With cooler weather, the last thing a lake owner wants to do is get out and maintain a large body of water. The good news is that you may not have to. Here are a few things to check to make sure your lake is well taken care of over the winter months.
If you have natural foliage around the shoreline, there is no need to intervene. Decaying plants can be helpful coverage for animals passing through and food sources for others. It is important to not place additional decaying plant material around the lake and shoreline to add to unnaturally high organic loads.
If you have added plants and organic material around the shoreline of your lake, it is important to complete maintenance to that area prior to the lake freezing over. This includes removing decaying plant trimmings prior to the lake freezing over. Any additional shoreline maintenance can wait until spring to plant and rearrange the shoreline shape.
During winter months, the importance of winterizing your lake equipment depends on the level of severe weather you are anticipating in your area. Floating fountains should be removed prior to a winter freeze to avoid emptying of the lake and burnout of the fountain. Over winter, simply store your the pump of the fountain in a bucket of water in an area where the bucket of water won’t freeze over.
Sub surface aerators should be moved in the base of the lake from the deepest level of the lake to a more shallow edge of the lake. The bubbles from the sub surface aerator can help maintain an opening in the surface of the lake during a freeze. It is important to remove additional aerators if there are more than one in your lake. The goal is maintaining a single opening not high levels of circulation.
The last thing to think about during winter lake care, is to consider turnover. Review this guide to avoid a lake turnover. The fish in your lake will thank you for considering the potential drastic temperature changes they could experience.
Lake maintenance in winter is simple once you have considered foliage, lake equipment, and turnover. Now that you know what to do, finish your winter lake maintenance quickly to get back inside and relax knowing everything is under control.