Ben German is a Fisheries Biologist who joined the SOLitude team in September 2018. He was born in New York and has spent much of his life on the East coast, living and working in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Virginia. Ben is based out of SOLitude’s Shrewsbury office, from which he serves clients throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
“We’re excited to have someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Ben join our team,” said Dave Beasley, Director of Fisheries. “His expertise in fisheries management will be invaluable as we continue to expand our progressive fisheries management techniques throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.”
Get to know Ben and learn about the unique, regional fisheries expertise he brings to the SOLitude team!
What led you to pursue a career in fisheries?
"My passion for fish started at a young age. I’ve been fishing since I was three years old. It’s always been a big part of my life, so it was a very natural progression to consider a career in fisheries.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries & Aquaculture from SUNY Cobleskill and went on to earn a Master’s in Lake Management from SUNY Oneonta.
As part of my thesis, I designed a comprehensive lake management plan for a well-known lake association in New York. This plan included two years of targeted biotic and abiotic monitoring to gain insights in to the health of the waterbody. I collaborated with the association to identify and implement best management practices to help position the lake for optimal ecological function and recreational opportunity. Throughout my educational career, I also gained extensive experience assisting with invasive species projects. I routinely inspected boats for invasive organisms as a launch steward.
I enjoy helping associations set and achieve long-term goals for their waterbodies and am excited to bring some of these innovative approaches to clients in the region."
What do you enjoy most about fisheries management?
"I specialize in developing custom fisheries management plans, cultivating trophy fisheries, fish stocking, electrofishing, water quality monitoring and analysis, aquatic plant identification and the study of invertebrate communities. The SOLitude team offers an extensive suite of services focused on establishing healthy and productive fisheries, which is invaluable for anyone who would like to do more with their waterbody.
I love educating property owners about the options available to them when it comes to managing their freshwater ecosystems. When setting goals for their waterbodies, most lake and pond owners forget about fish. They are just as important parts of the ecological community as plants, plankton and water quality, so it’s beneficial to include fisheries in your management plan.
Effective fisheries plans are not one-size-fits-all. Whether you want to catch giant fish or are more interested in creating a flourishing fish pond for your grandkids, I create plans that are tailored to each individual client."
What is your previous fisheries experience?
"Prior to joining SOLitude, I spent a few years as a visiting professor at SUNY, teaching fisheries and environmental courses. In the university setting, we utilized field sampling and data analysis extensively to study age and growth trends, population dynamics and habitat changes. We used this information to draw comparisons with state average numbers, and describe the current status of many lakes, ponds, streams and reservoirs. Data collection and analysis is the first step to successful management and I’m excited to continue applying my science-based management style at SOLitude."
What are some of your most interesting fisheries projects?
"At SUNY, I conducted research focusing extensively on lentic fisheries and fish habitat assessments. I have also been involved with fish relocation projects. One such project concerned a stream in New York that was located between two cells of a landfill. The cells were to be merged and the stream diverted to several miles of newly constructed stream channel. It was our job to assess the fish community and habitat both within the landfill and outside of the impacted reach pre- and post-diversion. These data were used to quantify the ecological impact of the project and to gauge the success of fish and other aquatic life inhabiting the diverted stream.
I also spent some time volunteering in various invasive species removal projects throughout New York, including a NYS DEC project focused on the removal of oriental weatherfish (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) from the Schoharie Creek watershed in upstate NY.
Additionally, I helped complete a mark and recapture population estimate for walleye in Otsego lake near Cooperstown, NY. This was done by capturing and marking over 500 adult fish in the tributary streams during their spring spawning run, later in the spring, we returned to the lake and conducted and whole-lake electrofishing survey. By comparing the number of recaptured fish to the number of unmarked fish, we were able to estimate with reasonable accuracy the total population and age structure of walleye in the lake."
What do you like to do in your spare time?
"In my spare time, I love to travel. I have visited 15 countries on 6 continents and traveled to both poles and the equator. I enjoy learning about local wildlife, culture and cuisine. I’m also an avid fly-fisherman and outdoor enthusiast and can often be found spending time with my wife and our pets."
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management needs.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, shoreline erosion restoration, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil Steritech family of companies in North America.