Lakes are considered a luxury due to the fact that there is only so many lake available. Lake front property is in short supply, and over the last century the development of these properties has sky rocketed. Many of the things that had made our lakes so desirable has been lost due to over development and poor watershed management.
So, what is happening in our lakes? Watershed issues and hard surfaces have changed how nutrients enter the lakes. Properties that had trees and shrubs lining the lakefront have given way to grass lawns and fresh views. This practice has changed the way run-off from our property is processed. The new backyard is designed for one thing “aesthetics” and doesn’t consider what it can do to the water quality. Grass needs to be fertilized, irrigated, and mowed on a continual basis. The effects of the phosphorous from the fertilizer can be devastating to a lake, overloading nutrient and causing high growth rates of lake weeds.
Lake: (Def) Noun : A large body of fresh water surrounded by land. Lake weeds are a major problem for millions of water sources and ponds.The development of these lake front properties has removed what is called the Buffer zone. The Buffer zone is an area around a lake that has a dense population of deeply rooted plants, tree, and grasses. Without a buffer of trees, plants and shrubs that absorb much of the nutrients that comes from our property, a high percentage of nutrients end up directly in the lake. This promotes aquatic plant growth and a shift in the water quality.
Over the years we have seen several non-native aquatic weeds sprout up in our lakes, most are from aquariums that are emptied into a storm drain, or from people that have actually planted these weeds off there property to improve the waterfronts appeal. The fact is we live in a pretty global world, so when we do something in say Athens, NY like plant a particular lily from Asia in our little pond we have introduced the entire east coast and maybe the continent to a new “non-native” species of plant. "HOW, it's just my little pond in upstate NY". All water source are open to waterfowl and storm water run off, which are just a couple ways these non native plants spread. Boating can be another high risk area where these weeds are distributed over long distances. A great book on the subject is "Diet for a Small Lake" Prepared by the NYSFOLA.
Every lake needs a balance of plant life to off set the nutrients that are available. The plant life has many forms as seen in figure 1 to the left, Emerging plants that are normally in the shallower depths and provide cover for waterfowl and fish, floating weeds like lilies and duck weed, and subsurface weed that can grow in high depths. When the balance of plant life to nutrients is altered you can have huge changes in the health of your lake.
To control aquatic plants you need to work from the idea that they are needed in some form. Killing them all to create some kind of swimming pool atmosphere doesn’t work.
What do most people want? An area for them to do what they want when they want to do it. Thanks to the Lake Bottom Blanket each home owner has the opportunity to control the aquatic weeds where they want. LBB’s can be used to clear an area for swimming, fishing or to clear a path to deeper water. It can be installed at any point during the growing season, and you have a instant weed free area.
We have put together a few pages to describe a few of the invasive lake weed species
Is it too late in the season to install your LBB "weed blankets"?
This is a question I get all...
Lake Cochituate, MA fighting an uphill battle trying to kill pond weeds?
In Massachusetts there...