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#44771 07/11/03 12:40 PM
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keelyb1 Offline OP
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I check out this site occasionally and must say that I have learned a lot from reading the posts. Grew up on a farm in Missouri w/ several ponds and can't believe some of the things that my dad and grandpa did out of ignorance (put 3, 15 pound+ flathead from the Missouri River into a pond; put crappie in a couple 1/2 acre ponds w/ bass/bluegill; releasing fish into ponds caught from other places without rhyme or reason; allowing algae to choke up ponds; just not thinking about the ecology of the ponds in general. I can't wait to get back to Missouri and see if I can work on these ponds to get them back into shape. Most of them have clarity issues, algae problem and fish populations way out of balance.

I am currently working on a master's in environmental science and would like to someday work in fisheries working with land owners. In one of my classes, we have been learning about macroinvertebrate sampling to get an idea about the ecological integrity of a waterbody. Different macroinvertebrates have different tolerance levels for DO, pH, etc. It gives you more of a long-term view of water quality as opposed to a one-time water chemistry sample. It can also give you an idea about the health of the food chain since macroinvertebrates are an important energy source. My question is this. Do any of you use this type of sampling in your ponds/lakes? If so, have you found it useful?

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself, pose a question and to mention how great this forum was.

Thanks.

Brian Haymart

#44772 07/11/03 07:52 PM
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Bryan, How does a long term view work? Is it dependent on whether I have or have not recently fertilized, added aeration, restocked, overstocked, added beneficial microbes, chemically killed vegetation, etc.? Fascinating idea!

#44773 07/11/03 09:04 PM
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keelyb1 Offline OP
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Hey Dave,
By long term view, I meant this. Water quality parameters can very by season or even time of day. When you take a water sample, you are assessing the properties of the sample at only that time. Macroinvertebrates have life cycles of a year or two. If you sample the bottom for macroinvertebrates and find a wide variety of critters and even some that are considered "intolerant" to poor water quality, your pond has probably had good water conditions for at least the past year. I guess that this would be most useful in initial testing of a pond, kind of like a doctor taking a medical history. What families of macroinvertebrates that could be found in ponds/lakes varies throughout the country (I think). One thing that you could do is find a lake/pond in your area with similar soil type and known to have good water quality and use it as a "reference" site. What critters it has should be found in your pond, unless their are water quality problems. You could also periodically sample your pond to check for any changes in # benthic species, species composition, # of intolerants, etc. If you find that critters that were there last time are gone now, you might have problems. Maybe you can catch water quality issues before they get so bad that you start losing fish? I think that benthic organisms are more sensitive in general to fish since they can't escape the sediment and low DO of the bottom.

The things you mentioned could impact the macroinvertebrates. Fertilization not only will help the plankton, but the macroinvertebrates would also be helped since some feed on plankton. This would help the food chain. Aeration would probably increase the macroinvertebrates since most perfer higher levels of DO. If fish were overstocked, perhaps the macroinvertebrates would decline because of increased predation. Not sure about microbes. As far as herbicide, maybe you could use the macroinvertebrates in a kind of toxicity test to see how the herbicide is affecting the health of the pond/lake? Sample before application and then afterword and compare.

I'm just learning about this type of sampling, so it might not even be very useful to pond management. Just thought I would throw the idea out there.

#44774 07/12/03 07:21 AM
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Brian, It sounds useful and interesting. Lets face, I have an annual physical to identify and/or prevent problems, buy medical and life insurance before I get sick and before I die. As a matter of fact, I do lots of preventive stuff like brushing my teeth at night. Sounds like insurance for an aquatic money pit. I expect it would be of real interest to commercial operators.

Now, if you could just make it rain.


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