Tag Archives: Lake Management

Land And Lake Management

There is a lot of land in the United States That is not being used. Some of this land is native habitat and conservation land, and that is great. Such lands serve multiple purposes meeting important needs like preserving native habitats for maintaining biodiversity, wildlife preservation, erosion control, and aesthetics, to mention only a few. I consider this to be productive, and this is not what I am talking about.

The fact is, that much of the land mass of the United States is owned by people who do not use the land to produce anything, but who bought the land with some vague vestigial sense of an agrarian lifestyle, but who have little concept of what that entails. The same is true with ponds and lakes.

There is an indelible imprint on the human psyche urging us to posses land and live near water even though modern technology has solved most of our agricultural and water delivery needs in most of the western world. It is primal self-preservation which spurs us on.

I will be the first to say that there is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, it may be wise in the event of a tragedy of some type, (don’t think that such a tragedy cannot happen) but what do we do with that land, and those bodies of water if you are not quite ready or able to plow yourself right into farming?

People love being near lakes.

Even if you are just saving the land for the day when some great disaster strikes, or until retirement, whichever comes first, you can’t just let acres of land and water sit idle. They will revert, and what they revert to will not be pretty! They must be maintained, just as our homes and lawns must be maintained, and most of us lack the knowledge, skills, and equipment to handle more than an acre or two of land or water.

Your options are, to do nothing, to do the work yourself, to pay someone to do the work, or to find creative ways to handle the opportunity. That’s where Home And Garden Press can help!

In our sections on Land Management, and Lake Management, we deal with these issues, and offer advice and creative solutions for the perplexing problems of property owners.

Pond Algae Control Is All Algae Bad

Pond Algae Pond Scum

This article is on loan from Lake Advice

We are all aware that pond scum may be the fuel production plant of the future, but in the mean time, it is probably not something you want in your recreational fishing pond. For one thing, it is ugly, for another, it is often stinky, and to make matters worse, it can do harm to other forms of aquatic life, and harbor potential disease carriers like mosquitoes.

Different types of pond algae

So, is all algae bad? The answer is a resounding NO! In fact, the best means of preventing pond scum, or filamentous algae, is by producing another type of algae. Plankton. This single cell algae will remain suspended in water, providing food for the tiny animals that provide food for the larger life forms, which in turn, provide food for your fish, and, if you are a successful angler, food for you.

Pond algae control using algae

Not only does this type of algae feed the fish, it also colors the water. That nice green or blue green tint that you see in healthy ponds and lakes is suspended algae, and one of the best services it provides is tinting the water, thereby preventing sunlight from reaching the bottom of the lake or pond, preventing the growth of unwanted vegetation, and providing  pond algae control.

Yes, pond scum, like most aquatic plant life, gets it’s start at the bottom of the pond, and as it gains oxygen, it floats to the top where it produces all sorts of undesirable conditions, like the ones mentioned above, and including lousy fishing conditions, oxygen deprived fish, and frustration.

Algae for tinting the water

Getting rid of pond scum can be a difficult task, and if the conditions that allowed it are not changed, it will return. Remember, the problem is sunlight reaching the bottom of the pond, so something must be done to prevent it from doing so. This could include raising the water level, which may not be possible in all cases, dredging or otherwise making the lake deeper, or coloring the water. The last, is usually the chosen option. There are dyes which can color the water, but, if fish production is what you desire, remember that dyes do not feed the fish. In small ponds for catfish production, where regular feedings occur, this may work, but where no feeding takes place, or where other types of fish are desired, dyes are not the answer. Once again, plankton is needed to continue the life chain, and prevent the pond scum problem.

How to produce plankton to prevent pond algae

So, how do we produce this plankton? The answer is simple: Fertilize the pond. Now before you start thinking that it is a crazy idea, let me do a little explaining. Fertilizer, usually a fertilizer high in phosphorous, will encourage algae production through a process known as algae bloom, and this will produce the coloring needed to stop pond scum. There are a few things you need to check before you fertilize.

