For all of your water management needs
What McCloud Aquatics can do for your property
- Algae Control
- Submerged Weed Control
- Emergent Vegetation Management
- Duckweed & Watermeal Control
- Water Enhancement
- Bacteria-Driven Dredging Programs (Bio-Dredge)
- Season-Long Programs Designed for Maximum Efficiency & Effectiveness
- Pond and Lake Aeration
- Mechanical Harvesting and Dredging
- Mosquito and Insect Control
- Fish Stocking & Fisheries Management
- Shoreline Restoration
- Nutrient Pollution Remediation
- Water Colorants
- Lake Mapping
Algae comes in many forms and there are many varieties which are observed in the field by our Lake Management Specialists. Algae is mostly regarded to as a type of nuisance vegetation with many different forms, all of which can overtake your water if left untreated. The most common algae that we see in Northern Illinois is primarily Filamentous, Hydrodictyon spp., Pithophora spp., Lyngbya spp., as well as planktonic algae and cyanobacteria blooms. Illinois water ways can get blue green algae aka HABS (Harmful Algae Blooms). If you see blue green algae, please notify McCloud Aquatics right away as there is a health risk associated with blue green algae and HABS.
FACT: One pound of Phosphorus can support up to 500+ pounds of algae growth.
There is a reason why algae grows in your pond or lake; The primary reason for algae growth is an abundance of nutrients present in both the water column and the sediments or muck. Typically, nutrients in the form of phosphorus and nitrogen are the root cause of excessive algae growth. Often times we design our lake management programs with a focus on managing the nutrients that cause excessive vegetation growth. McCloud Aquatics recommends getting your water and sediment (muck) tested in order to develop a complete and thorough management plan. McCloud Aquatics also offers bathymetry mapping to see what is going on with the pond from the bottom up.
Most of our algae treatments are reactive measures to combat the growth which arises. However, there are some proactive algae solutions available.
Typically, each type of algae is able to be controlled using traditional copper-based products or other algaecide products such as oxidizers. At times algae can grow faster than we can provide treatment for. If excessive algae growth is a problem in your pond, it may be time to find out why.
My Pond Was Just Treated but I Still See Algae?
Our bi-weekly treatment schedule is optimal, as it allows the waterbody to recover between treatments to maintain a healthy state. Some bodies of water do need more frequent treatments due to excessive growth.
Each body of water behaves differently and therefore reacts to algae treatments somewhat differently. While our applications target and begin to kill algae as soon as they are applied, it generally takes 4-7 days before things really start to clear up. Smaller patches of algae may clear out faster than large mats which cover a significant portion of the water surface, and there are other factors such as weather or biological properties which also affect the decomposition process. You also may see that the algae experienced a color change to yellow or brown relatively quickly but remained on the water surface; No worries. The discoloration is a sign that things are working, and that decomposition is taking place! It is not uncommon for mass algae patches to need two or three treatments to clear up completely, and making lighter but more focused or concentrated treatments focusing on sections is a safer and more healthy practice for the aquatic ecosystem!
McCloud Aquatics offers submerged vegetation control, including invasive weed control in our standard pond maintenance plan. With any of our submerged weed control programs, our Lake Management Specialists seek to find a balance having enough native vegetation for the ecosystem to behave naturally while maintaining the appearance of a clean and clear water body.
With a selection of different aquatic technologies, our Lake Management Specialists can effectively and efficiently decrease nuisance submerged weed growth while maintaining a healthy amount of native vegetation for aquatic organisms in the ecosystem.
Submerged weed growth is very common in all aquatic systems, even if no vegetation can be seen with the eye, there is likely submerged growth occurring on the bottom of the aquatic system. There are two types of submerged weeds: Native and Invasive. Native plants are those which occur naturally without any foreign introduction in a given area. Invasive weeds are those which do not originate from the area in question and generally have distinct growth and reproduction characteristics that allow them to invade, spread and take over an aquatic system quickly.
As stated above, invasive weeds are a hazard to the overall health of any aquatic ecosystem. The invasive plant has physical characteristics which allow it to excel in most aquatic situations; as the invasive population booms, the native weed population begins to decrease, causing a major shift in the biodiversity of the ecosystem.
Invasive plants can also take up a lot of physical space as there is a tendency for growth to come in very thick, disrupting the behavioral patterns of the rest of the organisms within the ecosystem. Treatment to invasive plants is crucial to be done early in the spring. This early treatment will help set the tone for the upcoming season and how we are able to manage the water.
Traditionally, lake and pond management is performed utilizing EPA-registered herbicides. All of our Lake Management Specialists are licensed through the State of which they are applying product (Illinois or Wisconsin). We work closely with leading scientists and biologists in the field who are developing safer and more effective products. We only utilize products which are EPA-registered, proven and we make our management decisions with the environment in mind to maintain our goal of being “Friends of the Water.”
