Managing Lakes for Healthy Ecosystems
Lake management can be best understood as a form of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Physical weeding and mowing, cultural practices to reduce nutrient loading and counter other inputs, pest monitoring and prevention, biological controls, and chemical controls are all part of the best lake management practices. The scope and scale of managing lakes required in an IPM program are based on the function and/or form of a water feature as well as its intended uses. Decorative ponds on estates or near wine tasting rooms are more labor intensive; owners often desire specific levels of water clarity and strict thresholds for vegetation and algae control, while irrigation ponds merely require enough labor to ensure they function as intended without clogging pumps, causing mal odors, or harboring vectors of disease.
Managing Manmade Lakes & Ponds
I regularly hear clients say, “My lake never looked like this before”, and they are right, 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 their surrounding environmental conditions for their continued existence from the moment they were excavated. Therefore, if the owner of a lake wishes for the lake to be kept in a given state (oligo, meso, eutrophic), maintenance activities to reduce/inhibit sedimentation, nutrient loading, and other factors, will be required to suspend the progression of eutrophication.
Annual Lake Maintenance
Managing Aquatic Vegetation & Wildlife
Encourage native species and control invasive ones with mechanical, cultural and biological control mechanisms.
Maintaining Water Quality
Maintain healthy levels of dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, total dissolved solids (TDS), specific conductivity, visibility and temperature.
Monitoring Water Quality
Monitor water quality regularly and make adjustment to your lake management plan as needed.
As an owner of a lake, on which so much life is dependent, thoughtful and knowledgeable stewardship requires understanding the impacts of their day to day activities on the property, from their landscaping design and practices, to the detergents and cleaning products they use.