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    Fisheries Management: Water Quality Woes

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 25, 2019

    dock

    AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by Fisheries Biologist David Beasley

    One of the most amazing attributes of water is its ability to provide people with a sense of happiness. Regardless of upbringing, nearly all of us have something to gain in life by having access to a recreational lake or pond. Some people find enjoyment being surrounded by crystal clear water—the type of environment that entices people of all ages to jump in. Others find greater happiness with fertile, emerald water teeming with life as they spend hours trying to outsmart and entice hearty fish thriving beneath the surface. Likewise, there are some people who have a passion for waterbodies choked out with invasive vegetation, attracting a wide range of waterfowl with an all you can eat buffet.

    Although lakes and ponds have a variety of water uses, each waterbody has natural characteristics and water quality that determine its clarity, vegetation coverage, productivity, and a plethora of biological and chemical influences. Water quality is a primary factor that determines how much effort it will take to transform and maintain the waterbody to meet your goals. As a result, a strategic plan for monitoring and manipulating water quality should be at the center of nearly all aquatic management strategies. 

    After all, water is the medium. If your water isn’t healthy, your pond can’t be, either. If your waterbody is not meeting your aesthetic or recreational needs, it is fair to say that altering the water chemistry will likely increase the chances of success.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects, Published Articles

    What Exactly Is an Electrofishing Survey and Will It Harm My Fish?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 14, 2019

    Electrofishing - 1

    Written by Industry Expert Ben German, Fisheries Biologist

    Collecting data on fish populations, which are inherently difficult to directly observe, has always presented a unique challenge to fisheries biologists. To combat this issue, a subset of the fish population is sampled (collected) and used to draw conclusions about the larger population in the water body. Many techniques to accomplish this fish collection have evolved over time with several ancient technologies like nets, weirs, traps, and lines still in use today. More recently, in the mid-20th century, biologists began exploring electrofishing surveys as a viable means to capture fish.

    When performed by a trained professional, electrofishing is a safe and efficient survey method that allows biologists to obtain a complete picture of the fishery and accurately calculate important metrics. This data, evaluated in conjunction with water quality assessments, fish habitat, and stakeholder goals, provides fisheries biologists with the information needed to develop customized fisheries management plans.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Are My Fish Healthy? Key Steps to Achieve a 'Healthy' Fishery

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 03, 2019

    Big Largemouth Bass_TX (2)-1-1-1-1

    Written by Vic DiCenzo, PhD, Fisheries Biologist

    Whether you use your lake or pond for boating, bird watching or fishing, everyone can agree that they desire a healthy waterbody, especially one with healthy fish. But what constitutes a healthy fishery?  What signs would indicate that a fishery is unhealthy and what approaches could improve an impaired fishery? The health of a fishery can be interpreted in several ways, and the recommended management approaches may vary depending on your ultimate goals.

    Goal: A Balanced Fishery

    Fisheries managers often describe a healthy fishery as one in which the predator-prey ratios are balanced. This assumes that a sufficient amount of prey (Bluegill, Shad, Shiners, etc.) exist to support predators (often Largemouth Bass) so that they maintain adequate size, growth and condition. Indicators that suggest a fishery is unbalanced could include high catch rates of small fish, a reduction in the maximum size of fish caught or fish that appear significantly underweight.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Stock Fish Ponds With Rainbow Trout Now for Winter Fun & Forage

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 10, 2019

    Rainbow Trout-1-1

    Written by Aquatic Biologist Chase Brown

    Lake, pond and fisheries management is often put on the back burner during the winter months as most sport fishing becomes slow, but one species thrives in colder conditions: rainbow trout. Rainbow trout offer a fun fight on a fly or rod and reel for anglers of any skill level—and they make excellent table-fare. No matter your waterbody, rainbow trout can be stocked for fishing and as an excellent source of forage for trophy fish in search of easy meals come springtime.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    Lessons Learned: Monitoring Dissolved Oxygen to Prevent Fish Kills

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 16, 2019

    Copper_Toxicity_fishkill_c-1-1

    AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by David Beasley, Director of Fisheries 

    For avid pondmeisters, there’s not much worse than the sinking feeling of disbelief followed by the rush of anxiety when you stroll to your favorite fishing hole, only to be greeted by hundreds or thousands of white bellies floating around your pond. It’s sickening. Developing and managing a productive fishery requires ongoing effort and attention to detail. It takes fisheries biologists years of practice before we learn enough to maintain high odds of success, and even then, Mother Nature has a way of making things difficult. Even with extensive experience on a biologist’s side, the risk of failure looms.

    A significant failure biologists face is when a waterbody falls victim to a fish kill. When a fish kill occurs, it is typically a result of a lethal drop in dissolved oxygen levels. For most warm water fisheries, this oxygen crash tends to occur in the summer months when water temperatures are above 80 degrees. Warm water temperatures, teamed with multiple cloudy days in a row or a rapid drop in surface water temperature from a heavy thunderstorm, are the primary events that trigger fish kills.

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    Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

    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

    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

    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

    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

    When Disaster Strikes: Designing Your Fishery to Withstand Weather Events

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 24, 2018

    Carp

    Written by Industry Expert Paul Dorsett, Fisheries Biologist

    I could hear his excitement when Mike called requesting a consultation on plans to build ponds and lakes on the ranch he intended to purchase. Upon arrival at the ranch to evaluate the potential for several 1- to 20-acre impoundments, and after consulting a topographic map, I quickly realized Mike’s excitement was about to be severely diminished. The entire area he wanted to develop into scenic lakes and trophy bass fisheries was fed by over 1,600 acres of watershed. This watershed may be suitable for a 150-acre lake in this area but for the relatively small impoundments Mike envisioned, this watershed would have resulted in unmanageable fisheries with expensive and difficult dams to build and maintain. In short, his lakes would have flushed like a Texas tube chute every time a sizable rainfall event occurred.

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    Topics: Seasonal Pond Tips, Fisheries Projects