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    Fisheries Management: Water Quality Woes

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 25, 2019

    dock

    AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by Fisheries Biologist David Beasley

    One of the most amazing attributes of water is its ability to provide people with a sense of happiness. Regardless of upbringing, nearly all of us have something to gain in life by having access to a recreational lake or pond. Some people find enjoyment being surrounded by crystal clear water—the type of environment that entices people of all ages to jump in. Others find greater happiness with fertile, emerald water teeming with life as they spend hours trying to outsmart and entice hearty fish thriving beneath the surface. Likewise, there are some people who have a passion for waterbodies choked out with invasive vegetation, attracting a wide range of waterfowl with an all you can eat buffet.

    Although lakes and ponds have a variety of water uses, each waterbody has natural characteristics and water quality that determine its clarity, vegetation coverage, productivity, and a plethora of biological and chemical influences. Water quality is a primary factor that determines how much effort it will take to transform and maintain the waterbody to meet your goals. As a result, a strategic plan for monitoring and manipulating water quality should be at the center of nearly all aquatic management strategies. 

    After all, water is the medium. If your water isn’t healthy, your pond can’t be, either. If your waterbody is not meeting your aesthetic or recreational needs, it is fair to say that altering the water chemistry will likely increase the chances of success.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Fisheries Management, Fisheries Projects, Published Articles

    SOLitude Acquires Leading Freshwater Management Firm in Florida

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Nov 12, 2019

    ASI release

    Two leading freshwater management companies have united under the SOLitude Lake Management® brand. Aquatic Systems, Inc. (ASI) was acquired by SOLitude in January 2019. All company service offerings and infrastructure were officially unified this month.

    The rebranding of Aquatic Systems expands SOLitude's existing operations across 12 Florida offices. Outside of Florida, SOLitude manages aquatic resources in 35 states. SOLitude is the nation's largest freshwater management firm specializing in sustainable, proactive solutions for communities, golf courses, municipalities, commercial developers and private landowners.

    Established in 1977, Aquatic Systems was an industry leading freshwater resource manager in Florida for over four decades. The company provided eco-friendly wetland and preserve management services, shoreline aquascaping and stabilization, water quality restoration, midge fly assessments, research, consulting and more.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Published Articles

    First Recorded Instance of Lake-wide Eradication of Invasive 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

    The Pond Management “Do-It-Yourself” Dilemma

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Oct 15, 2019

    Virginia Beach (5)-1

    AS SEEN IN Community Manager, a publication of Community Associations Institute (CAI). Reprinted with permission. Written by Gavin Ferris, Ecologist 

    Pond management experts are rarely asked to visit a lake or stormwater pond that is in good health. Though it is not a responsible practice, many property managers don’t call us until significant water quality problems have already appeared. I remember the first pond I was called to in my early days as a pond management professional. A neighborhood association was not able to host their annual fishing tournament because their 5-acre pond was completely covered in thick green filamentous algae. When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was a dozen bales of barley straw bobbing in the green slime. I’ve since had many clients tell me they tried this folk remedy for pond algae, but I’ve never seen it work.

    In the years following that first site visit, I’ve seen lots of homegrown pond management efforts. Sometimes a jug of algaecide from the local farm store or manual removal of the offending vegetation is all that’s called for. But many times, these “do-it-yourself” (DIY) solutions go horribly wrong—and we get called in after a major fish kill or another avoidable catastrophe as a result.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Pond Management Best Practices, 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

    Bioengineered Living Shorelines the Newest Erosion Control Solution

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Jun 27, 2019

    J. Wesley Allen, Environmental Scientist and Regional Manager 

    When development companies design community associations with lakes and stormwater ponds, they envision them as beautiful aquatic resources to attract homeowners, connect with nature and enhance the surrounding property. Without proper management, however, these waterbodies can quickly become eye-sores that produce harmful algae and bad odors, lead to damaged and eroded shorelines, and result in displeased community members.

    Most aquatic management professionals will tell you that when a property manager calls about an issue at their waterbody, it’s often past the point of a quick fix. This is regularly the case when we arrive onsite to look at an erosion issue on a lake or pond embankment. Rather than finding a few problematic patches of rock or soil, we discover steep, unstable banks, deep washouts and extensive bottom muck caused by years without an erosion control plan in place.

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    Topics: Pond Management Best Practices, Published Articles, Buffer Management

    SOLitude Ranked as 12th Fastest Growing Company in Virginia

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   May 09, 2019

    2019 Fantastic 50 Winners

    SOLitude Lake Management has been named one of the 50 fastest growing companies in the Commonwealth by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. SOLitude ranked 12th out of 50 companies honored during their 2019 awards dinner in Chantilly, VA, last week.

    SOLitude Lake Management is an industry-leading environmental firm dedicated to providing sustainable solutions rooted in technological and scientific research and innovation. From the beginning, SOLitude has focused on preserving the natural ecological balance of our aquatic ecosystems while providing clients with superior value and expertise in lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management.

    Now in its 24th year, the Fantastic 50 program is the only annual statewide award celebrating Virginia’s fastest growing businesses.

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    Topics: SOLitude News, Published Articles

    Managing Golf Course Ponds Without Traditional Herbicides

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 18, 2019

    Golf Course Pond - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Golf Course Management: Written by Benjamin Chen, Fisheries Biologist 

    Golf courses are picturesque with their landscaped green fairways and winding paths. While turf management is usually the first order of business for superintendents, lakes, ponds and water features aid in irrigation and help accentuate the beauty of the environment. Without proper management, however, they can cause water quality problems that may become a huge detriment to the golfing experience. In other words, if your greens and your ponds are the same color, we have a lot to talk about.

    Luckily, proactive strategies and new innovative technologies are making lake management without traditional herbicides or algaecides easier than ever—with results that last longer.

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Published Articles, Buffer Management

    Water Quality Testing: A Balancing Act

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 16, 2019

    Water Quality Testing - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Parks and Rec Business Magazine: Written by Trent Nelson, Aquatic Specialist and Business Development Consultant

    Most people have heard the adage that no two snowflakes are the same, but did you know this truth also applies to bodies of water? No two lakes or ponds are the same—and location, the size, water use, aquatic vegetation coverage and type, pond nutrient levels, and water depth are all factors that can combine in unique ways to influence the health of a community waterbody. Oftentimes, odor and water color can reveal a lot; however, the unique characteristics of a lake or pond are not always this simple to observe.

    A professional lake manager tests water quality to determine the unique attributes that make up a waterbody and uses the data to create a totally customized lake or pond management plan. Many different and important parameters can be tested, but the basic values are pH, alkalinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and nutrient levels.

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    Topics: Water Quality/Nutrient Remediation, Pond Management Best Practices, Published Articles

    Using Human Dimensions in Aquatic Plant Management

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Apr 08, 2019

    Pond - SOLitude

    AS SEEN IN Bass Master: Written by Fisheries Biologist Vic DiCenzo, PhD

    Fisheries biologists consider aquatic plants to be an important component for healthy aquatic ecosystems. Aquatic plants serve a variety of functions including production of oxygen, recycling nutrients, reducing turbidity and providing food, spawning substrate and habitat for invertebrates and fish. However, while anglers and hunters favor an abundance of aquatic plants in reservoirs, many lake users prefer little to no vegetation. These differences challenge reservoir managers when developing management plans.

    A survey of 1,299 reservoirs in the U.S. identified excessive plant coverage was a management concern in only 10 percent of the reservoirs surveyed, and not enough plant coverage was a concern in more than 25 percent.

    How much aquatic vegetation should be in the lake? It depends on which stakeholder you ask. On U.S. reservoirs, stakeholders include anglers, hunters, boaters, swimmers, homeowners, commercial interests, wildlife watchers, state and federal agencies, real estate agents, just to name a few. Each of these groups likely has a unique tolerance for aquatic vegetation and reservoir managers must face the challenge of recognizing those differences.

    How do decision makers manage aquatic plants for different stakeholder values? Is there a level of plant coverage acceptable to all stakeholders? How do invasive species affect management options? What does a successful aquatic plant management plan look like?

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    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Fisheries Management, Published Articles