There are no Silver Bullets in Lake Management!
Lake management requires vigilance, patience and persistence.
The first question many people ask when considering lake management is what it actually is. Have you ever said, "My lake never looked like this before"? You're probably right. What you are describing is your Lake's aging process, it's called eutrophication. LakeTech provides the expertise, tools and products you need to help implement a proactive science-based approach to manage eutrophication.
Eutrophication is the natural process of enrichment of water bodies by nutrients. Degrees of Eutrophication typically range from Oligotrophic water (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic water (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus). Eutrophication of a lake normally contributes to its slow evolution into a Bog or Marsh and ultimately to dry land. Eutrophication is typically accelerated by human activities in developed watersheds which speeds up the aging process.
How eutrophic a lake is, can be measured and classified using something called the Trophic State Index (TSI). This is a combination of parameters including: water transparency or turbidity (using Secchi Disk depth recordings), Chlorophyll-a concentrations, and total phosphorus levels. TSI measures range from a scale <30 to >80 and from Oligotrophic waters (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic waters (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus).
If an owner or resident 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.
So What Is Lake Management?
For a lake management program to be successful and sustainable, it must not only address the factors contributing to eutrophication, but it must also rely on a systematic approach called integrated pest management (IPM) - aquatic pests are typically algae &, aquatic plants, but can also include mosquitos, midge flies, and other organisms.
Rather than simply eliminating the pests you see right now, using IPM means you'll look at environmental factors that affect the pest and its ability to thrive. Armed with this information, you can create conditions that are unfavorable for the pest by making use of four categories of pest control tactics: cultural, biological, physical and chemical.
IPM programs 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 combination of control tactics and most importantly, evaluating the results. Contact us today to learn how you can use our LakeTech platform to develop your own IPM program and develop a sustainable and successful Lake Management Plan.
Give LakeTech a call today to answer any of your questions about what lake management is and how it can benefit your water.