Lake Management

Approaches and Services for Large Lake Management

The Pond and Lake Connection can create a specialized lake management program based on water body make up, long term goals and the lake owner’s immediate concerns. Designing a management program for larger lake systems requires previous management history and baseline assessments.

Invasive and Nuisance Weed Treatments

The Pond and Lake Connection has specialized equipment for targeting invasive and nuisance weeds in lakes. We operate airboats and large jon boats with outboard motors in large lakes. These boats are equipped with custom pumps and granular spreader units. All of our GPS enabled equipment allows us to rapidly and accurately target a variety of problems while monitoring and recording real time lake information.

Algae Treatment

Planktonic Algae

While species of planktonic algae can only be indentified under a microscope, abundant growth is easy to identifiy visually. A Planktonic Algae bloom can appear as a paint-like scum on top of the water’s surface. The water column turns green throughout and is often described as “pea soup.”

Planktonic Algae can sometimes be mistaken for other growth, such as Duckweed or Watermeal (two common plants found in ponds and still lake waters). You may easily determine if your waterbody has Duckweed or Watermeal by placing the bottom of a glass jar or drinking glass into the water. Remove the jar or glass. Duckweed will look like little flat leaves with small root hairs. Watermeal will look like small green grains.

Filamentous Algae

Filamentous algae may seem like long stringy hairs, cotton-like in appearance. Individual filaments are a series of cells joined end to end which give the thread-like appearance. Filamentous algae can form thick, greenish looking mats on the water’s surface, and many times it is attached to a substrate such as rocks, logs and other plants.

Some filamentous algae may be bright green and slimy, while some may look more like “horse-hair” with a course texture, like that of steel wool.

Blue-Green Algae (Toxic Algae)

Cyanobacteria, also known as Blue-Green Algae, can contain a harmful bacteria and be dangerous to pets and humans. The scum can often smell like sewage or manure.

Not all blue-green algae is toxic. Cyanbacteria, looks like someone took a can of green paint and dumped it into a body of water. This bacteria can also appear reddish-purple or even brown. It is also known in the marine environment as “red tide.”

Harmful algae blooms can decrease the water quality, produce an awful odor or taste, and cause the production of algal toxins. These toxins could cause serious illness or death. Toxic alga coincides with a lot of sunlight, warm temperatures and slow moving water. It can be problematic if the water is left untreated.

Aquatic Weed Harvesting

Harvesting is a great option for controlling larger areas of invasive and nuisance aquatic vegetation. This non-selective method will immediately remove unwanted plants and allow access for swimming, boating or recreation.

Lake Mapping

The Pond and Lake Connection is now partnered with BioBase, a cloud based software that automates processing of Lowrance™ depth finder sonar log files to make aquatic vegetation and bathymetric maps. We make aquatic plant and lake habitat studies cost effective and produce bathymetric and vegetation maps. We can provide more efficient and effective results for our customers while providing them with objective and intuitive images and reports. BioBase provides the accuracy to offer more features in less time. Our imagery and layered mapping make it very easy to recommend management techniques.

Uses of Bathymetric and Vegetation Maps :

  • Monitoring sedimentation and formulating cost-effective dredging plans
  • Determining aquatic weed control requirements
  • Calculating accurate surface areas and water volumes
  • Developing habitat improvement plans
  • Developing comprehensive land-use plans
  • Formulating construction and excavation plans
  • Determining pond and lake renovation costs
  • Developing water-use safety plans
  • Determining lake aeration system design parameters
  • Estimating water loss due to drought or irrigation

Vegetation Mapping and Surveys

Vegetation mapping is a management tool which will give a 3-D picture of amounts and densities of vegetation in the lake. This GPS technology in combination with accurate plant identification allows us to create a comprehensive overview and develop an expert analysis and long term management plan.

Water Quality Analysis

Often the first step in understanding the aquatic eco-system of a lake or pond is the proper identification of the problems. Water chemistry as it relates to water quality is a very important first step to the overall management of a body of water. Poor water quality can promote unwanted algae and vegetation growth, which can also produce an imbalance in the population of microscopic plants, fish, animals and bacteria. Each body of water is a unique and very different eco-system. It is essential that you determine as well has understand the causes of your aquatic problems as well as any environmental impact that may take place to that lake or pond when any actions are taken.

Often the first step in understanding the aquatic eco-system of a lake or pond is the proper identification of the problems. Water chemistry as it relates to water quality is a very important first step to the overall management of a body of water. Poor water quality can promote unwanted algae and vegetation growth, which can also produce an imbalance in the population of microscopic plants, fish, animals and bacteria. Each body of water is a unique and very different eco-system. It is essential that you determine as well has understand the causes of your aquatic problems as well as any environmental impact that may take place to that lake or pond when any actions are taken.

Water Chemistry

Several perimeters exist for water chemistry testing in an aquatic environment. Listed below are a few of the basic sampling guidelines considered in a water chemistry evaluation. These baseline reading will help in the understanding of current conditions.

  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Conductivity
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Chlorides
  • E. Coli  (fecal bacteria)
  • Chlorophyll
  • Dissolved Oxygen

Physical Factors

In addition to the chemical perimeters listed above each body of should also identify the following physical characteristics. These are the factors that affect most bodies of water.

