Category Archives: Lake Management

Hiring A Lake Weed Control Specialist

Hiring A Lake Weed Control Specialist
If you own a lake, hiring a lake weed control specialist may become necessary at some point. Here are a few things you should know before you get started. Please read this if you are considering hiring someone for lake weed control treatments.

The cost of lake weed control

The cost of chemicals used in aquatic weed control can be pretty high. The cost of earning and maintaining an aquatic pest control license is also high. In most states, it requires not only continuing education, but also annual license fees, and an incredible amount of insurance. Your lake weed control specialist carries this cost as a part of doing business. This will be reflected in the price of his services.

An ounce of prevention

Chemical and mechanical controls can not take the place of good prevention practices. Nor are they a complete solution on their own. Preventing regrowth by assuring proper fertility, and other management methods is the best practice following treatment.

Price and timing

In the event that you agree on a price, that price will be effective based on the level of infestation, at the time of the agreement. With invasive aquatic weeds, time is critical. If a week passes, between agreement and treatment, the plants could potentially double in mass! In such cases, the price would reflect this change.

To avoid timing issues

  • As soon as the problem is detected, take action! If treatment is needed, early detection and early action will save you money.
  • Contact the lake weed control specialist quickly to get on the schedule. The faster he can learn of the problem and take appropriate action, the better for you, your lake, and your pocketbook.
  • Delay your decision as little as possible. Remember, while the decision is being made, the weeds will still be growing.
  • Do not delay the treatment. Delay in treatment, could result in added cost.

Regrowth

Most chemicals used for submersed aquatic weeds, work by destroying only the plant cells that they contact. Systemic weed killers for submersed plants are extremely limited. Regrowth is a possibility. Most labels recommend re treatment of any regrowth. Extremely dense stands of aquatic weeds may inhibit the chemicals penetration to some of the plants. In such cases, 2 or more treatments are often needed. Sound management practices will discourage regrowth, and should become regular maintenance practices.

Preventing regrowth

Chemical controls should be done in tandem with other lake management programs. In low fertility lakes where aquatic weeds are a problem, initial treatment should be followed by raising the lakes fertility, to provide proper algae bloom.

If the water has a “secchi” depth of 18 to 24 inches, light will not be able to penetrate to the bottom of areas deeper than 24 inches, thus making regrowth impossible. The best weed control for a lake or pond is to prevent growth of weeds by bringing balance in fertility.

Sometimes, the opposite problem is the case. Ponds or lake with high fertility due to on site or off site runoff can develop weed problems. Vegetative barriers may be needed to slow the flow of nutrients.

If the lake is very shallow, and nothing can be done to increase the lakes depth, several treatments may be needed. In such cases, scheduled treatments should be considered, and the cost of such treatments should be factored into overall annual maintenance costs.

Guarantees

Most lake weed control specialists will guarantee that they will apply the recommended chemicals at the proper label rate and in the prescribed manner. As a lake owner, you should not expect much more than that from the warranty. Normally this works well, but in the event that some natural, or man made disruption occurs, you should not expect free re treatment from your lake weed control specialist. You would not expect the warranty on your hot water heater installation to cover earthquake damage.

Some things to avoid

  • Do not apply colorant to a pond or lake that is to be treated for aquatic weed control. The colorant can neutralize the effect of the chemicals used to treat lake weeds.
  • Do not muddy the water before treatment. Most products made for the purpose of killing or suppressing vegetation are designed to degrade when they come in contact with soil. Soil particles neutralize many herbicides, having them suspended in the water before a treatment may lead to failure.

If the water in your lake is holding a high concentration of soil particles in suspension, “flocking” may be needed before lake weed control treatment.

See also: Lake management costs


Aquatic Weed Control Types

Aquatic Weed Control Types

There are several aquatic weed control types and methods.Prevention is always best, find out more about the others below.

Aquatic weed prevention

Lake weed prevention is the best form of aquatic weed control. This is true of everything from the flu to auto wrecks: Prevention is always better than control or treatment after the fact!

Aquatic weed control using prevention starts with clean equipment.

The very best method for controlling lake and pond weeds, especially those of non native origin such as Hydrilla, Water Hyacinth, Giant Salvinia, and many others, is to prevent them from getting a start in your pond or lake.

