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Making Assumptions in Pond Management

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 08, 2018

Fisheries

Written by Industry Expert Dave Beasley, Fisheries Biologist & Director of Fisheries 

When picturing a perfect day on the water, do you envision the warm sun on your face with a gentle breeze in the air and the relaxing sound of small waves rolling against the shoreline? Or is it the sound of children laughing as they play with a bullfrog being held captive by their curiosity? Maybe it’s the anticipation of the next trophy fish you will catch as you pursue another lasting memory on the water. Regardless, lake and pond owners don’t need to look far to find motivation.

Unfortunately for many property owners, the achievement of goals is not easy, and the path can become plagued with struggles that negatively impact the desired outcome. This is because each aquatic resource is a complex system that experiences continuous physical and chemical changes. As a result, each waterbody is at a unique place in time relative to its own historical experiences. Due to this, people run the risk of making assumptions and drawing conclusions from their past experiences, rather than gathering the facts required to make the right decisions.

To successfully manage lakes, ponds and fisheries, you must first

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Topics: Published Articles, Fisheries Management

Stormwater Management Trends: Environmentally Friendly Pond Maintenance

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 30, 2018

AS SEEN IN Quorum, Washington Metropolitan Chapter and Community Associations Institute: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist

The_Greenlands_1_Summer_Scenic_AquaMaster_Fountain__York_County_VA__Kyle_Finerfrock__2013_cThe last decade has brought major changes to the pond and lake management industry. Every community that has privately maintained ponds, lakes or stormwater best management practices has responsibilities to manage the structural, functional and aesthetic integrity of the facilities. The primary ongoing maintenance issue in these facilities is typically the prevention and control of nuisance aquatic vegetation.

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Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Published Articles

What Largemouth Bass Should I Stock?

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 30, 2017


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

Pond BossChasing the dream of growing trophy caliber Largemouth Bass is becoming more common throughout America. Although managing for trophy bass is an acquired skill that takes years of practice (and patience), we live in a time where pond owners can learn, via a variety of sources, enough to figure out a reasonable plan for success. As many have come to realize, managing for trophy bass can seem as much art as a science. There are multiple paths a pond owner can take to achieve a trophy fishery, none of which is guaranteed to work. Although you can implement various processes and still find success, some strategies are better than others. 

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

Cost-effective Solutions to Prolong the Lifespan of a Stormwater Pond

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 03, 2017

AS SEEN IN Association Help Now PA/NJ: Written by Industry Expert Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist

Prolong DredgingWhen communities begin anticipating and planning for possible future expenses, they will likely discover that the removal of accumulated sediment in stormwater management facilites 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. By better understanding the purpose of a stormwater management facility and employing proper stormwater management techniques, a community can rest assured that the best decisions are made for the pond, the surrounding environment and the community’s budget.

While a stormwater management facility can be a beautiful asset to a community, it also has specific engineered and environmental purposes. First, it is used to slow down and dissipate the energy of the flowing water from rainstorms, which picks up speed and energy as it passes over a community’s impervious surfaces such as roofs, streets, driveways and sidewalks. If the water doesn’t get slowed down by a stormwater pond, it can

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Topics: Lake Mapping and Bathymetry, Published Articles

Fisheries Management: Grow Bigger Bass with Supplemental Fish Food

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 13, 2017

AS SEEN IN The Angler MagazineWritten by Industry Expert Steven King, Field Manager

Supplemental FeedingMany lake or pond owners interested in growing bigger Largemouth Bass would usually consider stocking forage fish as a primary method. However, there are several limiting factors that can affect growth rates, and the maximum potential size of Largemouth Bass, that should be considered first. For example, when a lake or pond already has a substantial population of forage fish such as Bluegill or other smaller species that Largemouth Bass feed on, adding more fish into the ecosystem could actually have an adverse effect by causing an overpopulation issue. Before implementing any fisheries management strategies, an assessment of your aquatic ecosystem and fish population should be performed by an experienced lake management professional to help determine the best strategies for managing your fishery.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

Aquatic Vegetation and Trophy Fisheries

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jul 06, 2017

AS SEEN IN Pond Boss Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Dylan Kwak, Wildlife & Fisheries Biologist

PB_MayJun17_Kwak (1)-e.jpgLakes and ponds are scattered across many a countryside. Anglers often seek trophy fish and spend considerable amounts of time and money to create trophy fisheries. Although it is widely understood in professional circles that multiple strategies need to come together to establish and maintain a trophy fishery, many lake and pond owners struggle to reach their goals. Sure, pond owners understand the basic value of habitat, and know it takes ten pounds of baitfish for a game fish to gain a pound. They often seek the perfect mix of stocking rates, genetics, and water quality to create the best fishery possible, but don’t understand the importance of aquatic vegetation management as a crucial element that ties a system together to produce and grow those special fish.

