Spring is the time to get a jump on aquatic weed control

Debbie Archer | UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

Pond with weedsPINE BLUFF, Ark. — If you own a pond or lake, the warm spring weather probably makes you want to put that body of water to good use. But before you do, check your pond for aquatic weed problems.

“Plant growth won’t always hinder the use of a pond,” George Selden, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Extension fisheries specialist, said. “But if there are problematic weeds and they are not monitored and stopped, they can grow thick so quickly that it may become impossible to launch a boat, swim or fish.”

Aquatic weeds are especially a problem in older ponds, Selden said, and many Arkansas ponds were built long ago.

“Controlling weeds early in the spring is important for several reasons,” Selden said. “If weed infestations can be caught when small, control is easier and cheaper. Also, dissolved oxygen problems can result if herbicides are used to control weeds during the summer, so treatment needs to occur before the water gets hot.”

Effective control measures vary widely among different types of weeds, and weed control begins with correct plant identification. For assistance with aquatic weed identification and control measures, contact your local University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service office.

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