Aquatic Weed Control
Aquatic weeds, if left unattended, can quickly emerge as a nuisance to both the health and aesthetic appeal of the pond. The two chemical-free methods for controlling weeds broadly break down into manual removal and biological control. Manual removal includes practices such as using harvesters, heavy land-based machinery, or hand tools. The pros of this approach are that its chemical free, provides fast results, and generally doesn’t require licensing or permitting; whilst the cons are that it can spread weeds, is time and labor intensive, can be very expensive, and very often leads to the unintentional destruction of plants that aren’t considered weeds. In contrast, the biological control method utilizes living organisms like tilapia, triploid grass carp, and alligatorweed fleabeetle in order to control weed growth through a more natural approach. The pros of this method are that it’s chemical free, cost efficient, and provides a fishery supplement; whilst the cons include that it isn’t effective on all weeds and the species of fish should be chosen carefully based on the plants available, results are slow, permits required, restocking fish required, and there is a potential for a fishery imbalance.
Additionally, there is a chemical-based approach. When deciding what chemical to use it is extremely important to read the label because the label is legally binding and it conveys which species the product controls and how much to apply. Certain chemistries may be toxic to fish or ineffective on pants in relation to water alkalinity and hardness, so it is important to get the relevant information off the herbicide’s label and determine the alkalinity and hardness values for your pond. It is also important to note that herbicides may require a waiting period before treated waters can be used for various activities such as: irrigation, fish consumption, watering livestock, or swimming. Furthermore, it is possible to use multiple herbicides simultaneously in a mix but the herbicides must be compatible with each other; safe chemistry mixes will be discussed on the label. It is vitally important that each individual check his local laws and ordinances to determine what license or permits are required to conduct herbicide application legally.