  • Water Volumes
  • Water Depth
  • Water Clarity
  • Temperature
  • Water Movement  (inflow/outflow)
  • Sedimentation or erosion
  • Identify vegetation and algae densities
  • Surrounding watershed

This baseline information is crucial for designing future rehabilitation and maintenance programs.  Each factor will be interpreted and recommendations will be provided on how to improve the existing water quality. The Pond Connection can specifically tailor a site analysis to meet the needs of your lake or pond and provide a written report with simple, concise data for your review.

  1. coli is a bacteria that lives in the bowels of warm blooded animals,  and swimming in water with high levels of it can cause flu-like symptoms like fever, diarrhea, vomiting and rashes.
  2. Contamination can come from a number of sources,  including heavy rain like much of the state has had recently. More rain creates more runoff into lakes and ponds,  increasing the amount of bacteria.
  3. Large groups of ducks and geese also contribute to bacteria levels,  bacteria levels are also high when large groups of people swim in one area.

Phosphorus Reduction

Phoslock can be applied to reduce phosphorus levels in lakes. Phosphorus is a key nutrient which feeds unwanted plants and algae. Lowers the nutrient load in a water system can drastically reduce the occurrence and frequency of water chemistry issues such as Blue-Green Algae/ Cyanobacteria.

Lake Aeration

The Pond and Lake Connection can design and install lake diffused aeration systems. These submersed diff users sit on the bottom of the lake adding oxygen and circulating large areas of water. The lake aeration systems create an oxygen rich environment the decreases chances of algae blooms while stimulating microbial breakdown of nutrients. Diffused lake aeration systems are available in both electric and solar.

Triploid Grass Carp

Aquatic herbicides are currently one of the most frequently used techniques for aquatic plant management. However, there is a natural, biological, long-term approach to keep your pond clean and clear by using fish instead of chemicals which can be expensive and have adverse impacts on the environment. The “Grass Carp”, also call White Amur, is the affordable answer to non-chemical control of weeds and other aquatic plants which infest ponds and lakes, foul fishing hooks, choke outboard motors and hinder water sports.Grass Carp have been used for over 700 years for food and aquatic weed control in China. Their popularity has spread over many parts of the world; these fish are now used in more than 20 countries and at least 35 states in the U.S.Although it is called a carp, it is actually the largest species in the minnow family, and differs in appearance and habits from the common carp normally found all over the United States. The fish are native to climates ranging from cold to subtropical, and are able to withstand a wide range of water temperatures, salinity as high as 10,000 PPM and oxygen concentrations as low as .5 PPM. Grass carp may reach sizes in excess of 25 lbs. and live for 5-8 years or more, which makes them quite cost-effective, weed controllers. They won’t bother your other fish; they’re vegetarians!  In 1981 researchers produced a sterile Grass Carp called “Triploid”. Because of this, reproduction would be impossible for any Triploid Grass Carp that might escape into natural waterways.

For more information about stocking Triploid Grass Carp in your lake, please visit our Triploid Grass Carp page .

Fisheries Management

The Pond and Lake Connection offers a variety of fisheries management services, which include electro-shocking, fish surveys, fish stocking, fish removal as well as permitting and regulatory compliance. Proficient fisheries management is the key to a balanced, thriving and sustainable fishery.

Lake Draw Downs

Lowering the water of a lake can have impact on aquatic weed problems. Water level drawdowns can be used when there is a controlled structure which allows the lake level to be lowered for extended periods of time. Lowering the water level in the winter exposes the shoreline sediment to frost and loss of water. Freezing can have an impact on rooted aquatic plants. Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures kills the plants. This simple, yet low cost method can also have a negative impact on species like frogs, turtles and invertebrates that may overwinter in the draw down areas. Drawdowns may also impact aquatic mammals such as beavers and muskrats.

Dredging

Dredging is the removal is accumulated lake bottom sediments (muck). The buildup of sediment has an adverse impact on water quality, recreation and animal habitat and natural ecosystem. The sources of sediment build up from a water shed include eroding streams and shorelines, urban and agricultural runoff, seasonal foliage and human and animal waste. Dredging is costly and entails an extensive permitting process. This is often not an obtainable solution for many lakes because of those factors. Dredging is typically only needed every 2-3 decades and will greatly improve the lake quality and overall health.

Floating Wetland Islands

Floating Wetland Islands are an aesthetically pleasing, ecologically friendly means of reducing incoming and in-lake nutrient concentrations. The islands are composed of a matrix, made of patented, buoyant, recycled plastic material that is planted with wetland vegetation. The plants and associated microbial community (called a biofilm), support uptake and breakdown nutrients.

Floating wetland islands remove nutrients directly from the water   column, and provide excellent habitat for many birds, insects and aquatic organisms. The islands require minimal maintenance and have an indefinite life span.

Watershed Management

A lake’s watershed is the surrounding area in which water will eventually make its way into the lake. Watersheds vary in size and are based on the topography of a region. Watershed management is a process that results from developing a plan or blueprint of how to sufficiently protect and improve the water quality of a lake and other natural water bodies. Poor watershed management, or lack thereof, can lead to high nutrient loads, erosion issues, and multiple forms of pollution. Efforts in managing your watershed will not be seen overnight, but these efforts are vital to ensure long-term preservation and enhancement of your lake and pond. There are a vast amount of techniques to improve the quality of your watershed dependent on your specific water body.

Members of the NALMS, NY Fed of Lakes, CT Fed of Lakes, PALMS and NEAPMS