What Does A Professional Lake Management Service Do?

What does a pond and lake management service do?  It provides consultation services for either building a fishing lake or pond, or corrects problems with a current body of water.  Pond and lake management services exist around the country and are utilized to help homeowners with every aspect of lake management.

Services offered can include lake or pond construction, fish stocking, fertilization, feeders, and harvesting.  The construction phase involves determining the permeability of  the soil, the type of watershed, the need for liners or clay, as well as designing the lake or pond with the desires of the  homeowner in mind, as well as according to what kinds of fish are to be stocked and whether there are to be amenities such as a sand beach for swimming.  A complete analysis has to be done in order to determine exactly what must be done.

Sometimes the services of a professional lake management service are called in because a property is purchased and past mistakes of prior owners need to be corrected.  The skill of professionals can be used to analyze the current situation and give suggestions to correct it.  In some cases, it is possible to tweak the current situation.  In other instances, it may be necessary to do more radical changes.  For example, it may be necessary to remove the current fish population and restock with correct percentages.  Or, an aeration system may need to be introduced.

Prior mistakes that may need to be corrected include over-harvesting desirable fish, under-harvesting predator fish, dealing with undesirable species, dealing with summer fish kills perhaps due to a lack of oxygen, poor water quality, too many weeds, and a lack of fertilization.  The fish populations can be evaluated through use of shocking equipment or nets.  Not only are the numbers of predator and desirable fish determined, the health of the fish population is also evaluated.

Professional lake management companies have equipment and resources available to them that are far beyond the resources of the average homeowner.  They have methods and trained personnel; some including trained biologists that can help determine what is necessary.  A rookie homeowner, trying to understand what to do about a pond or lake by surfing the internet and looking for free information, cannot match the resources of a truly professional lake management company.

Generally the saying “you get what you pay for” is true, and free advice can also be wrong advice.  When you are dealing with something the size of a lake or pond, moving in the wrong direction due to free advice can be very costly.  It is better to do it right the first time, than pay for an expensive mistake twice.

A pond and lake management company can help create the lake the homeowner desires.  For some, it may simply be a place to relax.  For others, it may be a place for some fishing with the grandchildren.  And for still others, it may be a place of trying to create a lake with trophy bass.  No matter what the goals, it pays to get in touch with a professional company for guidance and direction as to how to move forward.

Aesthetic Enhancement of Lakes

While some private ponds and lakes are focused on the fish and fishing, others are created simply to enhance the landscape.  Property owners, property managers, homeowner associations, hotels, golf courses, and resorts all may have lakes that are designed for residents and customers.  Some of these are designed for swimming, but they are not necessarily fishing lakes.   Those in charge of commercial properties should be particularly concerned with the ongoing health of a lake as it is one of the reasons customers come back year after year and season after season.

There are a number of options available when a decision is made to improve the quality and appearance of the lake.  The decision starts with the current state of the body of water.  Something as basic as trash removal may be the first step.  From there, other options exist.  Trees can be planted and aquatic flowering plants added.  There can be construction that restores eroding shorelines.  Sand can be hauled in.  Docks can be built.  The options available depend on the desire and budget of the person or persons managing the lake.

Fountains can be added.  If an older lake is being renovated, a poorly functioning fountain can be replace with a newer model that both works and looks better.  There are many styles and sizes to fountains.  Fountains are not only esthetically pleasing, they also add and mix necessary oxygen to the water for the health of the lake.

Plants increase the beauty of a lake, stabilize the soil, help prevent runoff into the waters, and provide food and cover for any fish or wildlife.  There are both aquatic and shoreline plants that enhance a lake’s beauty.  Talking to a professional will give ideas of what has worked for other people and what has worked well in a particular geographic location.

Lakes and ponds do not simply maintain themselves.  While the aesthetic part of adding plants to a lake is for purposes of beauty, the fact is, plants and fountains offer very real and practical benefits to the lake.  Crystal clear waters are not just a random happening in nature.  They occur when there is the right set of circumstances in the environment.  Mud sloughing off in the water, stagnant water, and barren land with no vegetation surrounding a lake or pond makes for murky waters.  The proper incorporation of fountains and vegetation into lake and pond management can help keep the lake looking pristine.

This is of obvious commercial interest to hotels, golf courses, and resorts.  People come expecting the beautiful blue, clear waters they see in the brochures.  For repeat business, proprietors of commercial establishments need to take a serious look at their lake management programs to keep their waters clean, clear, and healthy.

Fountains in Ponds and Lakes

Fountains are installed into ponds, and lakes for two reasons.  One is aesthetic.  There is a beauty to a water fountain.  It creates an enjoyable environment where a person can relax and be refreshed.  Lights can be added to make it even more beautiful.  Beyond the aesthetic reason, there is another reason for installing fountains, and that is for the health of the body of water itself.

The water in lakes and ponds tends to naturally stratify or separate into layers.  Each layer is distinguished by the temperature of that layer, as well as the amount of oxygen.  During the summer months, oxygen tends to exist more towards the surface of the water, where the water meets the air.  Warmer temperatures distinguish the surface waters.  Cooler temperatures and less oxygen are found towards the bottom of the lake.

When the water and oxygen is not circulating freely in lakes and ponds, bodies of water become stagnant.  The layers become more and more defined.  Oxygen and warm water accumulate on the top layer.  Cold water and a lack of water accumulate on the bottom layer.  Then, all of a sudden, things can turn topsy-turvy.  A summer storm can come with a downpour of cold rain.  The rain descends to the bottom of the lake and stirs up the stagnant water that is oxygen-poor and sends it to the surface.  This abrupt action by nature can cause fish kills.

