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    Lake Management: Don’t Feed the Wildlife!

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 26, 2019

    Don't Feed the Wildlife

    Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    A few years back in the spring, residents of South Hampton, NH found six dead deer in a suburban lot. Several biologists and a game warden then investigated the site and found six more. The deer had not been shot or killed by predators, nor had they starved or died of exposure. They had been fed to death. With their stomachs and digestive systems used to their winter diet of woody browse, a sudden bounty of corn from a well-meaning human can be a shock to the system, in this case resulting in fatal enterotoxemia.

    This example is dramatic, perhaps even extreme, but it illustrates the potential consequences of feeding wildlife. Certainly, not every animal that gets fed by a human will inevitably suffer a gruesome and untimely death. All the same, it usually isn’t good for the wildlife, it might not be good for the aquatic environment or its human inhabitants, and in the vicinity of a lake or pond it can be extremely bad for the water. It is perfectly natural, even admirable, for people to want to help the wildlife that they share their surroundings with. Unfortunately, there are several major consequences to feeding wildlife that make anything more than a backyard bird feeder quite unhealthy for all involved.

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    Topics: Nature's Creatures, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    Ponder These Thoughts - Winter Lake and Pond Management Tips

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 13, 2018

    SOLitude Lake Management_Floating Fountain_Winter_e

    SOLitude Lake Management wants to be certain that your lake or pond is prepared for the coming year. With this in mind, we recommend that you consider the following during the winter months:

    • Review your lake and pond budget and replacement reserve funds to ensure that funds are available for bathymetry to determine if and when you will have a need for hydro-raking or dredging.
    • Evaluate your waterbody to determine if you need to add aeration to meet your management goals and objectives for the new year, and don’t forget to schedule annual maintenance and service for your existing fountains and aeration systems this winter.
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    Topics: Seasonal Pond Tips, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    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

    Which Dredging or Sediment Removal Option Is Best for My Waterbody?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 14, 2018

    aquamog-pond-dredging-solitude-lake-management-934532-edited

    Written by Industry Expert Lance Dohman, Regional Manager 

    Virtually all explanations of dredging include the physical scooping up of underwater sand and clay sediments to enhance a merchant ship’s access to a port or waterway. If these waterways become inaccessible, the economic consequences are far reaching.

    Today, however, massive algal blooms, animal fatalities from toxic byproducts of algae and the spread of invasive plants and animals are sharing the front-page news with national economic interests. For those of us living on a waterbody, it’s clear that our personal economic interests are rewarded via higher property values if the nearby water is both navigable and healthy. As a waterbody ages and becomes “silted-in,” organic nutrients fuel invasive plant and algae growth, and property owners suffer the consequences of bright green water, fish kills and dangerous swimming conditions. Unfortunately, the solution to these rampant biological problems involves

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    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: Pond Management Best Practices, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    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 20, 2017

    City Center_Fountains_Newport News VA_07.13-491245-edited

    Written by Industry Expert Greg Blackham, Aquatic Specialist

    Choosing 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