What’s the pH?
Oftentimes, the species of fish present in a lake will dictate the optimal pH. However, while pH is an important and frequently measured water quality parameter, there are several others that are more likely to impact fisheries. Dissolved oxygen content, temperature, and the consistency of these values throughout the water column are vital in maintaining a healthy pond. Also, the presence and concentration of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous can greatly affect the overall health and aesthetics of a fishery. ACI provides our clients with in depth laboratory water quality analysis as well as on site water quality testing in order to better manage their water resource.
How much aquatic vegetation growth is desirable in my lake or pond?
The growth of certain species of aquatic vegetation and algae is considered very beneficial to lakes and ponds. Rooted aquatic vegetation such as pondweed, and water milfoil can provide oxygen production, as well as promote the growth of aquatic invertebrates that serve as nutrition for sport fish species. However, in many climates these species grow extremely rapidly and must be kept in check throughout the growing season. Chara, which is a branched form of algae growth, is also considered very beneficial at maintained levels due not only to its ability to promote oxygen production and provide habitat, but also for its ability to promote excellent water clarity. Our lake management programs are designed to allow aquatic vegetation to provide these benefits, while maintaining only healthy levels of growth as not to interfere with aesthetics or angler access.
Are the chemicals used to control the algae and aquatic vegetation safe?
Yes, when applied correctly by professional applicators. Each of the herbicides and algaecides that ACI uses is registered with the USEPA, and has been subjected to several intensive toxicity and ecological threat evaluations. ACI biologists are certified pesticide applicators in each of the states that we conduct business, and ACI follows strict regulations for application and reporting in each state. Also, our biologists attend annual training and continuing education courses to maintain the highest level of safety and quality for our clients.
What species of sport fish can I stock in my lake?
The answer to this question depends largely on climate and water temperature. Warm water sport fish such as bass, catfish, and sunfish can endure reasonably cold water temperatures, but thrive in areas where summertime water temperatures are in the 80 degree F range. Trout species on the other hand are far more sensitive to water temperatures. In areas where water temperatures rise over 70 degrees F for long periods of time, it is unlikely that significant numbers of trout will survive the summer.
How many fish can I stock?
ACI biologists use the data gathered in our lake assessments to formulate stocking rates based on the carrying capacity of each lake. There are several variables that help determine how many sport fish a given body of water can support. Some of these variables include: surface area and volume, food source (artificial food or baitfish), and water quality values. ACI provides our clients with comprehensive fisheries management plans based on their individual goals for their trophy fishery.
Will fish reproduce in my pond?
The answer to this question depends on the species of sport fish in a pond. Bass, catfish, and sunfish can and will reproduce in lake environments. However, trout species (except brook trout) need flowing water, as in a stream environment, to successfully reproduce. In many lakes and ponds, trout species will attempt to spawn and sometimes spawning stress will result in mortalities. Even when eggs are successfully deposited and fertilized, without stream flow conditions the eggs will not survive.
Do I need a liner in my Lake?
The need for a liner in a lake or pond depends on the make up of the soil that comprises the lake bottom. Liners are necessary in areas where the soil is sandy, rocky, or lacks sufficient clay makeup to promote compaction and prevent seepage. Even in soils where clay is high, some seepage is likely. The installation of a liner eliminates virtually all seepage loss, and can actually pay for itself over the life of a pond by reducing costs associated with adding water on a more frequent basis. ACI installs lake liners in a majority of the lakes that we build, and the liners are always plated with at least 12 inches of soil. A gravel cap can also be added to the plating process to promote water clarity and increase aesthetics.
How much does it cost to build a private lake or pond?
The total price for construction of a new lake or renovation of an existing lake depends primarily on the size of the lake and the amenities that the owner includes in the project scope. Amenities such as lake aeration systems, artificial fish habitat, and bank stabilization are always recommended to help protect, enhance, and maintain the investment of a new or renovated lake. However, extra amenities such as vertical rock walls, fish feeders, boat docks, and re-circulating stream systems can be added to increase the overall aesthetics and individuality of a project. Call Aquatic Consultants today to discuss your vision, and schedule a time to meet with our design team.
Why does ACI recommend installation of a diffused air aeration system?
Dissolved oxygen levels are very important in overall lake health. Aside from being necessary for fish and other aquatic life, oxygen promotes the efficient decay of organic matter which helps limit excess nutrients that can cause problem aquatic vegetation and algae growth. It is important to have sufficient dissolved oxygen in the water, but it is also very important that the oxygen be at consistent levels throughout the water column. Our aeration systems ensure proper oxygen mixing, which prevents stratification that can lead to lakes "turning over" often resulting in fish kills. In areas where winter ice is problematic, aeration systems keep areas of the water exposed. This allows for gas transfer to the atmosphere, and prevents winter fish kill problems.
Can ACI help with my backyard koi pond?
Aquatic Consultants provides construction, renovation, and management services for clients with ponds approximately one surface acre and larger. For backyard ponds, we typically direct people to a local landscaping company, as construction and management techniques for ponds of that small size vary from those of larger ponds, lakes and streams.
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"The work you completed on the ranch gave us an excellent idea of the resource we had, and the corresponding stockings helped us redistribute our fish to provide more angler opportunity...a great job."
Baca Ranch Manager
Valle Grande New Mexico