POND WEED & ALGAE CONTROL
Pond Services and Pond Maintenance
Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Northern Illinois
HERBICIDE & SUPPLEMENT APPLICATIONS
At Cason & Associates, servicing the Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, & Northern Illinois areas, all of our biologists are trained, licensed and insured professional aquatic applicators. Several of our staff are also certified in forestry herbicide applications.
Our primary lake applications are using herbicides to control invasive species, such as Eurasian/Hybrid Watermilfoil and Curly-Leaf Pondweed. Other uses include treating navigation lanes through dense emergent and submergent plant growth.
Depending on the target plant species, our biologists will design a treatment regime that fits your budget and will work with the WDNR to obtain permitting.
The most common issue in ponds is nuisance algae and plant growth due to excess nutrients in the system. These excess nutrients can either be the result of internal or external nutrient loading. Simply put, nutrient loading is the quantity of nutrients entering an ecosystem in a given period of time. The nutrients we are most concerned with are phosphorous and nitrogen. These nutrients are necessary for plant life and they are in limited supply in most water systems. Even a small overload of these nutrients can become a large problem in a pond or lake.
Phosphorous can be directly introduced by overland flow of water coming from agriculture, well water, bird and fish fecal matter, and even spring water. Indirectly, phosphorous can be introduced by a process known as internal nutrient loading. Internal loading is the breakdown of sediment on the bottom of the pond that releases nutrients as a byproduct.
To combat these problems, Cason & Associates, servicing Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, & Northern Illinois, has assembled a suite of options to customize nutrient management in your waterbody and/or to make your waterbody look as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
These products include:
Phosphorus reducing and binding agents
Beneficial bacteria to break down organic matter
Enzymes to break down molecules and cell walls for digestion
Herbicides and algaecides to combat nuisance plant growth
Biocatalyst adjuvants to help herbicides and algaecides penetrate, kill and decompose plants and algae
Dyes/Colorant to change pond water to a pleasing blue, black or midnight color
Several of our employees are forestry herbicide application certified.
CATTAIL & PHRAGMITES MANAGEMENT
Both cattails and the invasive phragmites are nuisance species that are detrimental to aquatic habitats. Both species crowd out native plants, obstruct views, provide unsuitable habitat for wildlife and contribute to organic muck accumulation.
Cason & Associates has the resources to manage cattails and phragmites on both private and public properties, in our service areas of Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan & Northern Illinois. We use EPA-registered herbicides in combination with biocatalysts that increase herbicide efficacy and cause the plants to fall over and begin decomposition. The bacteria and enzymes in these biocatalysts speeds up the plant's breakdown. Any plants that may remain upright after treatment are cut down.
AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT
Cason & Associates provides aquatic invasive species (AIS) management services to our clients in Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, & Northern Illinois. While newly established species are on the horizon, the two main AIS of concern are Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed.
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is an exotic submergent aquatic plant originally from Europe and Asia. It is an aggressive, rapidly growing plant that displaces native plants and clogs waterways. Eurasian watermilfoil poses serious threats to the ecological health and recreational value of lakes. Found in scattered areas throughout the U.S., the plant has recently invaded lakes in Wisconsin.
Eurasian watermilfoil can grow to the surface in waters as deep as 20 feet. When mature, the plant forms a dense surface mat or canopy that may be thick enough for birds to walk on. Boating, swimming and fishing activities are often inhibited by this mass of vegetation.
Due to its aggressive early-season growth, Eurasian watermilfoil displaces nearly all native submergent plant species. Studies have shown that this reduced plant diversity results in a reduced diversity of invertebrates and other organisms that fish feed upon.
The extremely dense plant beds formed by Eurasian watermilfoil provide excellent cover for juvenile panfish – to the point where they are virtually inaccessible to predator fish. This typically results in overabundant, stunted populations of panfish. Correspondingly, growth rates of predator fish such as largemouth bass and northern pike are reduced.
Stagnant, oxygen-depleted conditions are often found in association with dense beds of Eurasian watermilfoil. The sudden nutrient release caused by the late-season die back of massive plant beds may also cause nuisance algae blooms.
Millions of dollars are spent annually to control Eurasian watermilfoil. Left unchecked however, the loss of real estate values and the losses to tourism and recreation-based industries would be far greater.
Curly-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) is an exotic submergent aquatic plant native to streams in Europe and Asia. It was first documented in Wisconsin in 1905, and is now found throughout much of the U.S. Unique growth characteristics allow curly-leaf pondweed to have a competitive advantage over native plants. While not as aggressive as Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed can achieve nuisance densities that impede recreation, threaten lake ecology and decrease water quality.
