North Carolina Lake Management Society 

TEN BEST MANAGEMENT PROACTICES OF LAKE PROTECTION


1. Septic systems should be in code with local ordinances and properly operated and maintained.

·         Do not put household grease, cleaners, paint, solvents and pesticides down the drain. Practice water conservation in the home.

·         Limit the use of antibacterial cleaning products.

·         Pump septic systems at least every three years, more often depending on use.

·         Systems with garbage disposals should be pumped annually.

2. Practice good lawn maintenance.

·         Limit fertilizing. Use zero-phosphorus fertilizer unless a soil test indicates the need for phosphorus.

·         Do not fertilizer within 50 feet of the lake.

·         Keep grass clippings, leaves and pet waste out of the lake.

·         Reduce or eliminate pesticide use on the lawn and garden.

3. Maintain or establish a shoreline buffer zone of natural vegetation.

·         Limit fertilizing in the buffer.

·         Shoreline buffers prevent erosion and infiltration of nutrients into the lake.

·         Buffers should be a minimum of 30 feet wide.

·         Encourage woody vegetation and tall grasses in the buffer to stabilize the shoreline.

·         Minimize the disturbance of beneficial aquatic plants along the shoreline since they provide stability and are critical as habitat for fish and other wildlife.

·         Slow shoreline runoff with gentle sloping and terraced landscaping.

4. Be a respectful boater.

·         Follow local boating regulations and safety rules and respect the rights of others.

·         Minimize boat wake near shorelines.

·         Properly dispose of trash (or secure it until proper disposal can be achieved).

·         For larger boats, always use pump-out facilities for on-board waste disposal.

5. Know and follow your fishery management strategy.

  • ·         Some species of fish may be catch and release.


  • ·         There may be certain sizes of desirable fish that should be removed.


  • ·         Certain species of fish may be undesirable and should be removed.


  • ·         Do not introduce fish from other bodies of water.

6. Prevent the spread of exotic species, such as Hydrilla (an aquatic weed) and zebra mussels.

·         Check your boat before and after launching in the water; encourage others at the public access to do the same.

·         Lake associations can organize monitoring teams to check for aquatic weeds during the summer or organize monitoring programs at access points.

7. Respect your stormwater since it flows into streams, lakes and groundwater.

  • ·         Make sure only rainwater flows into storm drains.


  • ·         Reseed bare ground so it doesn’t erode.


  • ·         Follow your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP) and have Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) inspected annually.  

8. Work with state and local officials.

·         Be part of the basin wide planning process; ensure that state and local ordinances contain protective and rehabilitative management plans for your lake.

·         Attend planning and zoning meetings or boards of adjustment to voice concern about development activity that does not meet local ordinances.

·         Get to know your county commissioners, share your concerns with them.

9. Become part of the local decision-making process.

·         Become involved with your local lake association.

·         Become part of the decision-making process for local land use ordinances, serve on the soil and water conservation district board, planning board, or other local government committees and appointed commissions.

10. Support the North Carolina Lakes Management Society.  Join NCLMS Today!


Working together at the local, county and state level we can make a difference.



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