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NFC: Lake restoration report ...new lake old hobby :)

Lake Report Sutters Landing Subdivision
Gainesville Florida 32566
 July 23 1999

I sampled the main lake in the Subdivision  over the course of two weeks.
Multiple samples and techniques were used to give a greater indication of
the lakes condition on a day to day basis.

All physical reports are an average of all data collected.

P.H 6.78 A pH of 6.78 is  very typical for lakes around here and is
within the normal range

Temperature ranged from 82 F at the shore level to 79 F at a foot depth.
Typical for a Local lake

Nitrates were present in above average amounts. Probably due to
fertilizer runoff from yards.

Fish Sampling: After over 8 hours of sampling on the lake the following 
fish were collected , counted and released.

5,000 + Gambusia

6 -2 foot or longer very skinny Channel catfish

9 Juvenile Bluegill

1 Adult Bluegill male observed many other adult sunfishes

2 Juvenile Bass

200+ grass shrimp

snails common

27 crayfish 3 different species

Conclusions: All in all the main Lake at Sutters Landing is in pretty
good shape. It has two major problems that inhibit in its function as a
conservation area and as community recreational area. First and foremost
the use of herbicides has wiped out all rooted vegetation in the lake.
Thus there are to many nutrients and no cover  for smaller fish . Thus
the fishing  is poor and water quality below average. The Aerator
provides sufficient oxygen in the water to support a large fish
community. The amount of smaller fish does not. For a lake to produce
large amounts of sport fish it needs a wide food base. Gambusia as the
only forage fish sampled Gambusia provide a poor forage as they cling to
the edges of the lake so the larger fish can not reach them.  Sutters
landings lakes food base consists of snails , Gambusia , shrimp and young
bass and bluegill. Much to small to support large populations of

After a Lake is chemically treated to  kill all the vegetation  the
"weed" plants grow back fastest and first. Much like if you killed all
the grass in your yard and did not replace it with sod. The most
aggressive and nasty plants would take over. We need to replant the lake
with species we want Otherwise the weeds will take over. Then the
poisoning process would start anew. It will take some time and a
commitment to put the lake back on a natural balanced course but it can
be done.

Recommendations : In no particular order.

1.) Put up signs on all the lakes letting people know these lakes are
Conservation lakes and are catch and release ONLY.

2.) Add 10-15 new species of fish in groups of 100 to the lake. There are
several lake restoration specialist I know who would do it for money.
3.) Set up a budget and a 18 month commitment to take the lakes "organic"
after the initial expense of setup there would no longer be any expense.
4.) Planted rooted plants in the lake bottom I highly recommend water
celery you can get 1000 root cuttings for 129$ at several wildlife
habitat nurseries.
5.) Plant a small section (50-75 feet) of the edge of the as lake a marsh
zone to allow  marginal plants to grow up. These marginal plants provide
food and cover for wildlife and filter the water. I recommend Bulrushes
gets 3-5 feet tall. Grows in 0-3 feet of water provides food for birds
and fish and turtles is a native plant and I volunteer a section of the
shoreline behind my lot.
6.) Add ducks in the fall after we have built up the food base a bit
7.) Institute a 20 feet no fertilizer/pesticide/herbicide barrier around
the lake to limit the washing in of chemicals.
8.) Start an annual kid's catch and release fishing tournament in the
spring. It is a great way to encourage community involvement and
ownership of the Lake.
9.) Place fish buckets in the deepest parts of the lake. Fish will hide
in them and Channel catfish need a bucket or cave to successfully spawn
in a lake.

I also recommend you check out my website at www.nativefish.org to learn
more about native fish and pond restoration projects.

Robert Rice President The Native Fish Conservancy


Robert Rice
Help Preserve our Aquatic Heritage join the Native Fish Conservancy
 at our website  www.nativefish.org