Iowa DNR offers ideas for underwater weed control in late summer
The summer is coming to end, and for some of those who want to get out on their ponds, the weeds are so thick that fishing is difficult and swimming is not desirable.
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.
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 cutter sinks to the bottom and cuts the stems as it is dragged back. The weeds will then float to the top. The wind can take them away, or they can be picked 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 them.
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.