How To: Remove Eurasian Watermilfoil from Your Pond and Prevent Future Weed Growth
Once established in a body of water or aquatic community, Eurasian watermilfoil grows rapidly in the early spring months. This opportunistic species can damage a natural aquatic habitat and threaten the well being of the rest of an aquatic community, disrupting important predator-prey relationships, and making it challenging for larger fish to hunt. In addition, pondweeds replace and reduce the amount of beneficial and nutrient-rich native plants that waterfowl and other fish rely on for food. Besides disrupting natural ecosystems, Eurasian watermilfoil also interferes with swimming, fishing, and boating. The denser the strands, the more difficulty industrial and power generating equipment have with water intake. Another problem is the effect Eurasian Watermilfoil has on lake and pond aesthetic. A yellow-green pond matted with vegetation gives off the impression that the lake is infested, dead, or unhealthy. Although that may not be the case initially, eventually, Eurasian watermilfoil can interfere with the natural cycling of lake nutrients to the point where water quality actually becomes degraded and steps must be taken to control these algaeal blooms and infestations.
Eurasian Watermilfoil Prevention:: To prevent the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, it’s a good idea to check all equipment used in infested waters and remove all traces of vegetation after leaving any lake, river, or body of water. This includes motors, trailers, boats, diving equipment, fishing equipment, and any other machinery that might have come in contact with the aquatic plants. Typical removal methods include raking and hand pulling—these plants can then be used as mulch. These methods aren’t ideal because although mechanical cutters and harvesters are an effective method of breaking up the Eurasian watermilfoil, they do damage other important native plants and result in disruption and water turbidity. These chopping machines also cause fragments and shoots, which become dispersed elsewhere and spread the plants. The ideal solution is to manage these zones without chemicals (disruptive to aquatic ecosystems and threatening to native aquatic wildlife and plants) and without the use of machines—disruptive and only temporarily effective. Aeration systems are ideal—in any natural pond ecosystem, you’ll find pond aeration. When 02 is added to an environment depleted of oxygen, water quality improves and fish and other aquatic animals and vegetation thrive. Aerobic bacteria thrive off increased oxygen levels, resulting in improved water quality and a natural decomposition of organic matter—this includes Eurasian watermilfoil and other plant life.
Using aeration to reduce pondweeds is a natural process—in any natural pond ecosystem, you’ll find aeration. This natural process reduces pondweeds and contributes to a healthier pond ecosystem based off the natural principle that ponds are self-cleaning and can restore themselves using their own natural processes. Ponds usually keep free and clean from excess pondweeds because they contain ecosystems with food chains to absorb excess nutrients and prevent plant growth. When runoff overwhelms delicate ecosystem balances, the overgrowth of pondweeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil is a result. Pond Aeration is the natural way to restore natural water processes, accelerating them to keep up with today’s increasing amount of pollutants. Learn more about how to combat Eurasian watermilfoil, reduce pond weeds, and improve the health of your pond by aeration.
Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer working with CLEAN-FLO to inform people about Eurasian watermilfoil and the process of pond aeration. For more information about pond aeration and pond weed removal, visit our site today!