Sediments washed into lakes and ponds after heavy rains can impact and change pond color — and even offset the pH of the lake depending upon soil characteristics. Water color should return to normal within a few days as settling occurs, or additional serious water quality issues could occur that effect your lake management program. Not only can heavy sediments cause an algae die off/algae bloom, but heavy sediment loads can stress fish by irritating the gills and reducing oxygen production. Lakes that receive sediments from surrounding fields may need a wide vegetated strip around the pond to help trap the sediments before they enter the pond.
Bare pond banks should be covered with hay to establish sod and reduce erosion. A pond that receives sediment only during heavy rains may need a diversion ditch built around it to channel excess water away from the pond. Many chronically muddy ponds need lime to reduce acidity and to settle suspended clay. If your pond is always muddy, contact your county Extension office for help. The office is listed under your county name in the telephone book.