Biologist Report, September 30, 2022
Greetings, Lake Vilbig Residents!
This letter is to talk about our September 2022 management efforts. I came out once in September on the 28th. I guess fall is finally here. Hopefully to stay. The weather has been stable. Normal highs and average to below-average lows. It's been somewhat nice this month.
It started warm. The main thing we are lacking is rain. And we need it. Desperately. Except for one day, we got a month of rain in August. It has been very dry, too dry.
On the 28th. The water was still reasonably warm but coming down. Even from Jerry's readings from last week. I measured average temps of 81 F. It feels like bathtub water, but we will start seeing a downward trend in water temperatures with cooler nights. We are out of the danger zone when it comes to water temperatures.
Visibility was around 15 inches. Water is still green with lots of plankton growing. This is helping shade out the more profound areas helping maintain our vegetation load. I like this color, especially for newly hatched fish and all shad species. The water had a fishy smell, which was a little off. In most cases, we want water to have a fairly neutral smell. Water that smells fishy generally has an excess build-up of fish waste.
pH was still high. 8.5.Alkalinity was stable at 1250 ppm. I didn't see a lot of birds, which was still unusual. Several domesticated ducks, but they are here to stay. I would guess that the first cold front we get, which sends ambient temperatures in the low 40s and upper 30s, will bring in the birds. But usually, this time of year, we start seeing the first signs of cormorants.
Vegetation still is at a minimum. That is a great thing.
It's finally fall. Hopefully, we can get some rain soon. That would help! We must remain diligent and keep the lake as beautiful as nature intended. Thanks, Vilbig Residents! Chad Fikes Fisheries Biologist