The weather in northern Illinois has been crazy. The drought last year left many ponds very low or even dry. Then we had ice cover on the lakes later in the spring than I have ever witnessed in 18 years of performing lake management work. Then there was the recent flood. Like they say if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change. Growth is exploding in the recent warm weather and it is time to prepare our lakes and ponds for the summer.
Do you remember how your pond looked last summer? Was it covered with algae? Or little green particles called watermeal or duckweed? Now that the water is warming up those tiny plants are starting to grow and will soon cover the pond. It’s important to take action early to find out the cause and be pro-active with pond and lake management.
A pond / lake evaluation measures the quality of your aquatic resource and can provide a baseline to determine changes over time. This evaluation will measure various water quality and biological parameters such as:
- Observe the functionality of the inlet and outlet structures. This determines if culvert repair is warranted.
- Evaluate the shoreline for erosion and non-native species. This determines how much shoreline maintenance is needed.
- Measure the water and sediment thickness at various points. This determines if sediment removal is needed in the near future. It also determines the depth of the water in the pond.
- Test the nutrients in the water and in the sediment. If the pond has high levels of nutrients then it will likely have excessive algae and/or aquatic plant growth during the summer.
- Dissolved oxygen, pH, and conductivity from the surface down to the bottom of the pond. This determines if aeration is needed and if nutrient loading is coming from the sediment into the water.
- Determine the species of aquatic plants observed.
From this survey of your pond / lake will include short report with charts and maps identifying our observations and recommendations with estimated costs to create a healthier aquatic environment. This evaluation is a low cost method to get a baseline of the health of your aquatic ecosystem and allow for issues to be addressed at an early stage while the cost to do so is minimal.
Whatever the problem with your lake or pond, we can help. Please visit our website at www.lakesmanagement.com or give us a call at 847-244-6662.
Sandy Kubillus, Certified Lake Manager