Liming of Lakes and Ponds


Many people in the lake management world know about the benfits of applying fertilizer to a lake, but lime ironoically is not in the limelight. Lime will lower the acidity of a lake and it, like fertilizer, must be applied evenly over the entire pond so that it can react with the bottom mud. A more drastic option is to dry the pond or lake and use a spreader truck to distribute lime.

If the lake is full, however, the lime will have to be spread (shoveled) or washed into the pond from a boat. Pond management consultants will lime ponds at a modest cost, so check around your area if you are unsure about the task.


Lime slowly dissolves into the lake water, but it  is also washed out with overflow water. This means that lakes and ponds usually need to be relimed every 2 to 4 years. Many lake managers find it practical to increase the liming rate by one and a half or two times the amount recommended.

This increases the length of time between lime applications and save you time. Some managers reapply half the recommended lime every 2 years to maintain alkalinity, and that is a good lake management strategy, as well. Adding more than the recommended lime (agricultural lime only) will not harm the pond.

A typical liming rate in the eastern half of the U.S. is 2 tons per surface acre of lake. And do not forget, if a pond needs lime it will not respond well to fertilizer. Make sure you lime the pond some time before applying fertilizer!

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