Spring Time Pondweed Management

Posted by Rosa Michaelson on

Spring is here and that means enjoying the outdoors! It is time for kayaking, swimming, and fishing.  Also, if you are a pond or lake owner, it's time to think about what kind of management strategies you will use for your pond or lake this year. 

Managing aquatic weeds and algae in a lake or pond can be challenging. When water bodies take in excess nutrients during the Fall and Winter, the result can be an explosive growth of pond weeds during the Spring and Summer months. 

Native and Non-Invasive Aquatic plants, when managed correctly, can be beneficial to a pond, these plants consume some of the nutrients that exist in a water body; leaving algae without the food source it needs to grow. They can also provide a natural habitat for wildlife, insects, and fish. Furthermore, Native Plants prevent Non-native Invasive species from infesting a pond.

  1. The first step in any lake or pond management program should be to identify the aquatic plants within the waterbody you are looking to manage. For proper plant identification, use our "Aquatic Weed Control Guide" for weed and Algae ID and Pro Tips for effective products and methods of control. 
  2. Once you have identified the plant, select the best treatment options (See Chemical Chart below). Aquatic weeds can be controlled by mechanical or physical removal and the proper herbicide application. A combination of these methods will maximize success. Early intervention to avoid large invasions will significantly reduce cost and effort.
  3. Removing dead plant material from your pond or lake perimeter is suggested. As dead plants decay, they consume large quantities of Dissolved Oxygen as well as increase nutrient levels and increase the level of Pond Muck buildup. Less available Dissolved Oxygen in the water can negatively affect fish. For severely overgrown ponds, It is recommended to treat a portion of the pond at a time and wait 1 or 2 weeks between treatments to allow dissolved oxygen levels to rebound before the next treatment. PRO TIP: If more than 30% of the total area of your pond is covered in Algae or Floating or Submersed Aquatic Weeds, it is highly recommended to only treat half of the pond at a time. 
  4. Calculating surface area and volume of a pond is critical information to making proper pond management decisions about chemical dosing. Using the following calculation will give you an idea of the overall surface acreage of your pond or treatment area in a larger water body.                                       Length x Width = Square Ft.  Divide Square Feet by 43,560 = Surface Acres
  5.  Excessive aquatic weed growth and algae blooms are caused by a surplus of organic loads from fish, birds, dead plants, and runoffs. Adding Beneficial Bacteria products and enzymes will speed up the breakdown and decomposition of organic material improving water quality and lowering sediment or Pond Muck.
  6. Pond Dyes are ideal for spring. Shading ponds will limit sunlight penetration and reduce pondweed proliferation. Also, aquatic dyes help reduce fish stress in spring when fish have no place to hide from the sun and predators.

Apply most aquatic herbicides in the spring when plants are young and actively growing. Herbicide penetration and translocation are usually at a maximum before the plant reaches maturity. Please see product labels for complete product information and application rates for product use.

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