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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

Ponder These Thoughts - Spring Management Tips

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 22, 2018

Floating Fountain

SOLitude Lake Management wants your lake or pond to be pre­pared for warm weather. With this in mind, we recommend that you consider the following during the spring months:

Have your lake or pond’s water quality professionally tested. Find out early in the season if there is an imbalance in the water.

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Topics: Aquatics in Brief Newsletters, Pond Management Best Practices

Feet First: Polio Disability No Match for Fly Fishing Enthusiast

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 13, 2018

Fly Fishing

When people say fly fishing is difficult, 68-year-old Marty Loudder challenges them to try it with their feet.

Longtime SOLitude client Martha “Marty” Loudder is not your average person. She’s a successful Professor of Accounting and Associate Dean at Texas A&M, where she oversees 4,500 undergraduate students. She’s an avid fly-fisherwoman, who takes yearly trips to the abundant San Juan River in Mexico. And she has spent more than six decades achieving goals with limited use of her arms.

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Topics: Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

Nuisance Species Highlight: Bladderwort

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 22, 2018

Nuisance Plant Management

Bladderwort (Utricularia spp.) is a genus of carnivorous aquatic plants consisting of more than 200 species. The submersed free-floating plants utilize bladder-like traps (0.2mm-1.2cm) to capture small prey, including mosquito larvae. Hundreds of traps cover the plant’s 4- to 10-inch stem, which can be topped by yellow or lavender flowers.

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Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

Ponder These Thoughts - Summer Pond Management Tips

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 24, 2017

Floating FountainSOLitude Lake Management wants your lake or pond to be prepared for warm weather. With this in mind, we recommend that you consider the following during the summer months:

• Warm summer weather seems to bring out the best and the worst in ponds. Although pond algae and aquatic weeds seem to be more abundant at this time of year, a year-round maintenance plan is the best way to ensure a healthy pond all year long.

• Reduced flows and warmer water temperatures increase the potential for Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs), which can be a threat to the environment as well as the health of humans, pets and wildlife. If you experience blue-green algae and surface scum or suspect an increase in microscopic algae growth, contact one of our biologists.

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Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

The Importance of Lake and Pond Aeration Systems

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 18, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

Floating FountainChoosing the correct aeration delivery system for your lake or pond is one of the most important decisions you will make for the long-term health and balance of your waterbody. Regardless of how big or small your waterbody is, the goal of an aeration system is to evenly spread an adequate amount of dissolved oxygen throughout the entire water column. Lakes and ponds naturally receive dissolved oxygen from several sources, most notably plant respiration and atmospheric surface mixing. This input of oxygen should be equal to or greater than the demand of the aquatic ecosystem. The entire ecosystem of the water needs that dissolved oxygen, whether at the very bottom of the food chain for microbial decomposition, or at the top for largemouth bass and other predator fish. In most cases, it is discovered that the oxygen supply is lacking due to pond nutrient pollution or other stresses caused by people and land development.

To determine what type of oxygen delivery method or aeration system is appropriate, the waterbody needs to be looked at from several angles. Many online resources recommend aeration systems based on only one or two aspects of the waterbody. To find the best aeration solution, several factors should be considered: 1) overall acreage of the lake or pond, 2) average water depth, 3) maximum water depth, 4) shape of the waterbody, 5) proximity to electricity, 6) desired aesthetics, 7) noise tolerance, 8) water quality. The more information we have, the better we can determine how to spread the dissolved oxygen throughout the entire lake or pond.

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Topics: Aeration, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

How Often Should Water Quality be Tested?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 13, 2017

Written by Industry Expert, Brea Arvidson, Aquatic Biologist

water-quality-aquatics-in-brief-e.jpgHealthy water quality is extremely important for all lakes and ponds, and proactive testing and monitoring is vital when it comes to helping prevent water quality problems in recreational lakes, stormwater ponds and drinking water reservoirs. Lake and pond owners often wait until an algae bloom, fish kill, foul odor or other negative water quality problem occurs before implementing a basic water quality program. This can have dire consequences.

