Published on January 12, 2008
Outline: Outline Leaks Water Quality Muddy water, fish kills, animals Common Plants and Algae and Control Control Methods Grass Carp Barley Straw Update Fish Topics Common species, trout, fish kills Miscellaneous Problems Canada Geese, muddy water New Resources Pond Leaks: Pond Leaks Avoid with proper design and construction! Nearly always necessary to drain pond Simple compaction if good clay present Make-up water – sometimes possible Sealing products Plastic liner - $$$$ Bentonite (one pound/ft2) – also $$$ disc into soil 3 or 4 inches, swells when wet better for coarse textured soils Sodium polyphosphate (0.05 lbs./ft2) white granular form, mix to 8” then compact breaks soil into fine particles blanket of clay 6 inches in depth and compact, refill pond quickly Pond Water Quality for Farms: Pond Water Quality for Farms nitrate-N should be less than 100 mg/L fecal coliform bacteria <10 per 100 ml for adult animals 0 fecal coliform for calves blue-green algae - toxins pH should be 5.1 to 9.0 for dairy cows watch use of aquatic herbicides (copper) iron and manganese - taste problem sulfate < 250 mg/L (mining) Pond Water Quality for Fish: Pond Water Quality for Fish temperature all fish have temperature limits difficult to control – must match fish to temperature used to determine fish spawning times dissolved oxygen normal = 10-15 mg/L warmwater fish like D.O. > 3 mg/L coldwater fish like D.O. > 5 mg/L depletion caused by decay of organic matter most common cause of fish kills in ponds Pond Water Quality for Fish: Pond Water Quality for Fish pH can be treated with chemical additions warmwater fish (6 to 9), coldwater (pH 5 to 9) low pH may cause stunted growth of fish aquatic herbicides many are toxic to fish (especially young fish) obtain a permit and read the label carefully herbicide runoff some are extremely toxic to fish especially high following first rain after application Fish Kills in Ponds: #1 oxygen depletion decay of organic material #2 undetermined disease Noted by death on only one or two kinds of fish #3 pesticides runoff or drift from fields, improper aquatic use #4 cotton wool disease occurs in spring around spawning time soil bacteria infects bluegill, bullhead, crappie #5 winter kill shallow ponds with persistent ice and snow cover Fish Kills in Ponds Pond Water Quality for Swimming: Pond Water Quality for Swimming coliform bacteria 2000 total coliform bacteria per 100 ml of water 200 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml swimmers itch free swimming parasite can be controlled with copper sulfate or predator fish introductions Water Quality for Aquatic Herbicides: Water Quality for Aquatic Herbicides hardness affects dose of some chemicals temperature Many labels recommend temperature range of 60 to 75 F Slide9: First Step – What is the Objective? Aquatic Plants and Algae Cause of Plant and Algae Problems: Cause of Plant and Algae Problems Natural aging of the pond Transport of plants from pond to pond Canada Geese!! Nutrient inputs Ideally – 10-20% of pond bottom and surface will be covered with aquatic plants Nutrient Management: Nutrient Management N and P cause increased plant and algae growth Sources runoff from barnyards, cropland, feedlots sewage systems managed turf (golf courses, developments) Control (BMP’s) - impact will not be immediate! redirect runoff reduce fertilizer use buffer strips (tall grass or forests) maintain on-lot septic systems Plant Identification: Plant Identification Field Guides Through the Looking Glass … (available from Wisconsin Lakes Partnership for $20, 715-346-3424). Many web pages How to Identify and Control Water Weeds and Algae and Aquatic Pesticide Application Assistant CD – both available at 800-647-5368 Send digital pictures to email@example.com Slide13: Filamentous Algae – many species Chara – hardwater areas, encrusted, usually beneficial except in some shallow ponds Algae Control: Algae Control Mechanical Raking, netting, aeration (??) Chemical Copper sulfate or chelated copper compounds Rapid acting, non-selective, contact herbicide (0.25 to 0.5 ppm), cheap more toxic in soft and acidic water may kill sensitive fish (trout, catfish, carp) accumulates in sediment! Dyes block sunlight (blue/yellow dyes), no permit, cheap safe for fish but “artificial” appearance