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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

SOLitude Welcomes New Fisheries Biologist to Northeast, Mid-Atlantic

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 01, 2018


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

When Disaster Strikes: Designing Your Fishery to Withstand Weather Events

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 24, 2018


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: Fisheries Projects, Seasonal Pond Tips

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

Building the Fishing Pond of Your Dreams

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 18, 2018

Largemouth Bass

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

Pursuing your dreams is an incredibly gratifying experience that has a way of bringing out the best in yourself. For some of us, that involves creating a trophy fishery where kids and adults alike can spend time together bonding in the essence of nature. Spending a day on the water with loved ones, in pursuit of the next fish that family and friends will be talking about over dinner or around a campfire, can provide just enough motivation to keep someone from settling when it comes to building the pond of their dreams.

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Topics: Fisheries Projects, Fisheries Management

The Benefits of Supplemental Fish Feeding

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 16, 2018

Fish Feeder

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

Trophy Largemouth Bass Fishery: Keys to Sustainability

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 12, 2017

Largemouth Bass

AS SEEN IN Pond Boss MagazineWritten by Industry Expert Dave Beasley, Fisheries Biologist & Director of Fisheries 

Complacency and trophy bass fishery are incompatible concepts that don’t belong in the same sentence. So, don’t let complacency sentence your trophy bass lake to an unsustainable destiny. While that may start off sounding a bit harsh, vigilance is a key to success in many aspects of life. That includes managing a trophy fishery. Just because you might figure out how to create a trophy fishery, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will then sustain itself. Diligence is a key to long-term success.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

Patience Is Key: Raising Trophy Largemouth Bass

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 21, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Aaron Cushing, Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist

Largemouth BassWith so much instant gratification in life these days, it is becoming harder and harder for people to exercise patience. When it comes to fisheries management, however, patience often leads to great future rewards.

A pond owner in North Carolina decided to take the patient approach to establishing a trophy Largemouth Bass fishery in his 9.1-acre pond. The pond was reset by the owner in 2011 and stocked with a variety of forage fish such as fingerling Bluegill, Redear Sunfish and Golden Shiner, as well as two-inch Largemouth Bass. In the spring of 2013, the pond owner decided to reach out for professional guidance to better gauge if his fishery was on the right track. That spring, SOLitude electrofished the pond for the first time, collected water quality data, and designed a Fisheries Management Plan to help the pond owner meet his long-term goals.

Electrofishing is a sampling technique conducted by fisheries biologists. Using a specialized boat that produces an electrical field, professionals can temporarily stun and collect fish to gather population data and remove undesired species. SOLitude’s initial electrofishing sample reflected the narrow size-class structure of mostly 12-15-inch Largemouth Bass from their stocking two years prior, with an average Relative Weight (Wr) of 90. Unfortunately, not all of the Black Crappie were eliminated during the owner's reset and their population remained well established. Additionally, the sunfish population of Bluegill and Pumpkinseed was comprised of mostly three- to five-inch fish, and based on the goals for the pond, the overall forage base was poor. There were plenty of tree stumps, but dense fish cover and spawning areas were also lacking, and water test results revealed very low alkalinity.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

A Young Fishery with a Bright Future: Part II

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 31, 2017

AS SEEN IN Pond Boss MagazineWritten by Industry Expert Dave Beasley, Fisheries Biologist and Director of Fisheries

A Young Fishery II_e.pngThree years ago, I started on a journey with a client who was interested in growing big Largemouth Bass. He had recently closed on a farm with a seven-acre pond and was looking to create a special retreat for friends and family.

As you may recall from an article in the July/August 2016 issue of Pond Boss, this pond is picturesque and full of character, tucked down in the center of the property where rolling hills lead to a perennial creek that cuts through the landscape. The natural topography of the land, teamed with a large watershed yielding year-round flow, created an area that was destined for a productive pond.

In the spring of 2014, the pond was sampled using an electrofishing boat to determine how the newly purchased fishery was doing. The findings depicted a predator heavy waterbody with a depleted forage base. The stunted bass population had an average relative weight (Wr) of only 87, with most fish ranging between 11 and 14 inches in length. The water quality was also assessed, and the findings indicated the pond was eutrophic (nutrient rich), which was supported by the visual cues provided by the large biomass of aquatic vegetation.

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Topics: Fisheries Projects, Fisheries Management

Adaptive Management of a Prominent Recreational Fishery

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 17, 2017

Written by Industry Expert Vic DiCenzo, PhD, Fisheries Biologist

Laremouth BassLakes and ponds contribute substantially to society by providing recreational opportunities, water supply, flood control and power generation. These multiple purposes often challenge lake managers, as different stakeholders have different goals and expectations. Successful management of fisheries resources requires a thorough understanding of fish populations, fish habitat and the users of those waterbodies.

Lake Monticello is a 352-acre recreational lake in central Virginia that was impounded in the late 1960s. This private community is home to approximately 13,000 residents who desire that Lake Monticello has a healthy and sustainable fishery. An initial fisheries assessment of the water quality, habitat and fish populations was conducted in 2014 to determine the current status of the fishery.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects

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