Lake management requires vigilance, patience and persistence. You may be thinking, "But my lake never looked like this before", and you would be right. What you are describing is your Lake's natural aging process, it's called eutrophication.
Eutrophication is the natural process of enrichment of water bodies by nutrients. Degrees of Eutrophication typically range from Oligotrophic water (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic water (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus). Eutrophication of a lake normally contributes to its slow evolution into a Bog or Marsh and ultimately to dry land. Eutrophication is typically accelerated by human activities in developed watersheds which speeds up the aging process.
How eutrophic a lake is, can be measured and classified using something called the Trophic State Index (TSI). This is a combination of parameters including: water transparency or turbidity (using Secchi Disk depth recordings), Chlorophyll-a concentrations, total phosphorus concentrations and in some cases total nitrogen.
TSI measures range from a scale <30 to >80 and from Oligotrophic waters (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic waters (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus). If a lake owner or resident wishes for their lake to stay "young", maintenance activities that reduce and inhibit sedimentation, nutrient loading, erosion, runoff and other factors will be required. Ultimately, many of your management strategies should be focused on the use of cultural control tactics to suspending the progression of eutrophication.
The first step of lake management is to understand the morphology (physical characteristics), chemical composition and biological communities of the lake and how those interact with the watershed and climate in your region.
The next step is to set goals and develop a management strategy based on a systematic approach.
The management strategy will involve a number of different tactics,