The Heat is On—Will Your Pond Keep Its Cool? Summer was slow to arrive but in the upper midwest it is certainly here. We have had long stretches where daytime temperatures have been in the mid to high 90s with high overnight temps as well—high enough that pond water temps have been climbing fast.
While warm water is great for swimming and recreation it contributes to the explosive growth of unwanted vegetation and stress on fish due to low oxygen levels.
Just like humans, fish require oxygen (in the form of dissolved oxygen) to survive. Your lake’s or pond’s dissolved oxygen requirements are highest in the summer when water temperatures reach into the 80s and 90s. Higher temperatures reduce water’s ability to hold oxygen creating conditions that can lead to fish kills. Dead (and dying) vegetation like algae use large volumes of oxygen as material decays and is digested by bacteria. Oxygen depletion leaves fish and other aquatic organisms with very little of what they need to survive.
We have been monitoring ponds all over the midwest that have been taken over by vegetation such as Water Meal, Chara, Duck Weed, Filamentous Algae, Coontail or even Cattails. Having pond vegetation is good—to a point. But, when the plant material starts covering most of your water surface, bad things—like plummeting dissolved oxygen levels—can happen.
We often go back to the four basic methods of dealing with explosive vegetation growth:
- Preventative measures
- Mechanical removal
- Biological removal
- Algaecides, herbicides, dyes, and beneficial bacteria to slow growth
In addition to taking measures to reduce aggressive vegetation growth, you may want to seriously consider an aeration program to ensure your fish are getting the oxygen they need.
Bjornsen Pond Management can help keep your pond in good health. We have the products and expertise to help your pond “keep its cool.” Check out our pond vegetation control products, Midwest Bacteria, aeration systems, and mechanical tools that will help make short work of your pond cleaning tasks. And, of course, you can always ask us specific questions online or call (319) 350-2918! We are always eager to help!