A healthy lake means a happy angler! What makes a lake a healthy home for their resident fish and plant species? Let’s dive deep and explore everything that goes into maintaining a stable, sustainable home for all living creatures below the ripples on the surface.
Keep Your Boat Clean
If you’re a savvy angler, you know that some of the best fishing spots are around weed beds, emerging and submerged plants, where fish love to hide! Marine plants are great for the environment, but only if they are native to that specific ecosystem.
Lakes, ponds and other bodies of water might seem pretty similar at first glance, but if you look below the surface, they are a very unique combination of species that live together in harmony. Plant species that are native to one lake are often not native to other lakes, and mixing these species where they don’t belong can cause major disruption to an ecosystem.
Invasive species are species that are introduced to an environment, often accidentally, that become overpopulated and negatively impact the ecosystem. For example, a thick layer of an invasive algae species could starve oxygen from the water, harming the fish and plants below the surface.
If you’re looking to keep your favorite fishing spots healthy, make sure to properly clean your engine and vessel before changing into a different body of water so you don’t accidentally introduce an invasive species.
Use the Right Baits
Similar precautions should be used when picking out which live bait you’ll be bringing along on your next fishing trip. While you’re hoping your bait stays on the hook, sometimes one might get away. This simple frustration for you might mean a whole lot more for the health of the lake you’re fishing in.
Just like plants, invasive fish and marine species can also spread to other lakes and bodies of water, so it’s important to make sure you're fishing with a bait that is native to the lake you are fishing in. This will protect the native species from potential disease, over predation and elimination caused by invasive species.
Help keep the ecosystem and the native species healthy by checking out your local DNR regulations to make sure the species of live bait you are fishing with is safe for the body of water you are at!
Fishing from the dock is always a great option, but sometimes you need to get out on the water to reach the best ‘fishy’ spots. If you can, try to avoid using a motorboat that can pollute the water with oil and gas, and try taking on a new, and a bit more tippy, adventure. Give an old school rowboat a chance on your next trip!
This motorless option can help reduce and eliminate water pollution, as well as noise pollution, to keep the lake as healthy and clean as possible. Motors also cause a lot of disruption to the water which can potentially stir up sediment from the lake bottom and mix it back into the water ruining the clarity.
Check out our newest episode, “Into Fishing with a Spincaster Reel” where our Adventure Team members Gracie and Solomon try out fishing in a rowboat!
If you enjoy catching big fish in healthy lakes, do your part and practice safe and smart fishing. Watch out for invasive species, both plants and fish, check out your local DNR regulations, and if you’re reel-y feeling adventurous, try out a rowboat!