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    How Data Collection Helps Build Successful Management Plans

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Aug 13, 2020

    water quality data collection

    Lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management is a complex field full of surprising puzzles and never-ending challenges. Effective management of our water resources depends on many different factors, making it critically important to understand the unique characteristics of your waterbody and identify how these elements can change over time. This is where data comes in. Modern tools and technologies have enabled freshwater management scientists to gain deeper insights into the unique physical, chemical and biological components in your waterbody and make more informed decisions about your management approach.

    There are many different data gathering tools; some of the most widely-used are water quality assessments, bathymetric mapping and electrofishing. Your lake management professional may utilize some or all of these methods depending on your goals and budget. Each method provides vital information that simply cannot be determined with visual inspections.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Fisheries Management, Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    5 Unique Ways to Utilize Bathymetric Lake Mapping Data

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 04, 2020

    lake mapping

    Written by Noel Browning, Aquatic Biologist

    Have you ever wondered what the bottom of a waterbody truly looks like? With the proper training, equipment and access to modern technology, the accurate mapping of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs is a reality. Uncovering the mystery of ‘what lies below’ is an essential part of quality baseline data and an important tool in effective management. The true volume, depths, and contours of a waterbody is invaluable data that helps inform many freshwater management approaches. Here are the top five ways that professional lake mapping data can be utilized to help improve your freshwater management strategy:

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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    Choose a Perfect Lake & Pond Aeration System with Bathymetric Mapping

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 03, 2019


    One of the great tools in a lake manager’s tool box is the use of submersed aeration. Sub­mersed lake and pond aeration adds oxy­gen directly into the water column and involves the mixing of water to increase exposure to atmospheric oxygen, thus, decreasing harmful gases like hydrogen sulfide with in the waterbody. This proactive management solution significantly helps promote positive changes in lakes and ponds; however, aeration sys­tems must be properly sized and placed in order for aquatic ecosystems to fully reap the benefits. Surface mapping used in con­junction with depth-sensing technology, such as bathymetry, can help determine the correct size and location of aeration systems to ensure the entire waterbody is receiving adequate oxygenation. 

    Submersed pond aerators use diffused air to push water from the bottom of the pond to the surface, where it can be exposed to the atmosphere. The water on the surface then gets displaced and driven down to the bottom of the pond, creating circulation and mixing from top to bottom. This mixing creates a more uniform and oxygenated body of water.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    Bathymetric Mapping: An Overlooked Component of Lake Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Dec 13, 2018


    If you own or manage a lake or pond, your goals may include improving aesthetics, enhancing water quality and strengthening the health of your aquatic ecosystem. While many of the strategies used to achieve these goals are implemented in the spring and summer, it’s never the wrong time to get started. In fact, one beneficial and often overlooked tool is lake mapping—and now is a great time of year to utilize it!

    What is lake mapping?

    Lake mapping, or bathymetry, involves the measurements of water depth, volume and amount of collected sediment on the bottom of a waterbody. These parameters can reveal quite a lot about what’s happening between the bottom of a lake or pond and the surface, and help waterbody managers and owners make important short- and long-term decisions about the future of a waterbody. The equipment required to perform a bathymetric study includes a hydro-acoustic transducer, GPS receiver and a software platform to union the water depth and location data.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    Cost-effective Solutions To Prolong The Lifespan Of Your Waterbody

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 03, 2017

    Proactive Management Solutions

    When communities begin anticipating and planning for possible future expenses, they will likely discover that dredging has a very large price tag. In fact, dredging is often one of the largest expenses a community will ever face. Luckily, there are things that can be done to help reduce costs and prolong the time span between dredging efforts, which are generally recommended every 20 years. 

    While lakes and stormwater ponds can be beautiful assets to our communities, they often have specific engineered and environmental purposes. For instance, they help slow down and dissipate water that flows during rainstorms, which picks up speed and energy as it passes over a community’s impervious surfaces such as roofs, streets, driveways and sidewalks. They also help collect pollutants and organic matter to prevent them from being deposited elsewhere.

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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry, Published Articles

    Utilizing Bathymetry to Budget for Future Repairs and Dredging

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 19, 2017

    Written by Industry Expert, Kevin Tucker, Chief Executive Officer

    bathymetric mappingIf you live in a planned community governed by a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), are part of a lake association, own commercial developments, belong to a golf club, are a member of a recreational club, or you are a board member or manager for any of the above, you are likely familiar with the need to maintain a reserve and replacement budget. In many cases, it is a statutory requirement.

