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.