Lake Shore Management - The Essentials

September 19, 2010

One common problem among all lake shore owners is that of weed management. Not only can the aquatic weeds clog up and potentially damage a boat’s motor, but quite frequently they are an unpleasant sight and a nuisance in any swimming area. Also, the build-up of algae (ie "pond scum") can lead to a foul smelling environment and render a swimming area unusable. Some lake weeds can even create very dense mats on the surface of a lake that boating through them becomes impossible.

A few common species of invasive weeds that have become a nuisance all across North America are Curly-leaf PondweedHydrilla, and Eurasian Watermilfoil. These invasive species are capable of rapidly taking over entire lakes and choking out other native species necessary for a lake’s health. One particularly detrimental problem caused by such weeds is that they create poor spawning conditions for native fish, leading to a weakened and suboptimal fishing experience within the lake. It is very important to be aware of such invasive species of weeds and if one makes an appearance you need to take appropriate measures in order to preserve the health of your lake.

Invasive weed species need to be taken seriously and therefore weed management and awareness is a necessity for all lake users. Many lake weeds are capable of seriously inhibiting recreational lake activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The most important thing that boaters must do to prevent the spread of these plants is to always remember to drain their boat’s live well and to check to make sure that their boat is not carrying any weeds from one lake to another.

For lake shore owners, there are a couple of solutions to the problem of managing lake weeds:

  • Professional Service. If you are part of a lake association, you can contact them to find out if your lake is being treated by professional herbicide applicators. If not, it may be a good idea to recommend to your association that they find a professional service to do so.
  • Do-it-yourself Herbicides. Lake shore owners with a do-it-yourself attitude can obtain aquatic herbicides and may use them as directed on the packaging. These herbicides are often sold in easy, ready to use kits.
  • Mechanical Removal. Lake shore owners that are hesitant to use chemicals in their waters may find comfort in obtaining a mechanical weed-removal tool. These can range from something as simple as a lake rake all the way up to an innovative product called the LAKEMAID®, a rake-dragging arm that attaches to a dock’s post and automatically clears an entire area of weeds as well as restoring a lake shore’s bottom to a smooth and pleasant texture.

No matter which solution you choose to manage the weeds in your lake shore, you should take pride in the fact that with doing so you are preserving the overall health of your lake and its ability to serve as a source of many recreational activities.

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