Methods of aquatic weed movement

There may be some methods of trans-location which are beyond your control, such as water coming onto your property from other bodies of water upstream, or movement of animal life such as ducks, geese, cranes, and herons who could be carrying hitch hikers, but the highest percentage of exotic aquatic trans-location occurs through human help.

This can be intentional, such as planting some of those nice little blue flowers someone saw at another lake, or adding a little hydrilla for good bass cover. This is never a good idea. In the first place it is illegal, and in the second, those cute little flowers, or that nice cover for bass, could soon engulf your lake!

It can be unintentional, such as not cleaning your boat, propeller, trailer, live well, and other fishing gear after a trip to an infested lake. It is best to consider all lakes as though they are infested, and clean accordingly! While some public lakes do not have these problems, it is still a good idea to do a thorough cleaning before moving to the next location. You should also require anyone else boating or fishing on your private impound to do the same. These methods will not guarantee a lake free of exotic invaders, but they will help you to do all that is in your power to prevent them.

On the surface, biological aquatic weed control seems like a great idea. It sometimes is. Biological control seems to be the “green” thing to do, but I have a few things that cause me to question this method.

Biological Aquatic Weed Control

  • The controls are limited. There are a few weevils, that eat a couple of plants, there is an oriental fish that eats almost any vegetation, but so far, that’s about it.Although all sanctioned biological controls have been thoroughly researched by the top scientists in the field, things can still go wrong.
  • Changing weather conditions, and interaction with other species over extended periods of time could bring about a completely unexpected chain of events, culminating with a new ecological disaster!
  • If the new control is a natural enemy of the exotic plant we are trying to stop, and something changes, you now have two invasive predators in the environment instead of just one. What if the new entity decides it likes to eat sweet potatoes, corn, or soybeans more than what it was brought in to control?
  • In most states, the only legal grass carp for controlling aquatic weeds, are sterile grass carp. This is because they consume so much vegetation, and having an extra one or two could lead to a lake devoid of any vegetation. Accidents can still happen. The accidental, or even intentional introduction of a pair of non sterile fish into our waters could spawn the cleanest, but deadest fishing lakes in the world. The escape of the sterile form into a river could do immense damage as well.
  • If the lake weed problem is in the early stage, there is hope for eradicating it. Try using the chemical method early, and often until the problem is gone.
  • Continue to use the chemical treatments for periodic maintenance, and make adjustments to the environment such as liming if needed, and fertilization. If aquatic weeds can’t get sunlight, they can’t grow. Proper fertility will help to keep the proper level of suspended algae growth.
  • If mechanical lake weed control is needed, it should be done with the least disturbance possible, to limit fragmentation. The plants should be cut smoothly.
  • The fragments should be harvested from the water. Every fragment is a potential plant, so remove them all.

There are other concerns as well, but in a completely controlled setting, the desired effect could be gained. We should exercise extreme caution when using this method.

Mechanic Aquatic Weed Control

Mechanic lake weed control is the physical removal of a plant, or part of a plant from the lake. One methods for controlling lake weeds is physical control. The cutting, harvesting, pulling, or rolling down of the weeds by mechanical means. Mechanical, or physical control is useful in several situations. Physical removal is not always a good thing. Many times, mechanical means fragmentation which can lead to problems.

Aquatic vegetative reproduction.

Exotic weeds, and even some native plants often reproduce vegetatively. This is just another way of saying that pieces of the plant can, and do develop roots, or feeding tentacles when broken away from the mother plant. This is especially true of aquatic plants.
Many lake and pond weeds reproduce from fragments at a rate of 50% or higher. Imagine this: If you have 1 hydrilla plant in your lake, and you chop it up into 100 pieces, the chances are very high, that you will have 50 of the fragments survive and take root. Multiply that by 1000, and you can begin to understand the problem!

Now, the use of mechanical controls can be good, and sometimes are the only means of bringing about a pond or lake that is clean enough for recreational use, but it should be avoided if possible.

Chemical aquatic weed control

Many people fear chemicals, but when it comes to aquatic weed control, it is often the best option for the pond or lake, and it is often the most environmentally sound method as well. If you choose to use this method of aquatic weed control, there are a few things you should know:

It is vital to follow label directions. In fact, it is a federal crime not to follow the label directions. There are contact herbicides, and systemic herbicides. Contact herbicides kill only the part of the plant that they contact. Systemic herbicides work through the plant to get to the root. They need sufficient chemical to contact the plant for sufficient time to have the maximum effect.