When thinking about what an ideal lake looks like, the image of a clear lake with fishable banks and abundant wildlife often comes to mind. However, when managing a lake for fish production, it is important to take a step back, or in this case, a step into the water, and look at the lake from a different perspective—a fish’s perspective.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

Managing Mosquitoes: Help Reduce the Spread of Disease

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 19, 2017

AS SEEN IN Various Community Associations Institute Chapter Newsletters: Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist

Managing MosquitoesI was on a genealogy website not long ago when I was reading about an ancestor, and this line stuck out to me: “…the first year after his return from the army he was able to do but little work, as he suffered greatly from fever and ague, which he had contracted in the service.” Fever and ague was, at the time, the terminology used to describe what we now call Malaria, and the war in which my ancestor contracted the disease was the American Civil War. He probably was bitten by an infected mosquito somewhere in Virginia.

Zika virus is making a lot of news lately, but mosquito-borne diseases are nothing new in the United States. Malaria was common over most of the country up through the 1800s, and wasn’t eradicated here until the early 1950s. Other mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus, and more recently Chikungunya, are currently carried by mosquitoes in the United States, and can pose a serious threat to public health. Preventing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, and the other unpleasant consequences of mosquito infestation, requires a proactive multi-pronged approach. It is important to understand the biology of the mosquitoes involved, their behavior, and how environmental conditions contribute to mosquito problems.

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Topics: Mosquito and Pest Control, Published Articles

Fisheries Management: The Benefits of Electrofishing

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 15, 2017

AS SEEN IN The Angler Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Steven King, Field Manager

ElectrofishingWhether you’re interested in creating a prized trophy fishery or just want to improve the health and longevity of your fishing pond, electrofishing is an essential tool for fisheries managers. This method is the primary sampling technique used to gather necessary information about the current state of a waterbody and determine what can be done to meet or exceed the goals of the specific fishery.

What exactly is electrofishing?

Electrofishing helps biologists track reproductive success and survival rates of fish species. The assessment is performed by sending an electric current into the water in order to safely stun any nearby fish. Stunned fish can then be easily scooped up in a net and placed in a temporary holding tank where they can revive and be observed for data collection. Most often, fish are measured, weighed and marked with PIT or Floy tags, which are used to determine the health and growth of the fish year over year. Then, they are released back into the water completely unharmed.

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Topics: Fisheries Management, Published Articles

A Dirty Day in the Life of a Lake and Pond Manager

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 13, 2017

AS SEEN IN Quorum Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

cai-dc-metro-page-pond-manager-e.jpgThere are numerous reasons why a homeowner’s association would hire a professional company to do certain jobs rather than having the work done “in-house” by members of the community. It may be that the task requires technical expertise or special training, and there may not be residents qualified to perform the service. Or perhaps the nature of the job would require extensive manpower or specialized equipment. But let’s face it—sometimes the job is just so unpleasant that no one from the community would be willing to do it.

Welcome to a day in the life of a lake and pond manager. Our job requires all that was noted above - education and technical certification, physical exertion, training with specialized equipment, and yes, the willingness to perform services that others might find objectionable. One of the necessary tasks performed by our aquatic specialists is the application of herbicides and other products used for water quality management. In every state where we work, pesticide applicators are required to receive extensive training and to pass an examination prior to receiving a license to apply the products. And while all of the substances that we apply to the waterbodies that we manage are completely safe for humans, wildlife, and the environment when used according to the product label, many of the products do require that personal protective equipment (PPE) is used by the applicator when handling the products at full strength, and during the mixing and application process. Although there is increasing concern from the public regarding the use of pesticides, the process is very safe for the aquatic ecosystem when the appropriate product is selected and applied properly by an experienced licensed technician.

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Topics: Published Articles, SOLitude News

Invasive Species Removal: Restoration of a Coastal Freshwater Pond

by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 05, 2017

AS SEEN IN Land and Water Magazine: Written by Industry Expert Keith Gazaille, Senior Biologist and Regional Director

Mckill Pond_Cover_e.jpgEffective Control and Removal of Non-Native and Invasive Plants to Restore Open Water and Wetland Habitats

Project Background
The Mickill Pond system is a freshwater pond group located on a 15-acre private property at the southern tip of Westerly, Rhode Island, in an area known as Watch Hill. The ponds are separated from Block Island Sound by an approximate 250-foot-wide coastal dune and beach. Given the increasing development of the Rhode Island seacoast, this freshwater pond system represents a unique and desirable wetland habitat feature for the area and the state. Over the last decade, the ponds and associated wetlands became infested with non-native and invasive plant growth, specifically, common reed (Phragmites australis), porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica). These species developed dense monotypic stands throughout the wetland areas and significantly encroached on the ponded areas, reducing open water. As a result of this invasive species colonization and the subsequent loss of species diversity and richness, the property owner sought to develop a project to control the invasive plant growth, restore open water and increase a diverse native plant assemblage.

Site Assessment & Plan Design
Coastal freshwater wetlands support many desirable and even rare native plant and animal species; therefore, the introduction and expansion of invasive plant growth threatens the resources’ ability to provide the habitats necessary for these species to flourish. In order to design an appropriate wetland restoration plan, the project team first cataloged plant species and mapped existing habitat zones.

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Topics: Invasive Species, Published Articles

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