Clean and Weed-Free Lakes are Important for Parks

Summer brings warm weather and the opportunity for people to enjoy water related recreation in parks across the country. Clean and weed-free bodies of water are important to people who want to swim, boat and fish in lakes that are not a threat to their health. Biting insects that live in weeds along the shoreline are not only a nuisance but sometimes carry disease. Aquatic weed removal preserves the natural beauty and safety of lakes and ponds so park visitors are able to enjoy a relaxing day with their family and friends.

Lake and pond weed-control is best approached as an annual management program including monthly inspections followed by appropriate treatments. This type of program typically corrects any existing issues within three months, and also helps to prevent unsightly and unhealthy future regrowth of weeds and algae. An environmentally safe aquatic weed removal program uses EPA-approved algaecides and herbicides, and may include stocking the lake or pond with Triploid Grass Carp. This fish is sterile and feeds on certain invasive weed species, although it will not eat algae.

While some aquatic plants are invasive and harmful to lakes, there are also a number of beneficial plants that can be used along the shoreline. Blue Flag Iris, Arrowhead, Pickerelweed and Canna and just a few of the attractive plants that can be used to enhance the natural beauty of ponds and lakes within the park system.

There are some cases where a body of water is so overgrown with invasive weeds that it will be necessary to physically remove them to clean up the shoreline. This process is labor-intensive and can be very expensive, but within a short time the beautiful results can be seen. Cattails are one of the most unsightly plants growing along the banks of a lake or pond as they can grow 10′ high and the clusters extend out into the water up to 4′ deep. They must be cut and removed by hand followed by an environmentally safe herbicide to prevent regrowth.