Biological Grazing insects, bacteria products (??) Barley Straw Update: Barley Straw Update Fungi decompose barley in water releases inhibitory chemical (hydrogen peroxide?) Not all algae susceptible Results inconsistent species, water condition, climate Barley Straw Use: Barley Straw Use Break bales apart into loose netting Place in shallow water (< 5 feet) March or April best 225 lbs/acre (~5 bales per acre) Higher dose in muddy water (double) Barley Straw Regulation: Barley Straw Regulation EPA considers barley straw a pesticide It cannot be sold as a pesticide since it is unregistered Important for commercial user but homeowner can still use it as “home remedy” Extension should use care in recommending its use to commercial applicators Slide18: Thin-leaf Pondweed Large-leaf Pondweed Curly-leaf Pondweed Floating-leaf Pondweed Exotic Slide19: Leafy Pondweed Common problem, very dense growth Slide20: Coontail – dense, may float, fragments Watermilfoil – reddish, fragments, feather-like leaves Slide21: Elodea – dense, common in northern PA ponds, aquarium plant, good habitat Slide22: Bladderwort – tiny oval bladders, may float, found in cold, acidic ponds, yellow or purple flowers Slide23: Naiad – brittle, grows in deeper water, fragments Physical/Mechanical Control: Physical/Mechanical Control cutting, raking, mowing, digging, pulling most effective for small quantities near shore usually need to repeat several times per year need to harvest plants if possible mechanical harvesters for larger lakes ($$) can make some problems worse! (naiad, elodea, coontail, etc.) blanket gravel or sand shade black plastic for 30 days deepen pond edges drawdown expose and freeze root stock Biological Control: Biological Control triploid grass carp (white amur) Will eat most submerged aquatic plants pondweeds, naiads, elodea, coontail, muskgrass Not for floaters (somewhat for duckweed) Not for emergents Little control of algae thrive in warm water (68°F+) can reach 25 pounds or more may cause water discoloration sterile fish must be stocked permit required (1 to 15 per acre) koi, carp not recommended Herbicides for Submerged Plants: Herbicides for Submerged Plants Hydrothol 191 (monopotassium endothall) rapid, non-selective, no root kill, high fish toxicity Aquathol-K (dipotassium endothall) same as above, contact stops photosynthesis, Weedtrine-D (diquat dibromide) Reward (diquat dibromide) rapid adsorption, stops photosynthesis, degrades fast Sonar SRP (fluridone) slow acting, inhibits carotene Copper Compounds rapid, non-selective, high fish toxicity, accumulate, inhibits cell growth, generally algaecides Herbicide Use: Herbicide Use Important to make clients aware of state permit requirement There is a large-scale failure to use permit system This could lead to tighter regulation Liability issue Permit ensures correct herbicide and dose Simple, takes about two weeks to get permit, available online Chemical must be EPA registered, PDA listed, and labeled for aquatic use Important that client reads and follows label directions Careful pond measurements are critical Slide28: Cattails – mechanical removal?, can use Rodeo also Slide29: Purple Loosestrife – problem exotic plant in much of PA, Rodeo effective Emergent Plant Control: Emergent Plant Control Mechanical Pulling Cutting – may drown plant Digging Drawdown Chemical Rodeo (glyphosate) moves through plant from contact to roots Weedtrine (2,4-D) roots lose ability to take up nutrients Slide31: Watershield – common in acidic ponds, underside of leaf is purple with gelatinous film, dull red or purple flowers, spreads quickly, BIG problem, Rodeo or 2,4-D product Slide32: Spatterdock – heart shaped leaf, yellow flower Slide33: Water Lily – often desirable, mechanical control possible Slide34: Watermeal Duckweed These are BIG problems in PA, especially stagnant ponds, Sonar best herbicide ($$) Floating Plant Control: Floating Plant Control Mechanical Netting or aeration (duckweed) Pulling or cutting (watershield) Chemical Rodeo (glyphosate) moves through plant from contact to roots AquaKleen/Aquacide/Navigate (2,4-D) roots lose ability to take up nutrients Sonar A.S. (fluridone) absorbed by leaves and roots, inhibits carotene Biological Grass Carp (limited duckweed control) Herbicides Can be Expensive! cost per acre: Herbicides