As technology is catching up to the lake and pond industry, McCloud Aquatics is always taking the lead in being more environmentally friendly. McCloud Aquatics brings an IPM approach to our services. We offer chemical-free management options which include aeration, mechanical removal, biologicals, and nutrient management. These methods can be paired with traditional management methods to increase efficacy. Every waterbody is different, and chemical-free options may not be enough to reach your management goal. Our team can help you decide on the best management and treatment options for your water to fit your short-term and long-term goals with your budget in mind. One of the best tools we have is our WeeDoo Work boat. This work boat is the only one of its kind in Northern Illinois. This workboat can transform a 1 acre lake from 100% coverage to less than 5% in 8-10 hrs.
What is Emergent Vegetation?
There are a number of different aquatic plants that can be categorized as emergent plant species. These plants tend to grow right along the shoreline and out into the shallow areas around the pond. In Northern Illinois, the most commonly seen emergent plants are Cattails, Phragmites, Bulrush, Spikerush, Arrowhead, Pickerelweed. Some of these plants are extremely invasive, meaning they will out-compete all surrounding plant life for resources. Cattails and Phragmites are the most invasive plants in this group and will expand their territory each season if left unaddressed.
While it is important to monitor and control the growth of cattails and phragmites, other emergent plants like Bullrush or Arrowhead are very beneficial as they act as a buffer zone taking in nutrients before they're washed into the water and help hold together the shoreline's structure. Furthermore, it is possible to create a shoreline garden of natural vegetation for an aesthetic feature.
Cattails and Phragmites have the potential to rapidly expand down shorelines and into the water body. Other plants like Lilies and Water Primrose also reproduce and expand quickly. Some small patches are visually appealing however it is important to monitor the growth to ensure control measures are put in place.
McCloud Aquatics provides traditional chemical treatment for emergent vegetation growth occurring along shorelines and within the water body. This is a great way to begin clearing out invasive and unwanted vegetation. Keep in mind that these types of plants are highly invasive and are known to be resilient. Our treatments may require multiple applications over a period of years to garnish desired control. The chemical treatments do take time to work its way through the plant. However, timing is critical to the success of the treatment program. Single applications and season-long control are both available treatment options.
McCloud Aquatics also has the capability for physical removal of most emergent vegetation infestations around the shoreline of a lake or pond. This option allows for chemical-free methods and will provide instant relief (However regrowth of the vegetation is likely without traditional chemical treatments).
We also provide cut down and removal services for emergent growth which had herbicide applied once an adequate amount of time has passed for the product to have reached its full effect. Most of the products we use are “systemic” which allows for treatment of the entire plant.
While free-floating Duckweed and Watermeal are native plants, they can quickly reproduce and take over a pond, becoming a nuisance. These two plants are very unique in that they have no “true” root system. Duckweed has roots but is not attached to the substrate, and Watermeal is completely rootless and can be difficult to control.
These two plants are often seen in colonies together, and grow on the surface of lakes and ponds. Because of their ability to completely cover the surface of the water in such a short time span (3-6 weeks), they can cause oxygen depletion within the waterbody and fish kills can occur. They can also block sunlight from reaching through the water column, limiting photosynthesis. This can limit the amount of other native plants that would normally grow under the surface. Due to the fast reproduction cycle of these plants, it is imperative to treat early and often to avoid 100% infestation.
A lack of oxygen in an aquatic system can cause fish kills and also be fatal to other macro invertebrates in the water. This can also mean difficulty on the treatment side of things as a water body can experience a massive drop in oxygen from the treatment of significant duckweed or watermeal outbreaks.
McCloud Aquatics offers a few different options for Duckweed and Watermeal control. Customers have the choice of paying for season long control or can chose to pay for each individual application that is made for accounts where duckweed occasionally shows up. Aside from varying treatment schedules, we also offer various different control methods and application rates.
Our Water Quality Enhancement programs utilize a wide range of different, beneficial bacteria and enzyme options which can be used to assist and enhance our treatments to water, or used to promote a healthy aquatic environment without any chemical intervention. The natural bacteria have many different functions depending on the different blends used. With an extensive range of probiotic options McCloud Aquatics can set up a bacteria program tailored to the needs of your waterbody.
Bacteria-Driven Dredging Programs
With MD Pellets we offer a bio-dredge program that slowly breaks down mucky substrate over the course of a season; while it doesn't provide the immediate depth relief of mechanical dredging, it is a much more affordable option and a good investment towards the health of a water body over time.
