Landscaping a lake can impact your lake water quality, fish life, algae blooms, erosion potential and could cause lake water pollution. Make sure to consider these factors before you start to prevent the cost and work it would take to reverse damages later. Use plants and materials that will benefit animals and your lake.
You can’t go wrong with planting native plants near your lake shoreline, or allowing those that exist to remain.
Native plants will be less expensive to purchase than exotic plants — and could potentially be free. To line your lake shoreline with other plants could be cost and time prohibitive, as they will require lots of care and upkeep, whereas native plants will require less maintaining.
Native plants will require less fertilizers and pesticides, too. Those two items can harm your lake if runoff waters into the lake contain these substances. Access the resource link below at the United States Department of Agriculture to see what plants are native to your area.
Plant diversity is encouraged to maintain the ecological health of the lake, but remaining “native” is also important. Use ground cover plants, shrubs and trees of native varieties for diversity purposes.
Lakes are habitats for different animals, so plants that meet these habitat needs are the best to use around your lake.
Add Lake Plants
Don’t forget that your lake will need aquatic plant life too, not just plants surrounding it on the shoreline.
Some aquatic plants and algae can take over a lake and prove a danger for fish and other lake life (exotic and toxic seaweeds, for example). Use lake plants that are native to your area to prevent this problem.
And take into consideration the animal life in a lake (organisms of all sizes, fish) and those who pluck food from it (fowl) when choosing your aquatic lake plants. You want aquatic plants that will feed the animal life in your particular lake.
With acres of lake spread out before you, you will want to use the lake for fishing or swimming most likely. Reduce runoff problems by creating entrances to the lake out of wood chips or mulches, according to the University of Minnesota, the state with “10,000 lakes.”
Wood chips and mulches are porous materials, which means they help absorb water rather than help it travel to your nearby lake, like pavement and concrete would.
Avoid paved surfaces near your lake, which can add to lake contamination.
State of Washington Department of Ecology: Blueprint for a Lake Friendly Landscape
United States Department of Agriculture: Plants Database
University of Minnesota SULIS; A Demonstration Project – Landscape Design Strategy for Waterfront Property, Method Two; Darlene Charboneau; 2006
BBC News: Toxic Seaweed Clogs French Coast
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission: Frequently Asked Questions