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    Mischievous Mammals: Are Muskrats, Beavers & Otters Harmful to Ponds?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Sep 10, 2018


    Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

    As an ecologist, I field questions on topics ranging from the lifespan of a tadpole to the best way to defend koi against the ravages of a great blue heron. Of all the animals I am asked about, however, three mammals probably produce the most concern and curiosity: the muskrat, the beaver, and the otter.

    Each of these aquatic animals plays a unique role in the environment, fulfilling a niche that contributes to its aquatic ecosystem, and all three animals are frequently found together, thanks largely to the services provided by the beaver. Beavers are perhaps the world’s first engineers, modifying their environment to suit their needs. Relying on deep water for safety, beavers have an innate drive to dam up moving water. When they see a stream, they want it to be

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    Topics: Nature's Creatures, Nuisance Wildlife Control

    Invasive Species Highlight: Apple Snails

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 07, 2018

    Apple Snails (Pomacea maculata)

    As global travel and transport become increasingly accessible, the risk of plant, animal, insect and mollusk relocation becomes greater. This is a serious problem. When a species native to one region is introduced to another, it is considered invasive. Invasive species have few or no natural predators and often destroy entire ecosystems by competing with native species, outgrowing their habitat and decreasing the biodiversity of surrounding life. Take the state of Florida, for instance. The delicate wetlands and aquatic ecosystems in the region are known for their unique diversity. However, increased tourism and shipping ports, along with greater accessibility from South America, have facilitated the introduction of many non-native species to the state, like the invasive and destructive apple snail.

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    Topics: Nature's Creatures, Nuisance Wildlife Control

    Nuisance Wildlife Management: "Dammed" If You Do

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 05, 2015

    AS SEEN IN Community Assets, Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist, SOLitude Lake Management

    Community_Assets_-_March_2015_Cover_eThe North American Beaver, Castor canadensis, is a truly remarkable animal. It is common knowledge that beavers build dams, and that the water held back by these dams provides them with protection from predators. What few people know is that their instinct to build these dams approaches the point of outright neurosis. When a beaver sees or hears water flowing, he is obsessed by a desire to make it not flow.

    In the wild, this little quirk is highly admirable. Beaver ponds provide vital habitat for waterfowl, amphibians, reptiles, and numerous wetland plant species. As beavers were once nearly wiped out across the continent this valuable ecosystem service became all too rare, and many species suffered. Beavers are now becoming common again, and thankfully these key wetland habitats are reappearing throughout their range.

    In a stormwater pond, however, this trait becomes a major character flaw. These ponds are carefully designed to allow water to flow at a specific rate to allow the ponds to be maintained at the correct water level. Any obstruction to the pond’s outflow hinders this operation, resulting in improper stormwater discharge. If allowed to persist, the inevitable flooding can lead to property damage.

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    Topics: Nature's Creatures, Nuisance Wildlife Control

    Pond Management: What are those furry creatures in my pond?

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jan 16, 2014

    By J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist

    The Muskrat and North American Beaver have adapted to the increasing number of stormwater ponds and facilities, and can cause huge headaches if not recognized and controlled.

    Muskrats are small dark brown to black aquatic rodents (16-24 in., 1.3-4.4 lbs.) that live in ponds and wetlands throughout most of the United States and Canada, feeding on the aquatic vegetation found there. Muskrats are prolific breeders and can have two to three litters of up to eight young per litter every year. Muskrats were once trapped extensively for their fur, but reduction of trapping and predator numbers have allowed muskrat populations to remain strong, even with the loss of wetland habitat.

    muscratbThe muskrat has moved into many stormwater ponds, wetlands, and facilities. They can seriously damage these areas by burrowing into embankments, leading to massive erosion and even pond/facility failure. They can also eat installed and beneficial wetland plants. Because they breed prolifically, the population can quickly become destructive. They are active mainly at dawn or dusk, but burrows in the embankment near the water and disappearing aquatic vegetation are indicators of muskrats. There are very few preventative measures to keep muskrats from your pond, but keeping cattail populations under control can reduce the risk. Trapping is the best method to control muskrat populations.

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    Topics: Nature's Creatures, Nuisance Wildlife Control

    Pond Management: Aquatics in Brief - Summer 2013

    by: Justin Phillips   |   Jul 08, 2013

    AquaticsInBrief Summer2013 coverSOLitude Lake Management's latest edition of our quarterly educational newsletter is now available online to provide you with ongoing lake, pond and fisheries management knowledge.

    Learn about effective methods for goose control, how to battle Phragmites, and ways to create excitement through recreational fishing. Meet our new Fisheries Biologist, Jeremy Haley, and learn how you can join us in being part of The SOLution through volunteer efforts. See what our staff is saying about LED lights for your floating fountain, and more, in our latest issue of Aquatics in Brief.

    Click here to read our Aquatics in Brief - Summer 2013 Issue

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    Topics: The SOLution, Pond Management Best Practices, Nuisance Wildlife Control, Aquatics in Brief Newsletters

    The Key to Goose Control

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 14, 2010

    SePRO_Stewards_of_Water_logo-1Information is taken from SePRO FlightControl Plus. To learn more about this product, please visit their web site and contact SOLitude Lake Management today to schedule cleaning and lake maintenance services for your property.

    The resurgence of the Canada goose is one of wildlife preservation’s greatest success stories. With the enactment of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, populations have rebounded to over 3 million and continue to grow yearly. Another reason for this increase is the creation of ideal habitats; large, open, grassy areas often surrounding ponds and lakes. As a result, heavy concentrations of geese feed and nest in playgrounds, corporate campuses, recreational areas, golf courses and residential areas. The geese and their droppings can render these areas almost unusable.

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    Topics: Aquatic Products, Nuisance Wildlife Control

    Humane Goose Control Products for Lakes

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 19, 2010

    goose_d_fenceSOLitude Lake Management, a leader in lake management and maintenance, offers quality flight control products for repelling geese and other birds that pollute your water and contaminate your lake and pond environment. Please visit our online store today to learn more about these effective and safe goose control products designed to keep your water surface free of droppings.

    Flight Control Plus - Spray-applied FlightControl® coats grass with a naturally occurring compound that repels geese. The repellent lasts through several mowings; it has no odor, and rain does not wash it away.

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    Topics: Aquatic Products, Nuisance Wildlife Control

    Humane Goose Control Methods: Prevent Geese From Crowding Your Pond

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 28, 2009

    Crusader_Circle_1HP_Masters_Lakewood_AquaMaster_Fountain_Virginia_Beach_VA_TrinaDuncan_02.17.14_bIf you maintain a lake or pond on your property, you know the importance of regular maintenance to ensure good water quality and the health of any aquatic plants and life residing within. Pest control is a key factor in lake management, but it doesn't necessarily end with getting rid of insect. Geese, while graceful to see as they fly in V-formations through the air, can threaten the balance of your pond's environment if you ignore them.

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    Topics: Nuisance Wildlife Control