Season-Long Programs Designed For Maximum Efficiency & Effectiveness
Our temperature-driven bacteria in the water enhancement program act as a multivitamin for the pond or lake it is applied in. These bacteria help clear out excess nutrients in the water column and sediment, promote water clarity and overall quality, as well as help aquatic ecosystems, recover post-treatment and after significant weather events.
Being told that you need to dredge your pond or lake can be overwhelming to hear. There’s a lot involved with traditional mechanical dredging. This is why we offer our Bio-Dredge Program. This unique consortium of bacteria comes in a pellet form, and is typically applied monthly. The natural bacteria in the pellet slowly breaks down the mucky substrate in which it settles. Though this is a slow process, it is a much more affordable option and is a great investment towards the health of a waterbody over time. Our Bio-Dredge program thrives in waters that have aeration in them. Bio-Dredging can also be used on ponds that recently had a physical dredging done to help maintain the physical dredge investment.
Numerous Algae Solutions Available
Our primary service that is offered at McCloud Aquatics is our Standard Pond and Lake Management program. This consists of algae and submerged weed control to residential and commercial properties in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. With a broad selection of top-of-the-line, EPA registered algaecide products with environmentally friendly and chemical-free algaecide programs, our customers have the ability to decide what type of approach they wish to take in maintaining their waterbody.
Yes, we can provide some value to your water in the Winter months. Our water enhancement program utilizes temperature-driven biologicals. These natural bacteria help consume excess nutrients in the water column and sediment – all while promoting water clarity and overall quality. These also help the aquatic ecosystem recover from traditional treatments and after significant weather events.
Oxygen concentration is one of, if not the most important, chemical parameters in a body of water. Like the air we breathe, the survival of aquatic organisms depends on a sufficient level of oxygen dissolved in water. Not only are anaerobic (low dissolved oxygen) conditions dangerous for the aquatic life within the pond, but also this can cause phosphorus which is bound in the sediment to become free-floating and bio-available to algae. This is why we always recommend every pond or lake have at least some form of aeration (diffusers, fountains, waterfalls, etc.). This will ensure that the water in the pond stays mixed, cool, and oxygenated and will provide many benefits to the aquatic ecosystem and all of its inhabitants.
There are two main types of aeration options: surface aeration (decorative and circulating fountains) and subsurface (diffused air and de-icer's).
McCloud Aquatics sells primarily Airmax, Aquamaster, Otterbine, and Kasco products. We will help you in figuring out the adequate size and costs needed to add aeration features to your lake or pond. We also provide installation/removal and storage.
McCloud Aquatics can assist in determining the right type of aeration for your goals and budget, as well as maintain your equipment through our aeration program. Our aeration program includes spring installation and fall removal for cleaning and storage in our temperature-controlled facility.
McCloud Aqautics works with the following aeration manufacturers: Kasco Marine, Aquamaster Fountains, Vertex Water Solutions, Air Max and Otterbine.
Weedoo Mechanical Harvester
In 2019, McCloud Aquatics introduced our Weedoo TC3000, a top-of-the-line mechanical harvester. With this, we are able to provide instant relief to overgrown nuisance vegetation, and use our boom cutter for shoreline cutting of emergent vegetation. Some species the Weedoo can help manage: water lily, floating pondweeds, duckweed, watermeal, filamentous algae, cattails, phragmites, as well as minor garbage removal. The Weedoo bucket can hold up to 500 lbs of vegetation in one scoop! McCloud Aquatics is the only service provider in Illinois to have this technology!
Along with being an irritating nuisance, mosquitos present a significant risk to public health. They can be vectors for harmful pathogens including Zika and West Nile Virus, as well as Canine Heartworm. To reduce risks and increase the overall enjoyment of your property, we highly suggest adding mosquito control to your pond/lake management program.
McCloud Aquatics offers a mosquito treatment program which utilizes both an aquatic larvicide and a terrestrial spray application. Before making any kind of applications, it is ideal to identify any breeding grounds on your property. These typically are small puddles, bird baths, buckets, old tires and other objects which can contain water, or in other moist soils and structures. After identifying the breeding sites, we plan and make applications so that the best control is provided. For optimal control McCloud Aquatics recommends our full program which includes an aquatic larvicide application as well as a terrestrial spray application; both applications are individually available as well.
Our mosquito larvicide program utilizes small briquettes which target mosquito larvae and prevent them from maturing into the flying, biting pests we know them as, and will also knock out a few generations in the breeding cycle. This treatment is great for aquatic applications as the larvicide has no negative impacts on the aquatic ecosystem!
Our terrestrial spray applications target all mosquito species and life stages. The treatment is applied to targeted breeding hotspots as well as to high-traffic areas on the property. The application is safe and provides a 50% reduction in mosquito population.
