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    Fertilizing Your Fishery

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 06, 2019

    SOLitude Lake Management

    Fisheries managers often use pond fertilization to improve the biological productivity of a waterbody, resulting in improved fish growth and abundance. As with any management strategy, geographic location, pond owner goals, and primary use of the water body must be considered prior to implementation. If you are interested in the fertilization process (also referred to as productivity manipulation), it’s necessary to first understand how it works in an aquatic environment. Second, it’s important to understand where it is applicable—or not. Last, you should have a thorough idea of what to expect should you choose to employ this technique in your pond.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    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

    Largemouth Bass Movement in Flooding Events

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 12, 2019

    SOLitude Lake Management

    AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by Industry Expert David Beasley, Fisheries Biologist & Director of Fisheries 

    Heavy rain has a way of devastating communities and properties across this great country. It seems common to hear of places that receive 6-8 inches of rain within a 48-hour period. During these flooding rain events, lakes, ponds and fisheries must receive a large increase of incoming water within a short period of time, and release excess water in an orderly fashion. When this occurs, fish movement in and out of ponds can be a real concern.

    Flooding from upstream occurs when

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Fisheries Management: The Benefits of Electrofishing

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 31, 2019

    electrofishing-shocking-survey

    Whether you’re interested in creating a prized trophy fishery or just want to improve the health and longevity of your fishing pond, electrofishing is an essential tool for fisheries managers. This method is the primary sampling technique used to gather necessary information about the current state of a waterbody and determine what can be done to meet or exceed the goals of the specific fishery.

    What exactly is electrofishing?

    Electrofishing helps biologists track reproductive success and survival rates of fish species. The assessment is performed by sending an electric current into the water in order to safely stun any nearby fish. Stunned fish can then be easily scooped up in a net and placed in a temporary holding tank where they can revive and be observed for data collection. Most often, fish are measured, weighed and marked with PIT or Floy tags, which are used to determine the health and growth of the fish year over year. Then, they are released back into the water completely unharmed.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

    Thinking Past the Obvious When Managing Your Fishery

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 06, 2018

    Fisheries Management

    Pond ownership is a journey that can prove to be exciting and fun, as well as frustrating and disappointing. The good times are typically fueled by great memories of relaxing on the water or catching fish with family and friends, and the bad times are fueled by something that prevents those good times from happening. As owners, we would like the pond to always provide a high level of entertainment, allowing for a continuous stream of lasting memories as well as a source of excitement and energy that motivates family to draw closer together and enjoy the presence of one another.

    Over the years, many private waterbodies that became a pillar of lasting memories start to change. Oftentimes these changes occur slowly, and at times it happens so gradually that the transformation goes unnoticed until the pond or fishery have been altered considerably. When this occurs, it is typical for people to be concerned and take action.

    Unfortunately for pond owners, the issues that are often viewed as problems are actually symptoms of the real problem.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Use Aeration to Prevent Winter Fish Kills

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 29, 2018

    facebook-winter-cover-photo

    Written by Industry Expert Joe Holz, International Sales Manager at Kasco Marine

    Winter fish kills are a serious threat to your fish population if you live in the north. If large amounts of snow and ice form on your pond or lake, it can block out sunlight from penetrating into the water. Without sunlight, plants die, thus ceasing to give off oxygen they would produce during photosynthesis. The dead plant material also provides added nourishment for bacteria which also use oxygen. As the winter progresses, the available oxygen in the pond can be used up to a point where fish can suffer.

    In the winter, the metabolism of fish will slow down. They move less, eat less, grow less, and use less oxygen. The same goes for bacteria in the pond, the oxygen consumption is lower. However, oxygen levels can drop low enough to cause major problems in a pond if the winter is severe enough. In many cases, the larger trophy fish of a given species will consume more oxygen. Therefore, during low oxygen times, your biggest fish can die.

    Luckily, winterkill can be prevented.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Aeration

    Making Assumptions in Pond Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 08, 2018

    Fisheries

    Written by Industry Expert Dave Beasley, Fisheries Biologist & Director of Fisheries 

    When picturing a perfect day on the water, do you envision the warm sun on your face with a gentle breeze in the air and the relaxing sound of small waves rolling against the shoreline? Or is it the sound of children laughing as they play with a bullfrog being held captive by their curiosity? Maybe it’s the anticipation of the next trophy fish you will catch as you pursue another lasting memory on the water. Regardless, lake and pond owners don’t need to look far to find motivation.

    Unfortunately for many property owners, the achievement of goals is not easy, and the path can become plagued with struggles that negatively impact the desired outcome. This is because each aquatic resource is a complex system that experiences continuous physical and chemical changes. As a result, each waterbody is at a unique place in time relative to its own historical experiences. Due to this, people run the risk of making assumptions and drawing conclusions from their past experiences, rather than gathering the facts required to make the right decisions.

    To successfully manage lakes, ponds and fisheries, you must first

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

    SOLitude Welcomes New Fisheries Biologist to Northeast, Mid-Atlantic

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 01, 2018

    German

    Ben German is a Fisheries Biologist who joined the SOLitude team in September 2018. He was born in New York and has spent much of his life on the East coast, living and working in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Virginia. Ben is based out of SOLitude’s Shrewsbury office, from which he serves clients throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

    “We’re excited to have someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Ben join our team,” said Dave Beasley, Director of Fisheries. “His expertise in fisheries management will be invaluable as we continue to expand our progressive fisheries management techniques throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.”

    Get to know Ben and learn about the unique, regional fisheries expertise he brings to the SOLitude team!

    What led you to pursue a career in fisheries?

    "My passion for fish started at a young age. I’ve been fishing since I was three years old. It’s always been a big part of my life, so it was a very natural progression to consider a career in fisheries.

    I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries & Aquaculture from SUNY Cobleskill and went on to earn a Master’s in Lake Management from SUNY Oneonta.

    As part of my thesis, I designed

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Managing a Fishery to Avoid Excess Phosphorus Levels

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 20, 2018

    fish feeder

    Written by Industry Expert Dave Beasley, Fisheries Biologist and Director of Fisheries

    As you may know, phosphorus is a nutrient that helps fuel the growth of aquatic plants and algae. The amount of phosphorus that waterbody owners and managers want or tolerate will vary significantly depending on goals. For example, a community manager seeking clear water with minimal aquatic growth in their stormwater pond will have a much lower tolerance for phosphorus than a private landowner whose goal is to produce trophy bass or attract waterfowl. Depending on these goals, along with your budget and the characteristics of your waterbody, the maximum amount of phosphorus that is considered desirable or acceptable will vary.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Breaking Through the Thermocline to Prevent Fish Kills

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 18, 2018

    Submersed Aeration

    Written by Industry Expert Cory Smith, Aquatic Specialist & Regional Leader

    The long, warm days of summer provide the perfect backdrop for swimming, boating and fishing, but the last thing you want to encounter at your lake or pond is a summer fish kill. Fish kills are often a natural occurrence that can happen any time of year. However, they are especially common in the summer. As the weather changes, the surface and bottom of the waterbody form distinct layers containing different dissolved oxygen levels and temperatures.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Aeration