  • First, get rid of the existing pond scum, and give it time to decompose.
  • Second, test the water pH. Anything higher than 8.6, and you need lime to lower the pH. Something between 6.8, and 8.6 is ideal. If it needs correcting, correct it before proceeding.
  • Third, check the secchi depth. It should be between 18 and 24 inches. If the secchi depth is less than 18 inches, there is another problem. If it is more than 24, begin fertilizing as soon as possible, and continue the process throughout the summer, or until the depth is less than 18 inches.

Other factors

There are other factors, like muddy water, which will need to be solved before treatment, and you will need to know the details like how to use a secchi disk, and how much fertilizer, which are covered in these articles:

Lake Management | Pond Algae Pond Scum

Lake Management Lake Weed Control Water Depth Secchi Depth

Flocking Reducing Sediment In Lakes

Preventing Pond Scum In Farm Ponds

Making A Fish Pond From A Farm Pond

Lake Management Lake Weed Control

Lake Management Lake Weed Control

Aquatic weeds can be a huge problem for the property owner. If you use your lake primarily for recreational activities, lake weeds can put an end to your fishing, and other water sports in a matter of weeks if the wrong conditions exist. A lake weed invasion can also cause other problems, like pests in general, and mosquitoes in particular.

What is the best way to handle lake weed problems?

That depends on the nature of the problem. If the problem is an overly fertile body of water, you will need to lower the fertility.

Too much fertilizer

Excess fertility can be caused by nutrient runoff ending up in your lake. These nutrients can come from agricultural sites like adjacent farms and ranches existing upstream from your lake, or from over fertilized lawns in your area, which could even be your own.

Low fertility.

Low fertility means that the pond or lake is not getting the nutrients it needs to produce plankton. If plankton is not produced in sufficient quantity to tint the water enough to keep light from penetrating to the bottom, light will reach the bottom, and plants will grow up from it. This includes the filamentous algae that is often seen floating on a lakes surface.

Shallow lakes

Is your pond or lake so shallow that lake bottom gets light, weeds will grow. The best way to solve this problem is by either raising the water level if possible, or dredging.

Lake Weeds near dock

Weed types

You should also know which category your lake weeds fall into. Are they submersed, emergent, floating, or algae. There is a difference when it comes to treating them. There is a great tool from Texas A & M to help in the identification process. It is called Aquaplant. Aquaplant is also an excellent example of what a website should be!

Methods of aquatic plant control


This is the very best method for controlling any situation. If you can prevent it, you won’t have to control it or manage it in other ways. It just makes sense.

Biological control:

Most environmentally aware individuals prefer biological controls to chemical controls. There are some problems with that idea. Biological controls can be unpredictable, and run the risk of getting out of control if conditions should change. After all, you are adding another invasive predator into the mix!

Mechanical control:

Mechanical controls are great for some aquatic weed work, but not for all. Many aquatic weeds can reproduce from fragments at rates higher than fifty percent!

Unless you are resigned to mowing your lake as you do your lawn, it is a bad idea to fragment the living plants. If they can be cut smoothly, without much fragmentation causing vibration, and completely collected , that is great, but the problem will return from the roots.

Chemical Controls:

Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, the best weed management method, the most eco friendly method after prevention, is chemical lake weed control. It can, and should be, selective.

Aquatic weed control chemical types

Chemicals for controlling and managing aquatic weeds, fall into two categories:
Contact, and Systemic.

Contact Herbicides

Contact herbicides, work quickly, and kill all the vegetation they touch.

Systemic Herbicides

Systemic herbicides, work more slowly, but travel to the root of the plant to kill all parts of the plant.
Which one should you use? That depends a lot on the conditions, and the plant you are trying to get rid of. For more information on lake weed control types see:

Lake Weed Prevention

Biological Lake Weed Control

Mechanical Lake Weed Control

Chemical Lake Weed Controls

Lake Weed Killer: Aquatic Herbicides