Natural Mosquito Relief Tips: Limit stagnant water by adding aeration. Stock fish in your pond or lake that eat mosquito larva.
Customized Fish Stocking & Habitat Enrichment
Fish stocking is a great way to improve the health of your pond while increasing the aesthetic draw and overall value of your water. Private pond fishing is an important pastime throughout the entire Midwest. Establishing a fishery on your property is a great way to generate value within the community by adding a source of recreation and education. A healthy fishery will also help maintain a balanced aquatic ecosystem.
Our individualized programs are designed to assist you through every aspect of the fish stocking procedure. Clients work hand-in-hand with our trained fish stocking expert to make their vision a reality. We use a high-resolution mapping system to generate detailed vegetation and depth profiles, highlighting available habitats and angling hot spots. If your pond doesn’t have natural cover or habitat for fish, McCloud Aquatics has partnered with Mossback Fish Habitats to provide you with many different options to promote the best environment for your fishery.
- Pond Side Consultations
- Variety of Fish Species & Sizes
- Habitat Creation
- Vegetation Mapping & Depth Profiles
- Spring & Fall Fish Stockings
- Fish feeding program
Shoreline erosion is a common issue plaguing pond owners and lake residents. The loss of land, decrease in esthetic value, and occupation of nuisance wildlife are all serious concerns.
Erosion can happen slowly over time, or suddenly after a serious weather event. Some of the most common causes of erosion are:
- Wave action from wind or watercraft
- Muskrat dens
- Tree roots pulling away
- Ice expansion and movement
McCloud Aquatics has teamed up with SOX Erosion Solutions™ to provide you with a solution to shoreline erosion. We can create living shorelines to re-stabilize the banks using an open-ended containment system. The containment system can be filled with locally sourced organic media, or you can use substrate that was dredged from that same water.
Depending on your opinion, presence of wildlife at your lake or pond can be either desired, or a nuisance. Get tips from our staff on how to manage wildlife and your water whether it be habitat recommendations to attract more birds, turtles, or frogs, or how to deal with your pesky muskrat problem who is wrecking your shoreline.
I’ve found injured or orphaned wildlife on my property – what do I do?
- First step is safety. Avoid bites or scratches from wildlife. Bring any pets inside and keep children away.
- Call your local wildlife rehabilitator. Click here to access the wildlife rehabilitation list for Illinois:https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/LawEnforcement/Documents/IllinoisWildliferehabilitationList.pdf
Wisconsin list: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/directory.html or,
- Call your local DNR office.
Nutrient pollution is a major issue plaguing waterbodies in the Midwest. Managing these nutrients is essential in achieving a healthy pond or lake.
McCloud Aquatics can test your water parameters to establish a treatment regime to restore your water to a healthy state, and follow up with more testing to track effectiveness and adjust as needed.
One of the many add-on services McCloud Aquatics offers is that of pond dye. Pond dye is a great addition to your contract with us for an added aesthetic appeal of your water. We currently offer blue and black dye, but can special-order additional colors. Dye can be added at different rates or mixed together to achieve the hue of your choice. Dye hang time varies based on the turnover of your water - that is why dye is considered a contract versus a per application cost, so each visit your technician will evaluate and add dye as needed to retain your desired color. Some dyes are even EPA-labeled to control vegetation growth in your pond by blocking sun, and limiting photosynthesis.
If you’re unsure if you wish to add a dye contract and want to see it in your pond, McCloud offers free samples up to 2 acres of water for dye.
McCloud Aquatics is proud to partner with BioBase mapping solutions for your lakes and ponds. Have you ever wondered exactly how deep your pond is? Where the fishing holes are located? Where the “hot zones” for weed growth are? With one onsite mapping visit, we can provide you those answers and more.
A little about BioBase: BioBase is an Aquatic Habitat Custom Mapping Solution using EcoSound to chart plots and collect data throughout the pond. EcoSound is a revolutionary cloud-based mapping solution that renders custom charts with bathymetric, aquatic vegetation, and bottom hardness data by applying a proprietary advanced acoustic algorithm. This acoustic data is acquired from the sonar log files gathered on the water using powerful Lowrance & Simrad chartplotters.
Objective Metrics - Get real numbers about lake characteristics so we can measure changes over time. Monitor how water quality, aquatic vegetation and wildlife respond to environmental change as well as management interventions.
Define Areas of Interest - With our polygon selection tool, we can select specific areas of the map to analyze and automatically calculate a range of Area of Interest Statistics.
Mapping Intervals – Recommended every 5-10 years or even yearly to keep tabs on sediment and weed issues.