    Reserve Studies are a great tool to help prepare stakeholders for significant future repair and replacement expenses. They often uncover items that might not have been top of mind if left unaddressed, but would pose a significant financial risk to the group. In most cases, the Reserve Specialist preparing the report is able to identify very accurate estimates for the expected life of your physical assets, as well as the corresponding costs for making significant repairs or replacing them as their expected life comes to an end.

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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    What Lies Beneath: Bathymetry and Its Importance to Turf Managers

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 20, 2016

    AS SEEN IN Virginia Turfgrass Journal: Written by Industry Expert, Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist

    VA_Turfgrass_Article_Pg1_e.jpgHave you ever experienced a dry season where rain was not in the immediate forecast and you were not absolutely certain that your irrigation ponds held enough water to cover you? As a former assistant golf course superintendent, I remember times when our irrigation lake was extremely low, and our greens could not go one more night without water. I knew that there was a good chance that I’d be hand watering them several times the next day, and each day without rain seemed to require more applied water than the one before. I knew I would soon be staring at mud in the irrigation lake where water once was.

    This is not a situation that any golf course or turf manager wants to find himself (or herself) navigating, yet it seems to happen somewhere in the region every year. Along with the tremendous amount of scientific research, management techniques and cutting edge pesticides that are available to manage turf, there are strategies and tools that are equally important to ensure that ponds are managed properly and are aesthetically pleasing to your guests, but also to maintain their capacity for one of the turf industry’s most important maintenance tasks: irrigation.

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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry, Published Articles

    Pond Management: How Much Does Dredging Cost?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 23, 2015

    Brought to you by our trusted partners at The Mapping Network

    silver-lake-sediment_MappingNetwork_eHow much does dredging cost is the most commonly asked question for many lake associations. The Mapping Network sat down with Dan McDougal, President of Dredge America and asked him that question.

    When lake homeowner’s call for our assistance with their potential upcoming dredging projects, the first question we usually get asked is, “How much does it cost?” This is usually followed by, “Just a ballpark figure that I won’t hold you to.” Then we often hear, “We have a board meeting tonight and I wanted to report on dredging to get the project moving.”

    There are hundreds of variables that determine the cost of restoring a lake. There are three questions that need to be answered to begin the process of getting a ballpark feasibility price:

    1. How much material is there to dredge?
    2. Where can you put the material that is coming out of the lake?
    3. What is the nature of the material to be dredged?
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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry

    Bathymetry: Maintaining the Beauty of Your Lake or Pond

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 18, 2014

    AS SEEN IN AssociationHelpNow, Issue 4, 2014: Written by Leigh Cesanek, AssociationHelpNow staff writer

    dredging_photo_Richmond_Brent_07.2013_bDredging, the process of removing sediment and debris from lakes and ponds that builds up naturally over time, presents challenges to homeowners associations. Maintaining the environment of an association’s lake or pond provides for an overall better experience for residents and helps to increase the natural beauty of a body of water. Kevin Tucker, owner of SOLitude Lake Management, which provides lake and pond management, fisheries management, and related environmental services for the Eastern United States, discussed the process of dredging and the first step of a solution, bathymetry, for homeowners associations.

    According to Tucker, the costly process of dredging occurs from sediment, grass clippings, leaves, fertilizer, other organic matter, and pollutants contained in stormwater settling to the bottom of these bodies of water. When stormwater is left unmanaged and these sediments build up, the need for it to be dredged becomes pressing because these ponds and lakes cannot function properly with it.

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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry, Published Articles

    When Accuracy Matters: GPS Bathymetric Lake Mapping

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 18, 2014

    Brought to you by our trusted partners at The Mapping Network
    Written by Tyler VanMeeteren, Vice President.

    Matt_mapping_lake_cherokee_sc._cA lake or pond seems serene and effortless to maintain, but under the surface is a dynamic organism requiring expert knowledge to produce a perfect balance. To fully enjoy your waterbody, it is essential to know the facts for making the best lake and pond management decisions: exact acreage, depths, chemistry, etc. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to properly place structure, deliver appropriate fish stocking densities, select the correct fish species, apply the right amount of aquatic weed control product, and of course gain a better idea where those bass may be hiding! An accurate GPS lake map provides the information needed to make the most of your aquatic resource.

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    Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry