Why manage your lake?
In a word, eutrophication, from the Greek word eutrophos, meaning “well-nourished”.
The process of eutrophication is natural, but it can also be accelerated by human activity. One way to think of eutrophication is the lake’s aging process. For many lakes, as they age over time, there’s a build up of nutrients, sediment and plant material which slowly fill up the lake basin. Eventually, the process ends and the basin becomes colonized with terrestrial vegetation. The timing of natural eutrophication is highly variable and depends on the characteristics of the basin, the watershed and the climate, however humans by altering nutrient inputs have greatly increased the pace at which eutrophication occurs.
What is lake management?
For a lake management plan to be successful and sustainable, it must rely on tactics that address cultural, biological, physical and chemical management; we call this integrated pest management (IPM). A good lake management plan will include pest monitoring and prevention, cultural practices to reduce nutrient loading, biological controls such as the introduction of predators and competitors, physical weeding and mowing, chemical controls. An often overlooked component of an IPM program is to incorporate the management tactics described above into a systematic approach. The five-step approach involves identifying the problem, monitoring its behavior, assessing its impact, implementing a control tactic and evaluating its results. The scope and scale of an IPM program is based on a water feature’s intended uses. Owners of decorative ponds often desire specific levels of water clarity and strict thresholds for vegetation and algae growth. Irrigation ponds merely require enough labor to ensure they function as intended without pumps getting clogged or causing mal odors.
Lake Management Consulting
Develop a Lake Management Plan
We use a comprehensive IPM approach to create a lake management plan that works with your budget and fits your needs.
From years of experience, we know the best in the industry. We will recommend the right products, equipment and contractors for your budget and needs.
We coordinate and oversee work done by contractors so you can rest easy knowing your lake is managed by a professional.
Managing Manmade Lakes & Ponds
I regularly hear clients say, “My lake never looked like this before”, and they are right. What they are describing is the aging process of eutrophication. Manmade lakes by definition are of course not naturally occurring. If a geographic location was conducive to the formation of a lake, there would likely already be one there. This means that manmade lakes are already in an even greater struggle against the factors that influence eutrophication, which are trying to fill in the lake from the moment it is excavated. A lake’s age is classified by something called it’s trophic state (oligotrophic, mesotrophic, eutrophic, hyper-eutrophic). If an owner wishes for their lake to stay young, maintenance activities that reduce and inhibit sedimentation, nutrient loading, erosion, runoff and other factors will be required. Ultimately, all of your management strategies should be focused on suspending the progression of eutrophication.
As an owner of or resident on a lake in which so much wildlife is dependent, thoughtful and knowledgeable stewardship requires an understanding of how your day to day activities impact your lake. Understanding the pros and cons of your actions not just in the lake but in the surrounding watershed is vital for responsible management and your continued enjoyment.