If you have a lake or pond on your property, you may be wondering how to take care of it properly. Maybe you have noticed an unpleasant smell or excessive algae growth and wonder how to fix these problems. You need a lake management plan. Consider these tips as you develop your plan.
Determine the Purpose of the Lake or Pond
Lakes and ponds are created for a number of reasons. On ranches and farms, these bodies of water serve as irrigation resources. They are also used to water livestock. Your pond may be for visual appeal only. However, most of the more than 5 million private lakes and ponds in the US were built for recreational purposes. Your first step is to determine the purpose of your body of water. Do you hope to use it for fishing, attracting wildlife, watering crops or livestock, swimming, or simple aesthetics?
Learn About Lake Challenges
Your next step is to learn about the problems that plague lakes and ponds. For example, improper aeration results in dead fish, rotting organic matter, toxic water, unpleasant smells and excessive algae growth.
Test Your Water
Your next step is to test your water. You need to know what your oxygen, pH and nutrient levels are. You should also check the algae and bacteria species that are growing in your water. Your initial testing results will help you create your initial management plan, but you should continue regular testing and adjust your plan as necessary.
Create Your Plan
Now, it’s time to create the management plan for your lake. First, you may decide to properly aerate your water by installing a fountain. This fountain will need regular maintenance. You may also consider aquatic weed control and watershed management techniques that prevent runoff from contaminating your water. For example, native plants positioned three to five feet from your lake’s borders will prevent runoff from entering your water. If your water feature has unwanted fish, you may add removal to your plan. You may start checking for erosion and taking erosion control measures, such as living shorelines.
With a proper management plan, your lake will give you years of entertainment and relaxation.