Get the jump on aquatic weeds and algae this season!

                Some might say that its human nature to wait until there’s a problem to take action in almost any situation.  Some pond owners and property managers fall victim to this mind set when it comes to managing the nuisance vegetation in their own ponds.  It’s easy to assume that there will be no aquatic vegetation problems in the upcoming season when a quick glance at the pond in March shows no signs of aquatic vegetation growth.  A closer look will often show signs of aquatic growth in the early season.  Typically, early season cold water algae species are just starting to grow and weed species like curlyleaf and leafy pondweed are beginning grow.  If these nuisance algae and plant species are left untreated, they can quickly become a serious problem.  Once nuisance plants and algae reach a certain density, they can pose problems to the health of your pond or lake.  Dense aquatic vegetation can limit the effectiveness of your fish to find food, such as other small fish.  Like all plants, aquatic vegetation produces oxygen during daylight hours as a by-product of the photosynthesis process.  This oxygen production is a benefit to the overall health of the pond.  However, these plants convert to respiration during the non-daylight hours and consume oxygen.  If aquatic vegetation becomes too dense, it can effectively consume enough oxygen during the night (or during a several day period of cloudy weather) to cause fish to suffocate and die.  Once aquatic vegetation attains a certain density, it can become problematic to treat in a single application.  When aquatic vegetation dies, it is broken down or consumed by bacteria that naturally occur in the water.  Bacteria require oxygen during the process of breaking down plant matter, thus removing oxygen from the water that would have been available to fish.  For this reason, aquatic nuisance vegetation cannot be treated in a single treatment once it has reached a certain density.  Otherwise, if too much aquatic vegetation is treated at one time, bacteria feeding on the dying vegetation can deplete oxygen from the water and cause fish to suffocate and die. This is why it is important to get an early start on managing nuisance aquatic vegetation in your pond.  Making early treatments when vegetation densities are low and water temperatures are cooler greatly reduces risk associated with fish kills due to oxygen depletion.  Our lake maintenance customers should have received renewal proposals for the 2013 season in January or February.  If you haven’t already returned your signed proposal, please send it back in as soon as you can in order to let your applicator get control of nuisance weeds and algae before they reach density levels that can cause problems for your pond or lake.  Our do-it-yourself customers should begin applying lake dye and algaecides/herbicides as needed to gain control of aquatic nuisance vegetation before problematic densities are reached.  As always, follow all label directions and use only the amount of product necessary to gain control.