Having a dried up lake is nothing out of the ordinary. It’s nearly inevitable unless you have a high-volume spring feeding your body of freshwater.
Severe heat waves occur in some parts of the U.S., and many lakes, whether big or small, tend to dry up. The leading cause for dried up bodies of water is drought caused by climate change. Drought impacts inflow to the lake, resulting in a 65% reduction in water levels. Reduced rainfall over the lake’s surface, the building of dams, and increased diversion for irrigated agriculture are also contributing factors.
What You Should Do
We can’t conjure rain by doing a ceremonial dance, but that doesn’t mean we should sit around moping about a dried up lake. On the contrary, it’s an excellent opportunity to perform maintenance and improvements to ensure that your lake is in its best condition before it refills. For most natural lakes, the water is likely to return, and when it does, you should be prepared.
Apply Bentonite to Cover Leaks
Bentonite is a natural clay that seals leakage. Using the same techniques as when one applies fertilizer to the soil, tractors and spreaders are the best tools to implement bentonite to a lake. The headland setting on a spreader allows unidirectional applications toward the center, covering areas that might be too wet for the tractor.
Get Rid of Unwanted Fish
Having a dried up lake is the best time to get rid of unwanted species of fish. If you are in the southern region of the United States, it may be possible to remove unwanted fish without resorting to more costly methods. Eliminating fish won’t be a complicated task since there’s no need to drain, siphon, or pump the water. Owners may restock with the appropriate species once the water returns.
Deepen the Lake
Deepening the lake will increase the amount of water it contains and decrease the likelihood of weed to spawn. Deepening a body of freshwater is possible by dredging with a backhoe or loader.
Eliminate Invasive Weeds
A dry lake bed makes it easier to kill and remove invasive weeds. Herbicides are chemicals that destroy or alter the growth of aquatic plants and prevent future infestations.
Initiate Dam Inspections
Having a dried up lake may be the only opportunity you have to inspect your dam. Pipes and drains neglected through the years may finally be checked and adjusted as required, but for your safety, do not raise the level of the dam without professional advice.
Uncover Hidden Treasures
Who knows what kind of treasure is hiding beneath all that water? Since there won’t be any water to fight, it’s the perfect time to remove any scattered debris or chunks of wood that may have been bothering you for years.
Natural lakes may be replenished by neighboring rivers and streams, but the next time you wake up to the sight of your dry lake bed — get out there, be productive, and implement these actions. Remember that the opportunity won’t last forever, so don’t miss out on ensuring that your lake is in its best condition before it refills.