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    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

    Greg clearing outflow-3-1

    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

    Case Study: Invasive Quagga Mussel Control in a Pennsylvania Lake

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 31, 2019

    Mussel close up-1

    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

    Kevin-1

    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

    Volunteer of the Quarter Worked With Youth and Student Groups

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 24, 2019

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    Through SOLitude’s corporate volunteering and community outreach program, The SOLution, the company has named Digital Marketing Specialist Ysabella Bhagroo of Virginia Beach as Volunteer of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2019. Bella has been active through various volunteering and youth events from July through September.

    Bella (second from right) volunteered for Habitat for Humanity with her Virginia Beach colleagues. The team helped frame the first floor of a home being built for a family in need. Through the program, home recipients are provided the tools they need to be successful homeowners.

    Bella also volunteered extensively through different youth and student efforts. She served as an area representative for Youth For Understanding, an organization that works with international foreign exchange students and their host families. She continued her efforts through

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    Topics: SOLitude News, The SOLution

    The Pond Management “Do-It-Yourself” Dilemma

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 15, 2019

    Virginia Beach (5)-1

    AS SEEN IN Community Manager, a publication of Community Associations Institute (CAI). Reprinted with permission. Written by Gavin Ferris, Ecologist 

    Pond management experts are rarely asked to visit a lake or stormwater pond that is in good health. Though it is not a responsible practice, many property managers don’t call us until significant water quality problems have already appeared. I remember the first pond I was called to in my early days as a pond management professional. A neighborhood association was not able to host their annual fishing tournament because their 5-acre pond was completely covered in thick green filamentous algae. When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was a dozen bales of barley straw bobbing in the green slime. I’ve since had many clients tell me they tried this folk remedy for pond algae, but I’ve never seen it work.

    In the years following that first site visit, I’ve seen lots of homegrown pond management efforts. Sometimes a jug of algaecide from the local farm store or manual removal of the offending vegetation is all that’s called for. But many times, these “do-it-yourself” (DIY) solutions go horribly wrong—and we get called in after a major fish kill or another avoidable catastrophe as a result.

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

    New Scientists and Professionals Join SOLitude's Growing Team

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 09, 2019

    SOL Summit Drone Photo-1

    SOLitude Lake Management is pleased to officially welcome six of its newest hires to the company’s growing team. These accomplished professionals, spanning from the Northeast to the West, bring extensive experience and a passion for restoring the health and beauty of aquatic ecosystems in their local communities.

    Jameson-Bastarche webJameson Bastarche is an environmental scientist based out of Shrewsbury, MA. He specializes in the development of aquatic management plans that prioritize the ecological health of aquatic ecosystems. He is also experienced in conducting large-scale alum treatments using specialized equipment. He has assisted with many high-profile nutrient remediation projects across New England. Jameson earned a degree in Environmental Science from Worcester State University. 

    mike-didier-webMike Didier is an environmental scientist based out of Shrewsbury, MA. He has a particular expertise in water quality sampling and dissolved oxygen meter testing. He is also experienced with fountain and aeration installations, and is one of the first people in the country to install nanobubble aeration systems in lakes and ponds for the treatment of Harmful Algal Blooms. Mike graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Environmental Conservation.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    Are My Fish Healthy? Key Steps to Achieve a 'Healthy' Fishery

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 03, 2019

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    Written by Vic DiCenzo, PhD, Fisheries Biologist

    Whether you use your lake or pond for boating, bird watching or fishing, everyone can agree that they desire a healthy waterbody, especially one with healthy fish. But what constitutes a healthy fishery?  What signs would indicate that a fishery is unhealthy and what approaches could improve an impaired fishery? The health of a fishery can be interpreted in several ways, and the recommended management approaches may vary depending on your ultimate goals.

    Goal: A Balanced Fishery

    Fisheries managers often describe a healthy fishery as one in which the predator-prey ratios are balanced. This assumes that a sufficient amount of prey (Bluegill, Shad, Shiners, etc.) exist to support predators (often Largemouth Bass) so that they maintain adequate size, growth and condition. Indicators that suggest a fishery is unbalanced could include high catch rates of small fish, a reduction in the maximum size of fish caught or fish that appear significantly underweight.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Harvesting or Hydro-raking... Which Mechanical Solution Is Best?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 29, 2019

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    Written by Industry Expert Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations

    Rarely is there one specific remedy for the restoration of a waterbody. Restoration often requires a multiyear management program encompassing a combination of aquatic management tools and techniques, such as herbicide and algaecide treatments, nutrient remediation, aeration and biological augmentation. Mechanical removal is an additional management method that may be incorporated into a restoration program, and has a number of ecological benefits including nutrient mitigation, water circulation and open water habitat restoration.

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