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    Citizen Scientists: Using Your Smartphone to Enhance Lake Stewardship

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 01, 2019

    Citizen Scientist - SOLitude

    Written by Amanda Mahaney, Freshwater Biologist

    Understanding water as a finite natural resource has defined a century long debate about how to use it, maintain it, preserve it and protect it. Yet, despite these efforts, water quality has continuously declined across the country. Urban development near waterbodies often imparts negative impacts, such as nutrient loading and the spread of nuisance or invasive species. In order to solve a problem, lake management professionals first diagnose and document it using established procedures, but with poor environmental conditions on the rise, scientists cannot be everywhere at once.

    Enter your smartphone. With

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    Managing Golf Course Ponds Without Traditional Herbicides

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 18, 2019

    Golf Course Pond - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Golf Course Management: Written by Benjamin Chen, Fisheries Biologist 

    Golf courses are picturesque with their landscaped green fairways and winding paths. While turf management is usually the first order of business for superintendents, lakes, ponds and water features aid in irrigation and help accentuate the beauty of the environment. Without proper management, however, they can cause water quality problems that may become a huge detriment to the golfing experience. In other words, if your greens and your ponds are the same color, we have a lot to talk about.

    Luckily, proactive strategies and new innovative technologies are making lake management without traditional herbicides or algaecides easier than ever—with results that last longer.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Published Articles, Buffer Management

    Using Human Dimensions in Aquatic Plant Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 08, 2019

    Pond - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Bass Master: Written by Fisheries Biologist Vic DiCenzo, PhD

    Fisheries biologists consider aquatic plants to be an important component for healthy aquatic ecosystems. Aquatic plants serve a variety of functions including production of oxygen, recycling nutrients, reducing turbidity and providing food, spawning substrate and habitat for invertebrates and fish. However, while anglers and hunters favor an abundance of aquatic plants in reservoirs, many lake users prefer little to no vegetation. These differences challenge reservoir managers when developing management plans.

    A survey of 1,299 reservoirs in the U.S. identified excessive plant coverage was a management concern in only 10 percent of the reservoirs surveyed, and not enough plant coverage was a concern in more than 25 percent.

    How much aquatic vegetation should be in the lake? It depends on which stakeholder you ask. On U.S. reservoirs, stakeholders include anglers, hunters, boaters, swimmers, homeowners, commercial interests, wildlife watchers, state and federal agencies, real estate agents, just to name a few. Each of these groups likely has a unique tolerance for aquatic vegetation and reservoir managers must face the challenge of recognizing those differences.

    How do decision makers manage aquatic plants for different stakeholder values? Is there a level of plant coverage acceptable to all stakeholders? How do invasive species affect management options? What does a successful aquatic plant management plan look like?

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Fisheries Management, Published Articles

    Toxic Golden Algae and Fish Kills

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 14, 2019

    Fish Kill - SOLitude Lake Management

    Written by Bob Revolinski, Aquatic Biologist and Regional Manager

    2019 marked the start of my 36th year in the lake management industry. It’s a career that is constantly evolving, due to the vast number of variables associated with aquatic ecosystems. Every now and then, a novel and completely unexpected problem or species will appear, requiring the implementation of new and adaptive lake management strategies. One of my strangest encounters occurred about 15 years ago in Arizona, when I came across golden algae (Prymnesium parvum) for the first time.

    Golden algae occur worldwide, but the first blooms identified in North America were confirmed in Texas in 1985. They arrived in Arizona around 2004 and then eventually appeared in California in 2013. In 2018, golden algae were reported in more than a dozen states!

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    Aquatic Weed Control: How to Get Rid of Pond Weeds

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 05, 2019

    Community - SOLitude Lake Management

    Written by Fisheries & Wildlife Scientist Daniel Hood

    As a Fisheries and Wildlife Scientist who regularly travels to client properties, people often recognize me as an aquatic consultant at gas stations or while I’m parked getting lunch. Sometimes people will approach me to ask a question, and it tends to be the same one every time: “Hey, I have some weeds in my pond that have taken over in the past few years. What can I do to get rid of them?” It is a well-intentioned and welcome question, but often one which cannot be answered as quickly and simply as the inquirer expects. Aquatic weed control is a nuanced problem, and the best approach is usually influenced by many different variables. 

    Lake and pond management professionals generally refrain from making recommendations until they have a chance to conduct an official aquatic weed survey. An onsite evaluation is the most direct, effective way to identify important physical factors within the waterbody, determine potential problem species, and consider the management goals of the property owner or community. Each of these variables is equally important in its own regard and require a

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Pond Management Best Practices

    Plant Doppelgangers: Invasive Plants Often Mistaken for Other Species

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 28, 2019

    Lotus - SOLitude Lake Management

    Written by Industry Expert Brea Arvidson, Aquatic Biologist

    Regions across the US are waging war on invasive aquatic plants, with a particular focus on preserving water access and usage. Unless designed for a specific safety purpose, waterbodies are supposed to support aquatic biota, including plants. However, many of these invading species are often mistaken for native plants that are important for a balanced or natural ecosystem. How can pond owners, community associations, and recreational users distinguish between them? What signs help reveal that a plant is ‘invasive’?

    Foremost, a large amount of growth in a confined area can be a primary indicator of an unbalanced plant community – often suggesting non-native or invasive growth. Dense growth removes open-water habitat or may decrease the potential species diversity a system can support. Understanding a balance of biota is also key to preserving or restoring an aquatic ecosystem.

    Action towards awareness of invaders is also important. Questioning whether or not a species is supposed to be in the waterbody is a great step to take, especially when widespread or ‘new’ growth is present. New plant growth in a lake or pond may indicate the presence of an invasive species, potentially brought in by recreation, urban development or wildlife.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

    Case Study: Managing Aquatic Weeds & Algae in a Complex Canal System

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 20, 2019

    Nic Butler Aeration

    Written by Industry Expert Nic Butler, Aquatic Specialist 

    Aquatic management plans vary as no two waterbodies or properties are alike, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to lake and pond management. Several years ago, we came across a particularly interesting opportunity that exemplifies how our team is able to successfully utilize a variety of aquatic management strategies to develop an effective and customized plan for the restoration of an aquatic ecosystem.

    In 2014, the homeowners association of a large community in North Carolina approached SOLitude for help with restoring balance to their system of waterbodies. The 500-acre development consists of a 56-acre canal system, an 11-acre lake and 11 other small ponds interspersed throughout the community. Significant populations of nuisance bladderwort (Utricularia) and proliferating spikerush (Eleocharis baldwinii) were observed through the waterbodies, along with several algal blooms of both the planktonic and filamentous varieties.

    Our first step was to

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

    Top 10 Ways: How to Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms and Cyanobacteria

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 10, 2019

    cyanobacteria-blue-green-algae-fishery

    AS SEEN IN Common Ground™ magazine: Written by Industry Expert Brea Arvidson, Aquatic Biologist 

    In communities with lakes and ponds, managers need to be vigilant to prevent cyanobacteria - also known as blue green algae. Algae is a natural component of any lake or pond system. But in more and more communities that include water features, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly common. Whether naturally occurring or human induced, large concentrations of algae blooms can threaten a pond system’s chemical balance and create conditions that could be toxic to humans or wildlife. Environmental changes or pond nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) imbalances in the water can encourage and intensify toxic algae.

    Cyanobacteria are the primary culprits of HABs. For this reason, many states are adopting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cyanobacteria guidelines to

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

    Invasive Species Highlight: Torpedograss

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 27, 2018

    torpedograss-898819-edited

    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: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    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