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    The State of Applied Lake Management: An Expert's Perspective

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 18, 2020

    Stormwater Pond_SOLitude Lake Management-1

    Written by industry expert Marc Bellaud, Director of Technical Services

    lakeline magazineAs seen in Lakeline Magazine, a publication of the North America Lake Management Society (NALMS). NALMS' mission is to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs for today and tomorrow. Founded in Portland, Maine in 1980, this organization has grown into one of the largest societies in the lake and pond industry.

     

    Similar to what has occurred with technology, the science of applied lake management has evolved considerably over the past three decades. This evolution has occurred partly because of scientific advancements and partly out of need. Pressures from continued development, agricultural practices, climate change, greater recreational usage and increasing water demands are adversely impacting lakes at an accelerated rate. Fortunately, there is greater awareness of the challenges, and applied lake managers now have more tools at their disposal than ever before.

    Lake management needs and solutions vary considerably depending on the type of waterbody, its uses, geographic location and the particular challenges it is facing. Many of the old axioms remain true. First, every lake and pond is different. This needs to be taken into account as lake management plans are being developed. Assessment, monitoring and even permitting requirements must be appropriate for the size and type of waterbody, and for the management strategy being proposed. Second, prevention is the most effective form of management. No one can dispute the concept that preventing a highly invasive aquatic plant like hydrilla from being introduced to a lake is more preferable than trying to manage it once it’s established, or that eliminating nutrient sources in the watershed is better than trying to control harmful algal blooms (HABs) once they develop in a nutrient-rich system. However, the unfortunate reality is many of our lakes have already been adversely impacted, and in-lake management is often needed to preserve desirable conditions and to prevent further deterioration.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices, Aeration, Published Articles

    Debunking Common Aquatic Herbicide Misconceptions: Glyphosate

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 19, 2020

    aquatic-herbicide-treatment-glyphosate

    Written by industry expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

    One of the most common questions asked by clients is whether the products that we use to control aquatic weeds and algae in their waterbodies are “safe.” These concerns have become considerably more widespread in light of the recent controversies surrounding the herbicide glyphosate. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that is circulating, making it difficult to discern the difference between public outcry and peer-reviewed scientific data.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

    6 Tips to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 11, 2020

    invasive species

    With increased travel and recreation each summer comes the rise of invasive species. Invasive species are plants and wildlife that were introduced to an area that is outside of their natural range of dispersal. Though these invaders are not inherently bad, the general lack of natural competition or predators in our lakes, ponds and wetlands can lead to major outbreaks that dominate quickly and may be very hard to control. As a result, native species can suffer.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

    Case Study: Managing Invasive Watermilfoil in Reservoir

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 10, 2020

    before and after treatment

    Written by Noel Browning, Aquatic Biologist

    A Central Colorado town about 25 miles north of Denver has experienced rapid population growth over the past decade. A large 30 surface acre drinking water storage reservoir serves the growing population of more than 25,000 people. The lake is classified as a “no contact” waterbody, which prohibits swimming, wading and boating, but is otherwise open to the public for recreation and fishing. This unique ecosystem of the lake and surrounding landscape is home to several species of warm-water fish, waterfowl, birds, amphibians, and other small mammals. This waterbody is an important asset for its drinking water supply as well as a venue for the outdoor recreation valued highly by locals.

    In 2019, SOLitude Lake Management was contacted regarding concerns of over abundant aquatic vegetation growth in the reservoir. During the initial site visit, the plant causing concerns within the resource was identified as watermilfoil. The client was mainly concerned with their infrastructure continually becoming clogged with the vegetation as well as the nuisance growth limiting fishing access for the public.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

    First Recorded Instance of Lake-wide Eradication Of Quagga Mussels

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 31, 2019

    Mussel close up-1

    Written by David Hammond, PhD and Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    Low doses of EarthTec QZ ionic copper used in effort to eradicate quagga mussels from an entire Pennsylvania lake

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha Pallas, 1771) and quagga mussels (D. rostriformis bugensis Andrusov, 1898), known collectively as dreissenid mussels, have established themselves as nuisance aquatic invasive species throughout many of the major watersheds of North America. The resulting environmental and economic damage have been extreme, earning them recognition among the continent’s most damaging aquatic invasive species (IUCN 2018; Western Governors’ Association 2018; Fetini 2010). Native to the Caspian Sea region of Eastern Europe, dreissenids were first detected in North America in 1985 in Lake St Clair (Claudi and Mackie 1994), which is located between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. In the subsequent 5 years they extirpated 12 species of native mussels by physically smothering and out- competing them for food (Nalepa et al. 1996). Other native mollusks also suffered massive reductions in range and population (Nalepa et al. 1996).