Can be Expensive! cost per acre Reward® (diquat dibromide) - $200 to $400 submerged Sonar® (fluridone) - $500 to $1,000 floaters, some submerged Rodeo® (glyphosate) - $100 to $250 emergents, some floaters Copper compounds - < $100 algae Navigate (2,4-D) - $300 to $600 some floaters, some submerged Fish Topics: Fish Topics bass/bluegill most common and most successful option thrive in warmer water (77 - 86° F) dissolved oxygen > 3 mg/L, pH 6 to 9 requires management and patience abundant small bass harvest bass, slot limit, stock bluegill?, patience abundant bluegill harvest bluegill, limit bass harvest, 15:1 harvest ratio Other Options: Other Options bass only 150-200 fall fingerlings add 8-10 adults bass in spring before spawn great for lots of 9-12 inch bass bass/shiner summer stocking 100 bass, 400 golden shiners faster bass growth, aquatic plants helpful bass/catfish 500 catfish, 1,000 fathead minnows in Feb-Mar 100 bass fingerlings added in May-July Other Fish Species: Other Fish Species shiners - need to be continually stocked perch - prolific, spawn before bass, ice fishing! pike, muskie, walleye - not for ponds channel catfish – spawning and survival unpredictable sunfish - lower winter survival, slower growing bullhead catfish -prone to stunting and overcrowding, may muddy the water, have low water quality requirements crappie - some success in PA with cool, deep ponds, also good for ice fishing Trout in Ponds: Trout in Ponds not well suited to most PA ponds like cold water with dissolved oxygen > 5 mg/L and pH of 5 to 9 cannot compete with warmwater fish “put and take” option stock catchable size trout in spring fish them out before water warms (June) Miscellaneous Topics: Miscellaneous Topics supplemental feeding liming/fertilization pond regulations adding fish structure Muddy Water: Muddy Water “natural” color cannot be removed common in new ponds (exposed soil) other reasons - muskrats, crayfish, fish, livestock, waterfowl, zooplankton, wind control - remove cause? chemical addition (per acre) 1,000 lbs. ground agricultural limestone 740 lbs. hydrated lime 1,000 lbs. agricultural gypsum (not as good) 250 lbs. aluminum sulfate (alum) 2 lbs. copper sulfate (zooplankton) Canada Geese: Canada Geese spread plants from pond to pond! coliform bacteria from waste can be a problem for swimming try to maintain <2 ducks/geese per acre eliminate if using for water supply short-term migrational stops generally not a problem Canada Geese: Canada Geese Man-made barriers Fence Goose Grid -plastic line, checker board, temporary 20 lb. monofilament tied to stakes around pond at 6” and 12” Riprap – 2 to 3 foot band around pond Repellent Turfshield – artificial grape flavor with sticking agent Canada Geese: Canada Geese Harassment Scarecrows like owls, hawks – short-lived Noise Ice Turn off aeration to allow pond to freeze in winter Vegetation Like bluegrass, ryegrass, red fescue Dislike tall fescue, common periwinkle, English ivy, Japanese pachysandra Vegetative barriers – cattails, bulrushes, shrubs, etc. Resources: Resources Pond Management Circular Plant Control Publication (for sale) NRCS Design Publication PSU Fact Sheets (2) Barley Straw Aquatic Plant and Algae Control Others??? Web sites – lots of them! APD display – panels, What’s in My Pond? CD and Book on Aquatic Plants Pond Downlink (video) Repeat?? Muskrats: Muskrats build dens in banks 6-18” below surface burrow extends upward into bank may cause leaks and collapse in poorly designed ponds riprapping shoreline with large gravel from one foot above to 3 feet below water surface may be killed for property destruction in PA Leeches: Leeches flat, dark-colored, parasite attach to swimmers, fish, birds harmless but frightening and detract from swimming use need 5 mg/L of copper sulfate treatment this treatment will kill fish! partial treatment (< 20% of pond area) of swimming area best but temporary Swimmer’s Itch: Swimmer’s Itch not common but occasionally found in PA free-swimming parasite that burrows under skin and causes itch and rash for 3-7 days develops mostly in snails in pond More common in ponds with few predator fish must control snails Largemouth bass redear sunfish (shellcrackers) Copper sulfate at 4 mg/L will kill snails but also kills fish
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