an Electrofishing Survey and Will It Harm My Fish?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 14, 2019

    Electrofishing - 1

    Written by Industry Expert Ben German, Fisheries Biologist

    Collecting data on fish populations, which are inherently difficult to directly observe, has always presented a unique challenge to fisheries biologists. To combat this issue, a subset of the fish population is sampled (collected) and used to draw conclusions about the larger population in the water body. Many techniques to accomplish this fish collection have evolved over time with several ancient technologies like nets, weirs, traps, and lines still in use today. More recently, in the mid-20th century, biologists began exploring electrofishing surveys as a viable means to capture fish.

    When performed by a trained professional, electrofishing is a safe and efficient survey method that allows biologists to obtain a complete picture of the fishery and accurately calculate important metrics. This data, evaluated in conjunction with water quality assessments, fish habitat, and stakeholder goals, provides fisheries biologists with the information needed to develop customized fisheries management plans.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    SOLitude Acquires Leading Freshwater Management Firm in Florida

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 12, 2019

    ASI release

    Two leading freshwater management companies have united under the SOLitude Lake Management® brand. Aquatic Systems, Inc. (ASI) was acquired by SOLitude in January 2019. All company service offerings and infrastructure were officially unified this month.

    The rebranding of Aquatic Systems expands SOLitude's existing operations across 12 Florida offices. Outside of Florida, SOLitude manages aquatic resources in 35 states. SOLitude is the nation's largest freshwater management firm specializing in sustainable, proactive solutions for communities, golf courses, municipalities, commercial developers and private landowners.

    Established in 1977, Aquatic Systems was an industry leading freshwater resource manager in Florida for over four decades. The company provided eco-friendly wetland and preserve management services, shoreline aquascaping and stabilization, water quality restoration, midge fly assessments, research, consulting and more.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Published Articles

    6 Tips to Maximize the Efficiency of Your Stormwater Facility

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 07, 2019

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    Written by Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist 

    As the growing season comes to an end, this is the perfect time to think about having your stormwater pond or management facility inspected, and scheduling for any necessary maintenance or repairs. Sediment removal, pipe repair and other remediation efforts can all be done in the off season to help you prepare the facility for the coming year. This is also the ideal time to budget for any work that is needed in the coming year. 

    Here are the top six things SOLitude’s aquatic management professionals consider when it comes to maximizing the efficiency of your stormwater management facility.

    #1: The strength and integrity of the outlet structure.
    It’s important to discover cracked concrete and other visible signs of damage as soon as possible. All grates should be cleaned and checked for debris and sediment blockage. If the facility has a low flow orifice, it needs to be free and open. The low flow orifice lets the water drain slowly after rain so that the suspended particles have time to settle. If the outlet structure has a concrete box, nothing should be present that may impede the flow of water. Signs of erosion should be checked for above where the structure meets the pipe. This is often an indicator of a gap in the seal and the beginning of a sinkhole.

    #2: Functionality of emergency spillways.
    In the event of heavy rainfall over a short period, debris can quickly block the outlet structure before anyone has a chance to clear it. An emergency

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Stormwater BMPs

    First Recorded Instance of Lake-wide Eradication of Invasive Quagga Mussels

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 31, 2019

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    Written by David Hammond, PhD and Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    Low doses of EarthTec QZ ionic copper used in effort to eradicate quagga mussels from an entire Pennsylvania lake

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha Pallas, 1771) and quagga mussels (D. rostriformis bugensis Andrusov, 1898), known collectively as dreissenid mussels, have established themselves as nuisance aquatic invasive species throughout many of the major watersheds of North America. The resulting environmental and economic damage have been extreme, earning them recognition among the continent’s most damaging aquatic invasive species (IUCN 2018; Western Governors’ Association 2018; Fetini 2010). Native to the Caspian Sea region of Eastern Europe, dreissenids were first detected in North America in 1985 in Lake St Clair (Claudi and Mackie 1994), which is located between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. In the subsequent 5 years they extirpated 12 species of native mussels by physically smothering and out- competing them for food (Nalepa et al. 1996). Other native mollusks also suffered massive reductions in range and population (Nalepa et al. 1996).

    Economic impacts from invasive dreissenid mussels have been particularly severe in water treatment and power generation facilities, where prompt and effective protection against biofouling is often essential. Estimates of the economic impacts from invasive mussels vary widely, with several sources citing costs to the Great Lakes region in the range of

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    Topics: Invasive Species, Published Articles

    $125,000 Gift Supports Entrepreneurial Students

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 28, 2019

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    CEO of SOLitude Lake Management Kevin Tucker and his wife, Jennifer, have pledged $125,000 to establish the Tucker Student Venture Creation Fellowship Endowment for James Madison University’s Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship. The Tucker Family Fellowship will contribute $4,000+ annually in perpetuity to a top student from the program’s Summer Venture Accelerator (SVA).

    The SVA provides student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop businesses at all stages. Through the 10-week program, student fellows receive funding, workspace, mentorship, business classes, hands-on learning experiences, and a final opportunity to pitch their venture against peers across the nation. The SVA is a competitive program—more than 100 JMU students apply each year, but only 20 are selected to participate.

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    Topics: The SOLution