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What’s The Lake Worth?

Author: Jason Kneib

July 11, 2018

When buying a property that includes an existing body of water on it, it is important to educate yourself on a few factors before you determine what it’s worth. Fish population and aquatic weed growth are two components when determining what a lake is worth. Unfortunately, the first thing some property buyers have to do is spend thousands of dollars to get the lake to the quality that they thought they were purchasing. In my experience as a real estate agent, property sellers usually want a higher dollar amount for their existing lake, but in my experience as a pond and lake manager for Curryville Fisheries, lake owners are often challenged when trying to correctly manage their lakes themselves. Managing a lake for both the proper aesthetic looks as well as a highly developed fishery is not an easy or cheap task. Properties should be worth a higher dollar amount if the lake is properly managed and maintained.

Most lakes have existing problems that go along with them and some cost more than others to fix. There are numerous types of aquatic vegetation that will be an expensive headache if the lake is not designed or maintained properly. Mid-summertime is a great time to judge a lake and its problems based on the aquatic weed growth.  Because of all the biological issues that go along with the summer, lakes are usually looking their worst now, especially if they’re not being maintained correctly. This is the time of year where most of the aquatic problems are showing themselves and therefore can be easily assessed now. The biologist at Curryville Fisheries, Ted Werenksi, believes that most lakes need bottom water aeration to be managed correctly. There are many advantages in having bottom water aeration, and it often shows a buyer that you’re going above and beyond to do everything for your lake to help it biologically.

Although this is a great time of year to assess a lake for aquatic growth, it can be a tricky time of year to assess for the quality and quantity of the fish population.  Fishing a lake is a great method of sampling, but due to the challenges of fishing, it can be a tricky time of year to get the fish to bite.  Electrofishing is another method, but it doesn’t consistently give you an accurate sample of your fish population. Getting help from the sellers by asking the right questions along with having an established and professional fish management company is your best bet.

As the manager of Curryville Fisheries and a Pond and Lake Specialist with Trophy Properties and Auction, I always recommend a professional lake assessment. I feel that most people wouldn’t buy a house without a proper inspection and a lake should be looked at the same way when making such an important purchase. Feel free to contact me at jkneib@tropypa.com or Curryville Fisheries 573-324-6490 with any of your property or lake needs.