What is Lake(s) Management?

The question seems simple enough, but the answer is almost always different depending on who you ask.  It certainly takes on a different meaning if you are a consultant vs someone sitting on a lake association board.  This creates somewhat of a dividing line between those who are formally educated and/or experienced in the application and management of lakes, streams or surface water bodies from those who are stakeholders on some various level just enjoying the views.  Not only do views change among individuals, but textbooks and guidelines show differing opinions on management strategies.  Additionally management style may also be dictated by available funds.

Furthermore it could be determined that some lakes require more hands-on management than others.  In one case an oligotrophic lake in northern Wisconsin, with limited nutrient input from the watershed can seem self sustaining versus and urban impoundment in suburban Illinois which needs constant restocking and algal control.  So maybe the question isn’t as easy to answer as initially thought.  What appears certain within the realm of lake management; however is that it involves more than just the lake and whats happening from shoreline to shoreline.

In an ideal world all bodies of water (lakes, river, creeks) work the same, but that is most certainly not true.  If a human body is the reflection of what we put into it and we can agree that (for the most part) lakes function in much the same way, why do we continue to dump the majority of our money into treating the lake rather than the input?  Is it a sense of instant returns?  Yet these are the requests we see every day…a need to treat “weeds”, the desire to dredge, more shoreline frontage. Few of which constitute any direction improvement on water quality.  Isn’t that what we are really after?

At the end of the day there is really no blueprint to correct lake management.  All this article suggests is a look beyond the shoreline and for better ways to spend your time and money than spraying algae beds.  Find out what watershed your lake is in.  Be conscious of how the water gets in and where it has been.  Try to learn about the processes that lead to in-lake changes.  Get to know your neighbors and neighboring lakes.  Strategize with others to make a plan.  After all lake management should be fun and not frustrating…

-p0sted by Admin

Our love affair with Water

Those of us from the upper midwest tend to have a love affair with water.  Some of us grew up around water, some of us live on water, some are avid fishermen, but there is a certain calmness and serenity that comes with water, and the lake environment brings this out more than most.  Even most recreational users enjoy the setting for more than just running up and down the shoreline full throttle.

The majority of lakes in the State of Illinois are the responsibility of the lake property owners as few are public or quasi public.  Because of this the management of these lakes is also privatized and the decisions on how to best “use” the lake is often a decision made by local property owners with varying agendas.  How do we best protect and manage our waters in the State of Illinois?  Opinions certainly vary.  Is it best to protect and manage our lake for fishing?  Is it best to manage for recreational navigability?  Is there a balance that can be obtained?  The answers to these questions are not black and white as our lakes are all a bit different.  No two lakes are identical and therefore the blueprint for maintaining our waters would be somewhat varied for each.

On back to the original theme of this post, how does our need to be close to the water directly impact the source?  What compromises are people willing to make in their daily lives to be a better lakeside property owner?  To better protect the adjacent waters or downstream water resources?  Dig into this new blog and our hope is that with time the content contained within will become a useful tool for private citizens as well as water resources professionals.  We will update content when we can and do our best to keep followers updated with pertinent information.  Subscribe or check back often to share your love affair with water together with us!

-p0sted by Admin

Welcome to Illinois Lakes Blog!

This is the official launch of the Illinois Lakes Blog.  The goal of this blog will be to fill in the gaps for communication with interested lake property owners, lakeside property businesses, watershed partners, recreational enthusiasts, water resources professionals, and other lake and water resources stakeholders.  This blog is hosted by a number of dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to provide a platform for discussion in a way that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets cannot.  This Blog is intended to provide fruitful conversation and more in-depth information between its users.

-p0sted by Admin