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    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

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    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

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    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

    New Innovative Solutions in Your Lake Manager’s ‘Toolbox’

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 19, 2019

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    AS SEEN IN Turf Magazine: Written by Shannon Junior, Ecologist

    Herbicides and algaecides have traditionally been used to maintain balanced ecosystems in lakes and ponds—but wouldn’t it be exciting if there was a new technology or process that could totally revolutionize the way we approach environmental problems in our communities? Industry leaders have long understood that proactive, holistic management strategies are the key to achieve long-term balance in our aquatic environments; however, our toolbox of sustainable lake management solutions has not always grown at the same pace as our knowledge. That’s why we are so excited about recent advances in aquatic habitat restoration.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Published Articles

    Research and Experimentation Leads to Fertilization Best-Practices

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 17, 2019

    Water Testing

    Written by Ben German, Fisheries Biologist

    Scientific inquiry is often the driving force behind innovation, and continuing to analyze and fine-tune our management strategies helps us deliver the best service possible to our clients. Fisheries managers often use fertilization (or productivity manipulation) to increase the biological productivity of a lake or pond. The increase in nutrient concentrations spurs algae production, resulting in increased biomass at ascending trophic levels of the food web. In other words, more food equals bigger fish. Fertilizing has been a proven strategy for quite some time, but recent insights into nutrient ratios, and how to properly manage them, is bringing consistency to the process of producing trophy Largemouth Bass.

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    Stock Fish Ponds With Rainbow Trout Now for Winter Fun & Forage

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 10, 2019

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    Written by Aquatic Biologist Chase Brown

    Lake, pond and fisheries management is often put on the back burner during the winter months as most sport fishing becomes slow, but one species thrives in colder conditions: rainbow trout. Rainbow trout offer a fun fight on a fly or rod and reel for anglers of any skill level—and they make excellent table-fare. No matter your waterbody, rainbow trout can be stocked for fishing and as an excellent source of forage for trophy fish in search of easy meals come springtime.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Nuisance Algae & Invasive Hydrilla Management in Community Ponds

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 05, 2019

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    AS SEEN IN CAI Central Virginia's Consensus Magazine: Written by Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist

    Without proactive management in place, the resulting environmental conditions can spur a perfect storm of nuisance aquatic weeds and algae in your lake, stormwater pond or reservoir. Under unhealthy conditions, it is common to find invasive plants like hydrilla, which can compete with and choke out native vegetation. Poor water quality may also lead to the development of various forms of nuisance algae, as well as toxin-producing harmful algal blooms (HABs).

    Before you can implement a sustainable management plan to restore balance and beauty to the waterbody, it’s crucial to properly identify the species ailing your lake or pond. 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. Hydrilla forms dense
    mats at the surface of lakes and ponds, which limits recreational use and diminishes the aesthetic appeal of the waterbody. This invasive plant also out-competes native aquatic plant species, reducing biodiversity and negatively impacting water quality.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    6 Tips to Help Prevent Mosquito-borne Diseases in Your Community

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 29, 2019

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    This month, the first human case of Eastern Equine encephalitis (EEE) since 2013 was in reported in Massachusetts. Now, multiple New England communities are considered at “critical risk” of exposure to this mosquito-borne disease, which can cause flu-like symptoms, brain inflammation and, in severe cases, death. Though EEE has been detected in samples across multiple states, including Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, and Louisiana, historical data indicates that communities in Massachusetts, New York, and Florida are the most at risk. 

    To protect your family and community from EEE, as well as other viruses like Zika and West Nile Virus, SOLitude Lake Management recommends the following tips:

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Mosquito and Pest Control