    Economic impacts from invasive dreissenid mussels have been particularly severe in water treatment and power generation facilities, where prompt and effective protection against biofouling is often essential. Estimates of the economic impacts from invasive mussels vary widely, with several sources citing costs to the Great Lakes region in the range of

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    Topics: Invasive Species, Published Articles

    New Innovative Solutions in Your Lake Manager’s ‘Toolbox’

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 19, 2019

    Golf-1

    AS SEEN IN Turf Magazine: Written by Shannon Junior, Ecologist

    Herbicides and algaecides have traditionally been used to maintain balanced ecosystems in lakes and ponds—but wouldn’t it be exciting if there was a new technology or process that could totally revolutionize the way we approach environmental problems in our communities? Industry leaders have long understood that proactive, holistic management strategies are the key to achieve long-term balance in our aquatic environments; however, our toolbox of sustainable lake management solutions has not always grown at the same pace as our knowledge. That’s why we are so excited about recent advances in aquatic habitat restoration.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species, Published Articles

    Case Study: New Highly-Selective Herbicide Used to Eradicate Milfoil

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 28, 2019

    lake

    Written by Peter Beisler, Environmental Scientist

    Variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) is a highly invasive exotic plant that is threatening our freshwater ecosystems. If left unmanaged, it not only has the ability to impair ecological balance, but will readily spread throughout a waterbody and to surrounding waterbodies, as it can easily be transported by heavy downstream water flow and on the boats and trailers of unsuspecting boaters.

    SOLitude has been managing variable milfoil for quite some time in Back Bay, a 34-acre bay located on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The relatively shallow bay serves as a valuable resource to the surrounding community by providing excellent fish and wildlife habitat, as well as recreational opportunities, such as fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, a competitive tournament water skiing course/jump and a designated model sailboat racing area.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

    Plant Doppelgangers: Invasive Plants Often Mistaken for Other Species

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 28, 2019

    lotus

    Regions across the country are waging war on invasive aquatic plants, with a particular focus on preserving water access and usage. Unless designed for a specific safety purpose, waterbodies are supposed to support aquatic biota, including plants. However, many of these invading species are often mistaken for native plants that are important for a balanced or natural ecosystem. How can pond owners, community associations, and recreational users distinguish between them? What signs help reveal that a plant is ‘invasive’?

    Foremost, a large amount of growth in a confined area can be a primary indicator of an unbalanced plant community – often suggesting non-native or invasive growth. Dense growth removes open-water habitat or may decrease the potential species diversity a system can support. Understanding a balance of biota is also key to preserving or restoring an aquatic ecosystem.

    Action towards awareness of invaders is also important. Questioning whether or not a species is supposed to be in the waterbody is a great step to take, especially when widespread or ‘new’ growth is present. New plant growth in a lake or pond may indicate the presence of an invasive species, potentially brought in by recreation, urban development or wildlife.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species

    Upland, Wetland & Aquatic Plants Every Turf Manager Should Know About

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Feb 26, 2019

    private-golf-course-lake-pond-management

    Written by Industry Expert David Riedl, Environmental Scientist

    Not only are turf managers responsible for the land, but quite often are tasked with overseeing the maintenance of the waterbodies on the property as well. Pond maintenance, in combination with turf management, opens the door to a plethora of issues most turf managers might not know how to address. However, simply knowing how to identify a few types of aquatic vegetation within a waterbody can help turf managers maintain a healthy property.

    Shoreline Vegetation 

    The first type of vegetation turf managers should be aware of is shoreline vegetation. A few notable examples can cause stress to turf managers.

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    Topics: Invasive Species, Pond Management Best Practices

    Invasive Species Highlight: Mudmat

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 23, 2018

    Mud Mat_NAPMS

    AS SEEN IN Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Nor’Easter Newsletter

    Written by Industry Experts Emily Mayer, Aquatic Biologist and Kate Arnao, seasonal team member 

    As its name suggests, mudmat (Glossostigma cleistanthum) is an invasive aquatic plant species that forms dense, green mats in littoral zones. The iconic bunny ear-shaped leaves of mudmat serve as a unique characteristic when identifying this species. The leaves grow in pairs along thin rhizomes, with narrowing stems at the base and widen into an oval shape at the tips.

    Mudmat can thrive both as a submerged and emergent plant depending upon the location within the waterbody. This species generally prefers oligotrophic conditions, consisting of high transparency readings, low pH, and low pond nutrients. They can form “carpet-like” mats along the bottom of waterbodies, averaging from 10,000 to 25,000 plants per square meter, and can reach depths of up to two meters.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species