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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2017

DNR offers tips for weeds in ponds

Aug 21, 2013

The summer is coming to end, and you’d like to get out on your pond and do some fishing or swimming, but the weeds are so thick that fishing is difficult and swimming is not desirable.

Sound familiar?

While use of herbicides is an option, this time of year it really doesn’t make sense to use herbicides to kill underwater weeds, because the season for their growth is nearly over.

The use of weed rakes or cutters to remove vegetation and provide immediate access for anglers, swimmers and boaters makes sense during the late summer, although it is more labor intensive.

The use of either of these tools is ideal for weed control in small areas to create fishing lanes, swimming areas and dock access.

The weed rakes tear plants from the bottom and allow you to remove them from near shore or around docks. Attaching a float to the same rake allows it to skim and remove the weeds and moss or algae from the surface.

The cutters act a little differently because they do not remove the weeds, but sink to the bottom and cut the stems as it is dragged back. The weeds will then float to the top and you can allow the wind to take the weeds away, or pick them up with a floating rake.

These handy tools can be used for many years and are available for less than the cost of a gallon of some aquatic herbicides. Local hardware or pool stores may carry these, or try an online search for “lake weed rake or cutter.”

A long-handled rake or cutter with a reach of 10 feet or more capable of being thrown and pulled back will be most useful.

A few words of caution:

• Once out of the water, allow the weeds to dry out before moving them too far. This will greatly lighten your load.

• Many plants spread by fragmentation, so if growth is not throughout the pond, use of these methods may not be wise.

• If you are a lakeshore property owner on a public lake, you must obtain a permit to remove any aquatic plants from the water. Contact a DNR office near your area for rules and instructions to obtain a permit.


This article was provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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