Poor water quality can quickly lead to an unbalanced ecosystem, which not only negatively impacts the ecology and recreational use of a waterbody, but can also affect surrounding waterways. Take the enormous toxic algae bloom in Florida, for example, which originated in Lake Okeechobee in the summer of 2016 and impacted Treasure Coast waterways and beaches; the dangerous cyanobacteria limited boating, fishing and swimming throughout South Florida and posed a serious threat to the health of residents, tourists, pets and wildlife. While a number of unique factors contributed to the development and spread of this harmful algae bloom, it is clear that water quality problems in our lakes and ponds can rapidly turn into ecological nightmares.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

Fish Habitat Management: “Cover” Your Waterbody

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 09, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Paul Dorsett, Fisheries Biologist and Territory Leader

How to Create a Better Aquatic Habitat for Your Fish

1_Fish Cover e-1.jpgThere’s an old adage that states, “Ninety percent of fish live in ten percent of the water.” This statement has more truth than most realize. Fish move throughout their environment for a variety of reasons including spawning, optimizing their temperature, feeding, and avoiding predators. For “lie in wait” predators and many baitfish species, these movements are mostly relegated to being in or around the desired cover at varying depths. The availability of quality fish cover and the fishes’ desired depths will determine which 10% of the aquatic environment the fish choose to live in at any point in time. Therefore, placement of the right amount of cover at the appropriate depths should be a major objective of a lake or pond owner’s habitat improvement projects.

For the purposes of this article, I’ll limit discussion to the non-living cover that can be placed in a waterbody to provide cover for your fish. The first consideration in choosing cover type is the physical make-up of this cover with respect to its suitability for both forage fish and predator species. Baitfish tend to prefer large dense cover that offers the tight interstitial spaces and volume needed to protect them from predators. Larger predator species, however, prefer less dense cover with larger interstitial spaces that provide them a place to “loaf” while they await prey to make “their last mistake.”

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

Drinking Water Reservoir Management

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 07, 2017

Written by Industry Expert, Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

Beaver Creek Reservoir 2_After_Crozet VA_ShannonJ_e.jpgWe are fortunate in the United States that our country has the technology and resources to provide clean and palatable drinking water to our citizens. However, the recent catastrophic situations in Flint, Michigan earlier this year and in Lake Erie in 2014 have reminded many Americans that this is a privilege that we should not take for granted. And while the lead crisis in Flint was caused by human negligence and could have been prevented, the ongoing cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie are due to a much more complicated process of phosphorus pollution and water quality degradation.

Cyanobacteria were previously identified as blue-green algae due to their ability to photosynthesize, although they are actually prokaryotic and more closely related to bacteria than algae. Now commonly referred to as harmful algae blooms (HABs), cyanobacteria blooms are particularly problematic when they occur in waterbodies that are used as a source for drinking water utilities. Not only do cyanobacteria excrete compounds such as MIB and Geosmin that cause unpleasant tastes and odors in the water, but they also have the potential to produce cyanotoxins that can be harmful to humans, pets and wildlife.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

A Success Story: Restoring Fiske Pond Through Mechanical Harvesting

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 02, 2017

Written by Industry Experts Jeff Castellani, Director of Mechanical Operations, and Emily Walsh, Environmental Scientist

3_Fisk Pond Harvester_e.jpgFiske Pond is a 67-acre waterbody located in Natick, Massachusetts within the Lake Cochituate sub-basin of the Sudbury River Watershed. Nestled in an urban area outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Fiske Pond was traditionally enjoyed by the community for recreational activities such as fishing and canoeing. Unfortunately, these leisurely activities became increasingly limited due to the dense mat of Water Chestnut (Trapa natans), an invasive aquatic plant that has proliferated since 2004. By 2008, the infestation had established a monoculture covering over 40 of the 67 acres, leading to major biological and recreational concerns. At this time, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) contacted SOLitude to initiate a management program.

Due to the competitive nature of invasive Water Chestnut, it was decided that mechanical and physical removal, via harvester and hand pulling, was the proper management approach for the removal and eventual eradication of the nuisance aquatic weed from Fiske Pond. Mechanical harvesting was an ideal management option due to the machine’s mobility and capability to remove plants from the water’s surface with minimal disturbance to the sediment below. This option was more attractive than herbicide applications because it removed the plant biomass and prevented the dense mat of vegetation from decaying, releasing nutrients back into the water column and contributing to further eutrophication of the pond.

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Topics: Aquatics in Brief Newsletters, Aquatic Weeds and Algae

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