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Invasive Species Highlight: Torpedograss

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 27, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Robert Truax, Natural Resources Scientist

Many southern states experienced Torpedograss infestations this year. Torpedograss (Panicum littorale), also known as quack grass and bullet grass, is an invasive species that was first introduced to the United States in 1876 near Mobile, Alabama. It has since spread throughout the South.

04_torpedograssTorpedograss is a perennial grass, and the first step to proper control is correctly identifying it. It can grow up to three feet tall and, unlike some grasses, is commonly identified by its creeping rhizomatous root structure and rigid sharp pointed (torpedo-like) tips. Upper leaf sheaths can also have hairs on their upper edges. A unique characteristic used to identify torpedograss are the

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Topics: Aquatics in Brief Newsletters, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

Invasive Species Highlight: Mudmat

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 23, 2018

Mud Mat_NAPMS

AS SEEN IN Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Nor’Easter Newsletter

Written by Industry Experts Emily Mayer, Aquatic Biologist and Kate Arnao, seasonal team member 

As its name suggests, mudmat (Glossostigma cleistanthum) is an invasive aquatic plant species that forms dense, green mats in littoral zones. The iconic bunny ear-shaped leaves of mudmat serve as a unique characteristic when identifying this species. The leaves grow in pairs along thin rhizomes, with narrowing stems at the base and widen into an oval shape at the tips.

Mudmat can thrive both as a submerged and emergent plant depending upon the location within the waterbody. This species generally prefers oligotrophic conditions, consisting of high transparency readings, low pH, and low pond nutrients. They can form “carpet-like” mats along the bottom of waterbodies, averaging from 10,000 to 25,000 plants per square meter, and can reach depths of up to two meters.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

Misconceptions About Lake & Pond Nutrients

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 01, 2018

Lake Management

Written by Erin Stewart, Territory Leader & Aquatic Biologist

Nutrients are required for all living things to survive. They are metabolized for energy or fuel so organisms can develop and grow. The nutrients humans and animals need are provided by the food we eat. When food is consumed and digested, it provides the fuel to synthesize or produce direct energy. Similarly, plants take up the nutrients they need from soil and the atmosphere through roots and leaves. In lakes and ponds, these nutrients are found suspended in the water and within bottom sediments. Aquatic plants absorb nutrients through roots down in the sediments or leaves. Submerged plants also absorb (CO2) from the water and sunlight that penetrates below the water surface.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

Hydro-raking 101: FAQs About Restoring Water & Prolonging Dredging

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 25, 2018

Hydro-rake

Everything ages with time. When it comes to your lake or pond, time can take a toll on its health and functionality. Over the lifespan of your waterbody, sediment and organic matter will accumulate, nuisance plants will flourish, water quality will diminish and water depth will decrease. Luckily, you can reverse the aging process and help restore your waterbody back to health with one environmentally-friendly management tool: hydro-raking.

Are you curious whether this is the management solution for you? Below are some of the most popular questions from our recent hydro-raking webinar hosted by industry experts Joe Onorato, Aquatic Specialist & Business Development Consultant; Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations and Keith Gazaille, Aquatic Ecologist & Director of Lake Management for the North and Mid-Atlantic.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch a full recording here


Is hydro-raking a good option for removing the following aquatic plants: milfoil, waterlilies, cattails and hydrilla?

Like any other aquatic plant management technique, there are situations that favor or limit the use of hydro-raking as an effective tool. It’s important

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Common Nuisance & Invasive Plants You May Be Mistaking for Waterlilies

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 04, 2018

Yellow waterlily_white waterlily_watershield

Yellow waterlily, white waterlily and watershield can play important roles in aquatic ecosystems when managed properly. 

When you look out at your lake or pond, you may see some floating, broad-leaved plant species. The most common native species with floating leaves are yellow waterlily (Nuphar variegata), white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) and watershield (Brasenia schreberi). Depending on region, waterlilies and watershield can be found inhabiting the shallow littoral zones of lakes and ponds, often covering the surface of these waterbodies with floating leaves and flowers. When managed properly, these species occupy an important ecological niche by creating habitat and providing food for aquatic organisms. However, several nuisance and invasive plants share physical characteristics with these beneficial species, making incorrect identification an easy—and potentially catastrophic—mistake. These nuisance and invasive plants rapidly out compete native species, can negatively impact the ecology of the aquatic habitats they invade and can drastically diminish the recreational and aesthetic value of your lake or pond.

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Topics: Invasive Species, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

FAPQ: Frequently Asked Pond Questions

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 27, 2018

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Whether your waterbody is a stormwater management facility constructed for nutrient removal and flood mitigation, an irrigation or livestock pond, or an amenity feature created for recreation, there are many ecological problems that can affect the health and appearance of the pond and its suitability for the intended water use. Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about pond and lake management.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation

7 Tips to Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms in Your Community’s Waterbodies

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 14, 2018

Harmful-Algal-Bloom_SOLitude-Lake-Management-818907-edited

A common issue that many communities experience is the growth of pond algae in lakes and ponds used for recreation and drinking water. In community waterbodies, moderate amounts of algae can often signify the waterbody is in good health, but excess algae levels may indicate that the natural balance of the ecosystem has been compromised. Without swift and proper management, certain species of algae, like cyanobacteria, can begin producing harmful toxins.

Following exposure or digestion of these toxins, humans and animals can experience skin rashes, liver and kidney toxicity, nervous system problems, respiratory complications and even death. Exposure to cyanobacteria also has suspected links to degenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Invasive Species Highlight: Water Chestnut

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 06, 2018

Water Chestnut

Water chestnut has invaded waterways from Canada to Virginia along the East Coast since its introduction in the 1870s. Water chestnut can be identified by its triangular serrated floating leaves arranged in a rosette pattern, radiating from a central stalk. The stalk is rooted to the bottom substrate and covered in feathery submersed leaves.

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Topics: Invasive Species, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

Fertilizer in Your Pond: Managing Nutrients to Change the Game

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 01, 2018

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Written by Industry Expert Matthew Ward, Fisheries Biologist

If you own or manage a body of water long enough, you will experience invasive vegetation and algae growth. This growth can be associated with bad smells and dead fish, converting an otherwise pristine waterbody into an ugly mess. Often, a manager’s first reaction is to identify the intruder, apply a fast-acting herbicide/algaecide and wash their hands of the matter. This strategy may work for a while, but unfortunately, growth returns time after time. Managers can eventually enter a cycle where the frequency and severity of invasive growth begins to climb out of control along with expenses. Enter Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM considers biological, mechanical and chemical controls alongside adjustments in cultural practices, enabling us to treat the problem, not just the symptoms.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation

Case Study: Volumetric Approach to Managing Giant Salvinia Successful

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 23, 2018

Giant Salvinia

Written by Industry Experts Paul Dorsett, Fisheries Biologist, and Keith Gazaille, Director of Lake Management – North and Mid-Atlantic

Flag Lake is a 664-acre lake located on Barksdale Airforce Base near Bossier City, Louisiana. The lake is relatively shallow, averaging less than four feet deep, and serves as a valuable aquatic resource to the base and the surrounding communities by providing excellent fish and wildlife habitat, as well as important recreational opportunities in the form of fishing, waterfowl hunting and wildlife viewing. Historically, Flag Lake has suffered from the excessive growth of a variety of plant species, but most notably, invasive hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). In recent years, however, giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) has dominated the plant assemblage, reaching problematic conditions in 2017 with an estimated 500 acres of water covered in this invasive aquatic plant. To combat this invasive species, SOLitude employed a volumetric management approach that was fairly experimental for an infestation of this magnitude.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

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