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    Back to Basics: Consider the Rule of Three to Restore Balance

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 28, 2020

    water quality testing

    Written by Erin Stewart, Aquatic Biologist & Regional Manager and Katelyn Behounek, Aquatic Biologist

    When developing a management plan for a lake or pond, it is important to keep its purpose and priorities in mind. Is it strictly aesthetic? Is it used for fishing or recreation? Maybe it facilitates irrigation, drinking water, fire suppression or stormwater collection? An effective freshwater management program can be compared to the importance of each leg on a “three-legged stool.” Just like the legs supporting the stool, many water resources are interdependent, meaning that the actions taken in the watershed could cause imbalances that have negative consequences downstream.

    Think of each “leg” of this metaphorical three-legged stool as representative of the (1) physical, (2) chemical, and (3) biological components of a freshwater resource. If one part of this trinity breaks down, the others will follow. To ensure each of these aspects is protected, it’s important to understand the ways in which they contribute to the health of a waterbody and how to identify imbalances when they arise.

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

    The State of Applied Lake Management: An Expert's Perspective

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 18, 2020

    Stormwater Pond_SOLitude Lake Management-1

    Written by industry expert Marc Bellaud, Director of Technical Services

    lakeline magazineAs seen in Lakeline Magazine, a publication of the North America Lake Management Society (NALMS). NALMS' mission is to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs for today and tomorrow. Founded in Portland, Maine in 1980, this organization has grown into one of the largest societies in the lake and pond industry.

     

    Similar to what has occurred with technology, the science of applied lake management has evolved considerably over the past three decades. This evolution has occurred partly because of scientific advancements and partly out of need. Pressures from continued development, agricultural practices, climate change, greater recreational usage and increasing water demands are adversely impacting lakes at an accelerated rate. Fortunately, there is greater awareness of the challenges, and applied lake managers now have more tools at their disposal than ever before.

    Lake management needs and solutions vary considerably depending on the type of waterbody, its uses, geographic location and the particular challenges it is facing. Many of the old axioms remain true. First, every lake and pond is different. This needs to be taken into account as lake management plans are being developed. Assessment, monitoring and even permitting requirements must be appropriate for the size and type of waterbody, and for the management strategy being proposed. Second, prevention is the most effective form of management. No one can dispute the concept that preventing a highly invasive aquatic plant like hydrilla from being introduced to a lake is more preferable than trying to manage it once it’s established, or that eliminating nutrient sources in the watershed is better than trying to control harmful algal blooms (HABs) once they develop in a nutrient-rich system. However, the unfortunate reality is many of our lakes have already been adversely impacted, and in-lake management is often needed to preserve desirable conditions and to prevent further deterioration.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration, Published Articles

    Managing a Rare Algae Species By Improving Water Quality

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 30, 2020

    nutrient remediation

    Written by Robert Truax, Environmental Scientist

    This property is a community located in the greater Scottsdale, AZ area. The community lies within the Indian Bend Wash, an oasis of parks, waterbodies, paths and golf courses traversing 11 miles through the heart of Scottsdale. As a master planned community, it boasts and demands a premium level of quality in every facet of community life, including the 10 lakes and ponds that are encompassed by the property.

    In recent years, a three-lake system on the property had been plagued by a rare form of algae called Botryococcus braunii. These particular algae out-compete other algae species by altering surrounding bacteria to benefit itself, while using available phosphorus to replicate in high numbers. The result of the bloom is an oil-like slick on the surface of the water that is caused by the high amounts of hydrocarbons that the algae produces. This can be quite disturbing and foul smelling to local residents. Blooms such as these can also be detrimental to surrounding fish populations and other aquatic species.

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

    Debunking Common Aquatic Herbicide Misconceptions: Glyphosate

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 19, 2020

    aquatic-herbicide-treatment-glyphosate

    Written by industry expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

    One of the most common questions asked by clients is whether the products that we use to control aquatic weeds and algae in their waterbodies are “safe.” These concerns have become considerably more widespread in light of the recent controversies surrounding the herbicide glyphosate. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that is circulating, making it difficult to discern the difference between public outcry and peer-reviewed scientific data.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

    6 Tips to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 11, 2020

    invasive species

    With increased travel and recreation each summer comes the rise of invasive species. Invasive species are plants and wildlife that were introduced to an area that is outside of their natural range of dispersal. Though these invaders are not inherently bad, the general lack of natural competition or predators in our lakes, ponds and wetlands can lead to major outbreaks that dominate quickly and may be very hard to control. As a result, native species can suffer.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

    6 Tips to Protect Your Community from Deadly Toxic Algae

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 16, 2020

    Toxic Alga

    Though coronavirus currently dominates news headlines, another dangerous threat is growing. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) become more abundant in our community lakes, ponds and drinking water reservoirs each year as temperatures rise over the spring and summer. In addition to causing skin rashes, liver and kidney damage, nervous system problems, and respiratory complications, the toxins produced by these blooms have suspected links to neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Livestock and pets can also die after ingesting or becoming exposed to algal toxins. 

    HABs can occur naturally, but have been a problem for decades due to the negative environmental impacts associated with urban development, mass agriculture and pollution. To help keep your community waterbodies safe and available for enjoyment during this time of social distancing, SOLitude recommends the following sustainable tips:

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

    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

    Case Study: Managing Invasive Watermilfoil in Reservoir

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 10, 2020

    before and after treatment

    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 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

    Case Study: Eradicating Invasive Floating Heart with ProcellaCOR

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 14, 2020

    Before and After

    Controlling nuisance weeds and invasive pond plants can be challenging and, in many cases, herbicides are the most effective long-term solution. When properly applied by licensed professionals, EPA-registered herbicides can be invaluable tools for safe, fast and cost-effective aquatic plant management. A community was grateful for a new highly-selective herbicide option called ProcellaCOR after struggling for some time to control the invasive aquatic plant floating heart (Nymphoides cristata) in their Florida waterbody.

    This property in Florida is a collection of suburban residential homes surrounding a golf course located at the northern tip of the Everglades. Due to southeast Florida’s tropical climate and year-round growing season, many plants—both native and non-native—become invasive. This requires constant monitoring and management on the land and in the water. Algae and invasive water plants such as vallisneria (tape grass) and hydrilla are commonly managed by recurring herbicide treatments in order to maintain proper water flow and water quality health.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Stormwater BMPs