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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: Aeration, Fisheries Management

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: Published Articles, Fisheries Management

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: Fisheries Projects, SOLitude News, Fisheries Management

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 Projects, Fisheries Management

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: Aeration, Fisheries Management

Nutrient Management: Say No to Cyanobacteria if You Want Big Bass

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 29, 2018

HABs

AS SEEN IN Pond Boss MagazineWritten by Industry Experts David Beasley, Fisheries Biologist & Director of Fisheries and West M. Bishop, Ph.D., Algae Scientist & Water Quality Research Manager at SePRO Corporation

Several decades ago, pioneers of the trophy Largemouth Bass industry began connecting the dots on how to consistently grow big bass. Over the years, these innovators continually built on their knowledge to maximize production and develop fisheries from the bottom-up. They had a firm understanding that phytoplankton (microscopic algae throughout the water) was critical to producing those big bass we all daydream about, so they employed fertility programs that involved monitoring the plankton bloom and applying fertilizer when the bloom provided visual clues that additional nutrients were needed. Biologists developed an eye what to look for, and as result, fertilizing ponds became as much of an art as it was a science.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation

Should I Stock my Pond with Tilapia?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 27, 2018

Tilapia

Stocking your lake or pond with the appropriate fish can be beneficial to your waterbody in a variety of ways. Whether you're looking to control algae blooms, enhance your forage base, improve recreational fishing or simply grow an excellent food source, tilapia may be the ideal fish for your lake or pond. Tilapia are tropical fish that can provide numerous benefits to a waterbody if stocked correctly. These fish are more than a delicious entrée, they are a species that can bring balance to your ecosystem and improve your fishery.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Pond Management Best Practices

Electrofishing Private Waters and Implementing a Fisheries Management Plan

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 26, 2018

Written by Industry Experts David Beasley, Fisheries Biologist and Director of Fisheries and Aaron Cushing, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Scientist

3_Electrofishing_NC_Daymude_DaveB_04.15_e.jpgAre you looking to improve or maintain a balanced, healthy fishery? Perhaps your goal is a trophy fishery? Either way, you can benefit greatly from electrofishing.

Electrofishing is a fish sampling tool used to gather fish population data, allowing managers to make accurate decisions and improve pond management techniques. Using an electrofishing boat, the electric field produced affects a small area of water in front of the vessel where fish are momentarily stunned and safely collected with dip nets. The question most people ask when they hear about electrofishing is: “Doesn’t that hurt the fish?” Surprising to most, the process is safe and harmless to fish. Once netted from the water, the fish are placed into a live well on the boat where they quickly recover and start swimming around. Once safely on board, length and weight data is recorded, observations are made, and fish are released without harm back into their environment. If desired, fish can be marked with PIT tags or Floy tags to determine growth rates when recaptured in the future. The data collected during electrofishing provides insight into current and future issues, giving pond managers the needed facts to make a fishery productive and keep it productive. In addition to collecting data, undesired species of fish or overpopulated size classes of predators can be removed from the waterbody.

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Topics: Fisheries Management

Invasive Common Carp & White Suckers: Removing Nuisance Exotic Fish

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 08, 2018

Common Carp

The United States has a history of non-native fish species entering waterways and becoming a nuisance within the aquatic ecosystem. The state of Colorado, in particular, is home to nuisance species such as Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and White Suckers (Catostomus commersoni). Though some of these invasive and exotic fish may be desirable by some, the impact they have on the health of a waterbody and the native fish can be detrimental.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Pond Management Best Practices

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