While it may look quiet and dormant outside, there are still a lot of things to do to ensure your land and water are healthy and beautiful.
Winter clearing projects
Buckthorn, Sandbar Willow, Cottonwoods, and other nuisance woody species are all ideally targeted in the winter months. When cutting an invasive tree or shrub, it is important to know whether it will re-sprout. If so, then the cut stump must be treated with herbicide. Call ILM if you need expert foliar identification and licensed herbicide operators for your winter woody removal projects.
Plan your budgets
Have your site evaluated and know the recommendations for the up and coming season. Proposals are being created to best suit your individual site needs. Make sure to get your contracts ready to execute.
Lake management planning
The lake is frozen and the summer long forgotten, but this is not a time to forget your lake. Request your ILM project manager to attend meetings for great individual site information and planning strategies and to discuss issues with your lake in order to make changes for the following year.
Are you planning a shoreline restoration project? Dredging? Or maybe something much simpler, like goose control or a prescribed burn? All of these tasks require permits from government authorities, which require time, and possibly review fees. Know what needs permitting and time lines by contacting ILM.
Routine maintenance is essential to increase the longevity of oil cooled fountains. It is recommended at the very least the oil be replaced every 2-3 seasons. The frequency of maintenance and the need for additional routine services is manufacturer dependent. Preventative maintenance allows for early detection of minor problems that may result in more costly repairs if left unresolved.
Clear snow off your frozen pond
When a lake or pond freezes it is encapsulated and receives no external introduction of oxygen from the atmosphere, while oxygen use continues unabated. Sustainable amounts of oxygen can be produced through photosynthesis from the remaining plants and algae if ice remains thin and clear. A fresh snowfall of 0.5” can reduce sunlight penetration to 34%, 8.0” of old compact snow will reduce light penetration to 1%. Clearing snow off smaller ponds on a regular basis is one method to assist in the prevention of a winter fish kill.
Pond and lake mapping
Are you interested in finding out how deep your lake is, especially for fishing? How much sediment is present? Mapping for both water depths (bathymetric) and sediment thickness can be completed either during open water or when the lake ice is several inches thick. Winter mapping involves drilling many holes in the ice and lowering a pole to determine the water depth and total depth (water + sediment). Then we can develop maps of the lake and determine the amount of sediment and need for dredging.
o Winter is the “off” season for most field work but is the “on” season for planning and educational opportunities. Attend conferences to learn more about lakes and natural areas management. Watch for winter and spring conferences here are a few organizations that we recommend: Illinois Lakes Management Association Chicago Wilderness Conserve Lake County