Curly-leaf pondweed begins growing in late fall and will grow under the ice. By spring, the plant will have a head start over native species. By early summer, curly-leaf pondweed often forms dense mats that reach the surface. At this stage, the plants have formed a vegetative reproductive structure called a turion. By late summer, usually August, adult plants die-off and decay, leaving behind the turions. When waters cool again in fall, these turions germinate – repeating the life-cycle.
One benefit of curly-leaf pondweed is that it provides winter cover for fish. However, its early-season growth gives it a competitive advantage that often causes it to displace important native plants. A late-summer die-off then, can lead to a sudden loss of habitat for fish and invertebrates.
Dense beds of curly-leaf pondweed can clog boating lanes and inhibit traditional recreational uses, such as swimming, fishing, and sailing. Even waters that historically had limited plant growth due to high turbidity may develop nuisance levels of curly-leaf pondweed. The plant’s early-season growth often allows it to proliferate in lakes that may become too turbid for other species as the season progresses.
Dense plant beds may lead to stagnation, sediment accumulation and oxygen depletion. The greatest water quality impact of curly-leaf pondweed however, is caused by the plant’s massive die-off during the warmest time of year. The nutrient release from tons of rotting vegetation typically causes nuisance algae blooms and increased turbidity.
Prior to managing these invasive species, understanding their distribution and densities is important to designing an appropriate management plan. Cason & Associates conducts point-intercept and aquatic invasive species surveys to identify all invasive species within your lake, in Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Northern Illinois. We will then provide you the maps and management recommendations that are specific to your lake and your budget. To learn more about our aquatic plant surveys, click here.
AQUATIC PLANT SURVEYS
If you need information on your lake’s aquatic plant community as part of a weed harvesting program, herbicide treatment program, exotic plant monitoring program or simply to assess the ecological health of your lake, in the Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Northern Illinois area, Cason & Associates has the tools and expertise to help you manage your aquatic plants.
We use the reproducible point-intercept survey method developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to map and monitor aquatic plant communities. These surveys provide statistical data to document and assess changes in the plant communities including the number of species present, species abundance, percent frequencies, plant growth depths, floristic quality and much more. The data collected from these surveys can be readily compared to other lakes, and are regularly used to assess long-term management impacts.
AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES SURVEYS
To manage aquatic invasive species, a different type of survey is required. Aquatic invasive species surveys cover the entire littoral zone of a lake and rely on visual searches, side and down imaging sonar and rake throws to locate and identify any aquatic invasive species in your lake.
Once located, the species are identified and mapped using a GPS. We then create in-depth, highly accurate distribution maps using ArcGIS for our clients. These maps and the data collected during the survey are essential to guide targeted management activities
EMERGENT PLANT SURVEYS
If your goal is to manage white water lilies, spatterdock, pickerelweed, and other emergent plant species, we offer emergent plant surveys. These surveys map the location and size of all emergent plant species and are used to guide plantings, harvesting, and fish and wildlife habitat.
Cason & Associates provides high quality bathymetric mapping services to our clients. Many lakes, in Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, & Northern Illinois, were mapped in the mid-1900's. These outdated maps have provided the basis for lake management activities that involve water volume calculations, mapping the littoral zone, installing fish habitat structures, determining locations for water sample collection, etc.
Unfortunately, land use and water levels have changed over time. With time underwater contours change, as lake bottom sediments shift and decaying plant matter creates organic sludge that settles to the bottom. As a result, many lake contour maps are no longer accurate.
Today's technology allows us to create very accurate, high resolution bathymetric maps, which allows for more accurate lake assessments to guide management activities.
WHY IS BATHYMETRY NEEDED?
One specific need is for whole lake treatments of aquatic invasive species. In order to conduct a successful large-scale treatment, we need the accurate water volume to calculate herbicide concentrations to avoid under or over applying an herbicide. Under applying could result in a treatment failure and wasted funds. Over applying could result in damaging native plant communities or violating permit conditions.
Other reasons may include:
Water quality management that focuses on nutrient loading, nutrient management and reducing algal blooms
Designing an aeration system
Determining locations to install fish habitat
Updating old maps just to have new information for recreational users
Contact us to learn more about bathymetric mapping and to learn if this service is appropriate for your project, in Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, or Northern Illinois.