As I talk with people about aquatic weeds, I often field the same question: Why should I control something that is natural? True, aquatic weeds are natural components of ponds and lakes and other bodies of water. However, when aquatic weeds spread out of control, they can actually harm the health of the water.
Why aquatic weed control is beneficial
Aquatic weeds are just like other plants found in nature. However, just because they are natural does not mean they are always safe or beneficial.
For example, an overgrowth of weeds in the water may:
- Block sunlight, which can limit growth other plants desirable for a diverse, healthy plant community
- Increase rates of sediment accumulation that can over time promote algae blooms and other reductions in water and habitat quality
- Reduce available oxygen for fish and other aquatic fauna below dense weed canopies at the surface
- Promote the spread of diseases that can kill birds and other animals (see related story)
These issues demonstrate why aquatic weed control is not just about looks. It is not just about making a pond more usable for things like fishing and swimming. It is about reducing the density of problem aquatic weeds to levels that are more healthy for the body of water and the other species that inhabit it.
Which aquatic weed control solution do you need?
If you have never treated your water before, it can be difficult to know where to start. I recommend using the Weed Identification section of this website. You can use this tool to:
- Determine which species is causing a problem
- Determine which management options are suited for your problem based on what you have and how your body of water is used
The bottom line: Aquatic weed control is not a battle against nature…it is a battle against nature out of balance. Aggressive aquatic weed growth disrupts the ecology of a pond or lake, and direct intervention helps restore a better balance for “healthier” water body.