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Common Invasive Pond Weeds in the Midwest and Tips for Controlling Them

For lake associations, pond owners, lake enthusiasts, and naturalists, maintaining the health and aesthetics of water bodies is a top priority. Invasive pond weeds are a significant issue that can negatively impact the ecological balance, water quality, and recreational use of lakes and ponds, particularly in the Midwest. Understanding how to identify, control, and prevent these invasive species is crucial for preserving these valuable ecosystems.

Common Invasive Pond Weeds in the Midwest

Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

Eurasian watermilfoil, often referred to as EWM, is a submerged aquatic plant that forms dense mats near the water surface. This is the plant that inspired the start of APM. It can spread rapidly and outcompete native vegetation, leading to disrupted aquatic ecosystems.

Avoid pulling or cutting large patches of EWM! Small fragments can easily sprout new plants, spreading the problem further. This approach often worsens the issue and leads to wasted funds that could be better allocated to effective control methods.

  • Characteristics: Feather-like leaves arranged in whorls of four around the stem.
  • Growth Habit: Grows in still or slow-moving water up to 20 feet deep.

Eurasian Watermilfoil

Additional information

Curly-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)

Curly-leaf pondweed, or CLP, thrives early in the growing season, often outpacing native plants. Its dense growth can interfere with recreational activities and degrade water quality.

  • Characteristics: Wavy, crinkled leaves with finely serrated edges.
  • Growth Habit: Prefers nutrient-rich waters and can grow up to six feet deep.

Curly-leaf Pondweed

Additional information

Products to Control Invasive Weeds

APM can help you control invasive species on your own or through one of our stellar service offerings.

Service Options for Controlling Invasive Pond Weeds

  • Hand Harvesting

    Hand Harvesting is best suited for scattered and/or pioneering colonies of aquatic invasive species. The teams of divers can cover a large area without being restricted by the length of a suction hose or DNR permit. Our internally developed strategies for hand-pulling are also highly effective at minimizing re-growth of EWM.
  • Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting

    Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting, or DASH, provides an efficient and effective method of aquatic invasive plant removal. DASH has been proven successful in its ability to remove large, high-density beds of aquatic invasive plants from a variety of lakebed conditions in a relatively short amount of time.
  • Mechanical Harvesting

    Mechanical Harvesting is a management option in the APM toolkit to combat nuisance vegetation. When native/invasive plants begin to impede boat traffic or recreation, mechanical harvesting can provide navigable lanes by cutting up to five feet below the surface. While mechanical harvesting is a seasonal solution to nuisance aquatic plant growth, the results can be observed and enjoyed immediately.
  • Herbicide Application

    As a certified aquatic herbicide applicator, Aquatic Plant Management can treat your lake or pond with EPA approved herbicides or algaecides. When aquatic invasive plant growth exceeds the limitations of mechanical removal, aquatic herbicides are an extremely effective solution for eliminating multi-acre colonies of aquatic invasive plants.

Have questions about controlling invasive species in your lake or pond?

Contact us today.

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Common Invasive Pond Weeds in the Midwest and Tips for Controlling Them

Common Invasive Pond Weeds in the Midwest and Tips for Controlling Them