There is another problem that can occur with stratification.  When there is not enough oxygen at the lake bottom, animals and bacteria can use whatever dissolved oxygen is there. Meanwhile, in the process of the biological life of the lake, dead algae sink to the bottom of the lake. There, bacteria decompose the algae.  This activity accelerates the depletion of oxygen in the bottom layer as the little bit that is left is used to help decompose organic material.   When the oxygen is used, a different kind of bacteria that does not require oxygen begins to take over the task of decomposition.  Nutrients become rich at the bottom of the lake as the decomposition is happening there.  However, since there is no way to get those nutrients to the surface, algae living at the surface begin to die, adding to what is on the lake bottom.  The anaerobic bacteria, those that do not require oxygen, continue to digest what is on the bottom of the lake.  This produces hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs

By having a fountain or aeration system, it helps keep an ongoing mixing of the surface and deeper water, and ongoing mixing of oxygen rich and oxygen poor water, and it leads to a healthier lake environment.  A healthy lake environment means fewer toxic gases, less odor, life-giving oxygen for fish, a better environment in which food that fish eat thrive, and thus healthier fish.  A fountain or aeration system, can provide these benefits of health to a lake, as well as aesthetic beauty.

Lake and Pond Liners – A Real Estate Consideration

In today’s world when water usage is becoming increasingly regulated, seepage from existing ponds and lakes, and proper design of new ponds and lakes, is important.  Man made ponds and lakes are abundant on private, public, and commercial property, such as golf courses.  All of these require management to attain and maintain optimal levels of water quality health.  This is not only a matter to be considered by those managing the property, but also by real estate agents and those considering buying or selling property.  It is useful to know some basics about lake and pond linings.

One important aspect of lake management or construction are liners.  Liners are necessary to contain the water within the lake.  Otherwise, the water may seep out to the surrounding terrain.

Liners are made of varied materials.  Each has its benefits and drawbacks.  For example, two kinds of liners are PVC and Polypropylene.  PVC costs less, is easy to patch, but degrades from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  Polypropelene, on the other hand, is resistant to ultraviolet rays, but has to be repaired with a hot air welder.

Other liners include clay or bentonite.  There are other lake and pond sealing products as well.  Depending on the body of water, different methods may be used to seal or repair a lake.  Lake liners and repair methods have been used in golf course bodies of water, water-ski lakes, private lakes, ponds, lagoons, and fish hatcheries.

The lake or pond seal is like the foundation of a building.  A building requires a good foundation in order to stand, and a lake requires a good seal.   When constructing a lake or pond, there are a number of aspects to consider.  Among these are the size, the geology of the location, the wildlife, the longevity of the pond, the maintenance that will be required, and the property value.  A property of high net worth deserves a well-designed lake or pond.

Consider longevity.  Will the pond or lake that is being constructed be handed down generation after generation?  That will affect how it is built and how it is sealed.  This is also a consideration when moving into a housing community that has a lake or pond.  It is worth asking how it was constructed, for if it was constructed with a cheap liner, it may degrade in a few years and then there will be high costs of maintenance in terms of fees passed onto members of the housing association.  This is also a factor when considering buying a home that has a waterfront property.  How was the lake or pond constructed?  What will be the maintenance cost in a few years?  How long will the construction last?

If you are considering purchasing real estate that either has a lake or pond, or are thinking of developing one on property you currently own, it is worthwhile educating yourself about liners, and other aspects of lake management.  That way, your long term experience will be more lasting with less costly mistakes.

Private Ponds and Lakes

There are over 1,000,000 ponds or lakes in the United States ranging in size from under an acre to over twenty-five acres.  These all have different applications and usages.  A lake or pond can often increase the property value of land.

Some ponds and lakes are on farms or ranches.  These can be used for irrigation, flood control, erosion control, or as a source of water for wildfires.  There are other ponds or lakes that are used to raise fish and wildlife.  Still others are used for recreational fishing, boating and swimming.

Ponds and lakes can be naturally occurring, or they can be designed and built.  When it comes to designing and building a pond or lake, it is far better to go to a professional to design it, rather than initiate a do-it-yourself project that has to be fixed later.  It is generally more cost effective to let a professional handle the job from start to finish, than to call in a professional later to correct amateur mistakes.

Ponds can be built by digging with large construction equipment, or sometimes people build embankment ponds.  An embankment pond is one that is created by building a dam.  However, this type of body of water could be washed out by a heavy rainfall, or through a rising stream, as when winter snows melt.

Excavation ponds are creating through digging and building up levees.  These are the safer ponds/lakes to create.  Permits are required to build a pond or lake, similar to the idea of having a building permit for a house.

A private pond is defined as private if it is surrounded by private land and not located on a natural stream channel.  Stocking or maintaining a private pond requires a permit.  This is because there is the potential of foreign species being introduced that can contaminate adjacent lakes, rivers, or streams and threaten the native fish population.  Those foreign species could then become invasive and upset the ecosystem.

Private lakes and ponds provide private families with opportunities to fish, boat, or swim.  Or the lake can be part of a larger design for entertainment, relaxation, and even meditation.

When creating a private lake or pond, part of the consideration is the design.  If the fishing is to be a big part of the picture, then the lake may be constructed with special considerations to accommodate fish species lifestyles, and also fishermen.  Trees may need to be removed in the process of creating the lake.  The type of soil is a consideration.  Gravel or sandy soils are too porous.  Sufficient levels of clay can hold water, or sometimes lines are used.  The source of water to fill the pond is also important.  Underground water or spring water can be some of the best water.  The slope is also important.  Certain slopes are more or less conducive to excessive growth of weeds.

A private lake or pond can be a lifelong prize addition to a property, offering years of enjoyment and fishing or recreational pleasure.  Private ponds and lakes can be designed with the landowner’s goals in mind.