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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

The summer season means warmth, sunshine and long days to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and spending time around the water. Unfortunately for many communities, the warm weather can also promote 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: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

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

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

Invasive Species Highlight: Alligatorweed

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 05, 2018

Alligatorweed

Written by Industry Expert Eric Carnall, Environmental Scientist 

Alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) is a perennial plant native to South America. It was first reported in the United States in 1897. Listed as a prohibited aquatic weed in many states, its growth has caused significant economic and ecological damage throughout the Southern United States.

Alligatorweed reproduces in North America primarily through vegetative propagation, but seeds have been found as well. Morphologically speaking, alligatorweed can be varied based on the surrounding environment; in fact, it has adapted to grow in both aquatic ecosystems and xeric (desert) habitats. Typically, this invasive plant can be identified by its

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

The Algae Triangle: Managing Nuisance Pond Algae Without Algaecides

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 14, 2018

Algae Triangle

Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist 

I frequently use herbicides and algaecides in my line of work. Having attended college and graduate school to be an Ecologist, it isn’t something I thought I would do very often, but with the frequency of environmental problems that involve invasive flora, nuisance aquatic weeds and potentially-toxic algae, EPA-registered herbicides and algaecides are an invaluable tool. There are, however, times when their use is impractical, imprudent, illegal or impossible. Maybe the HOA or property manager prefers that herbicides not be applied to nearby waters. Perhaps the regulatory bodies in a given area aren’t permitting the use of certain products. Whatever the reason, sometimes this option just isn’t on the table. But how do we effectively manage algae and aquatic weeds without herbicides and algaecides?

I employ a simple concept that I call the algae triangle, though it works for all forms of vegetation.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

Now Available: Free Webinars, Resources on the Dangers of Toxic Algae

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 02, 2018

Harmful Algal Blooms

In recent years, cities have made headlines for outbreaks of toxins stemming from Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in lakes, stormwater ponds and reservoirs. In addition to being unsightly, these blooms and the neuro-toxins they can produce are suspected to have links to diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. They are also responsible for various taste and odor producing compounds that plague many of our drinking water reservoirs. SOLitude Lake Management, an environmental firm dedicated to improving lives through ecological education, is hosting a free informational webinar focused on methods to properly identify toxic algal blooms and sustainable strategies to prevent them from developing in our community waterbodies this summer.

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Topics: SOLitude News, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

Case Study: Managing Invasive Water Soldier in a Canadian Waterway

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 09, 2018

Water Soldier

Written by Industry Expert Glenn Sullivan, Environmental Scientist

The only known Water Soldier infestation in North America...

Canada’s Trent-Severn Waterway provides a link between Lake Ontario in the southeast and Georgian Bay in the northwest, allowing boat navigation for its entire 240- mile length through a system of rivers and lakes, and 41 locks. Water Soldier (Stratoides aloides), an invasive aquatic plant that forms impenetrable mats on the water surface, infested an area of approximately 700 acres within the Trent-Severn Waterway. The infestation was first reported in the Trent River, in September of 2008, and is considered the only known Water Soldier infestation in all of North America.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

Have You Considered Hydro-raking as an Aquatic Management Tool?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 05, 2018

Hydro-raking

Written by Industry Expert Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist 

If you own or manage a lake or pond, you’ve likely heard of hydro-raking as a unique management tool utilized by aquatic professionals to remove aquatic vegetation. A hydro-rake is essentially a floating barge supporting a mounted backhoe and rake attachment that can remove up to 500 pounds of lake and pond muck, aquatic plant material and organic debris in a single scoop.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

A Homeowner’s Guide to Aquatic Hitchhikers

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 01, 2018

Duckweed

Written by Industry Expert Josh Perry, Environmental Scientist

Do you know what costs homeowner’s associations, small communities and government agencies over 120 billion dollars annually? The answer is invasive species. Far beyond the monetary costs, invasive species create unsightly, unbalanced and unhealthy aquatic ecosystems. Unfortunately, human activity is responsible for most infestations. Whether you’re a part of a lake community, live near a stormwater pond or even own a decorative backyard water garden, we all play pivotal roles in spreading—but also preventing—invasive aquatic species.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

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