Is the Wrong Vegetation Destroying Your Lake or Pond?

Whether you’re working for a park service or a chemical company, if you’re responsible for maintaining the health of a body of water, you know how critical the task is. If the wrong vegetation is negatively affecting your ponds, waterways, bayous, rivers or lakes, you need to identify the problem and fix it quickly.

Problems Caused by the Wrong Vegetation

Too much, or the wrong type of, vegetation can have a real impact on the bodies of water for which you’re responsible. For example, aquatic pests can:

  • Limit access to swimming. No one wants to swim in a lake that is an odd color or has a noxious odor. In addition, when plants on or under the water grab at a swimmer’s arms and feet, visitors will find other places to go.
  • Limit access to fishing. Aquatic pests can remove oxygen from the water and kill off fish or stunt their growth. Even if the fish are thriving, there may be a noticeable change in the flavor of an angler’s catch.
  • Limit access to boating. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with recreational boaters or the boats you use to maintain a body of water, water traffic will stop if unwanted vegetation becomes entangled in the boats’ propellers.
  • Limit access to clean water that is required by a number of industries.

These are only some of the problems you may encounter. There are a wide range of aquatic pests that may end up causing you trouble.

Aquatic Pests You Need to Manage

Your first step is to identify the vegetation that is causing your problem. There are several categories of weeds that can pose a problem.

1. Algae

Small amounts of algae don’t usually cause health or environmental problems. But, when algae growth gets out of control, you can be faced with major problems. An overgrowth of algae is typically called an algal bloom. Some of these blooms are toxic and can poison or even kill people and animals.

In addition, industries that need clean water for their operations can be shut down if algae growth is unchecked. With slow-moving water, sunshine and enough nutrients in the water, algae can get out of control very easily.

2. Emergent Weeds

Emergent weeds grow along the shoreline and mature to heights above the waterline. These weeds establish a root system that helps them to remain in place. Additionally, these are hardy plants like cattails and shoreline grass that stand up to wind and weather.

3. Floating Weeds

Some floating weeds anchor themselves with roots that attach to the bottom of a body of water. Other floating plants don’t have any attached roots and simply float on the surface of the water. Plants in this category include duckweed, water lilies and water hyacinth. While some of these floating weeds are pretty to look at, in high enough numbers, they can choke off the light and oxygen to the fish swimming below.

4. Submerged Weeds

Submerged weeds have soft stems, which usually prevent them from rising above the surface of the water. Plants in this category include pondweed, coontail and hydrilla.

How to Control Aquatic Pests

Luckily, there are ways to control the spread of aquatic pests. Your first consideration should be to use vegetation and chemical controls that have the smallest possible impact on the environment.

If you’re responsible for a large body of water, waterway, bayou, river or lake, chemical control is usually required. In order to be effective, you’ll need state-of-the-art equipment to apply the controls effectively.

Different equipment is often needed depending on your environment. For example, if your body of water can’t be navigated using a boat with a propeller-driven motor, you’ll need an airboat to skim the surface without becoming entangled in weeds.

For your own peace of mind, put together an aquatic control program that fits your needs. It’s always a good idea to consult a firm with long years of experience who can do a professional job for you.

Sources:

https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-251/420-251.html

http://www.thepondguy.com/category/learning-center-aquatic-weed-control