FAQ – Winter Lake Aeration

FAQ - Winter Lake Aeration

What type and depth lake will benefit from winter aeration?
Shallow, fertile (eutrophic) lakes with mucky, silty bottoms are most likely to suffer winterkill. Lakes from 5 to 15 feet deep are the best candidates for winter aeration. Shallower than 5 feet, an oxygen source such as a stream is usually needed to sustain oxygen levels for game fish. Lakes deeper than 15 feet usually can hold enough oxygen in reserve to last from fall until spring thaw.

How much dissolved oxygen do fish need to survive?

Most game fish are at risk when oxygen levels drop below 2 milligrams per liter. Rough fish such as carp and bullhead can often survive oxygen levels below 1 milligram per liter.

How much oxygen can water hold?

At room temperature and atmospheric pressure, clean fresh water will dissolve 9.09 milligrams of oxygen per liter of water. In other words, it takes 2095 gallons of water to dissolve one ounce of oxygen.

How can I measure the oxygen concentration in my lake?
Inexpensive test kits can be purchased from environmental testing supply distributors. Electronic dissolved oxygen meters cost from $300 to $3000. Either method is satisfactory for checking the need for aeration.

How can oxygen be transferred to water without bubbles?
Oxygen transfer occurs at the interface where air comes in contact with water. The larger the surface area of contact, the more oxygen is transferred. A thousand bubbles may have only one square foot of contact area, whereas a one acre open water surface has 43,560 square feet, not counting waves.

Will a single aeration site work on a large lake?
Yes, fish can locate an area of higher oxygen concentration as long as they are not cut off by shallow areas between basins. Currents created by the Limnetics OX will also circulate oxygen for long distances under ice.