By Kenn McMillan-Chambers County Extension Coordinator
Got pond weeds? There is a plethora of aquatic vegetation that can potentially plague ponds across Alabama. Filamentous algae, duckweed, southern naiad, watershield, and several species of water lily are just a few of the weeds that come to mind. There are several other types of aquatic vegetation that can become a nuisance for pond owners across the state. The first step in dealing with aquatic vegetation is to correctly identify the species you have in your pond. Then you can take proper measures to control and/or eradicate these unwanted plants. There are several options in controlling “pond weeds.” Mechanical, biological, and chemical treatments are the 3 different ways to combat unwanted vegetation.
Mechanical treatment is simply the removal of weeds by hand or with use of machinery. This is a great tool in conjunction with one of the other two methods, especially in small ponds where weeds have covered a large surface area. Biological control generally refers to the stocking of grass carp (white amur) to feed on and help control vegetation growth. Correct identification of your pond weeds will tell you whether grass carp will be beneficial. Some weeds in Alabama may not be controlled by grass carp, whereas others may be completely controlled using these fish. Chemical treatment is our third treatment option and can be a very effective method for controlling pond weeds. Again, correct identification of vegetation in your pond is needed to accurately prescribe a herbicide treatment. Based on what “weed” you are dealing with, a professional will then tell you what chemical (active ingredient) you need to control said weed. Some recommendations may suggest a combination of herbicides. It is of utmost importance to ALWAYS READ THE LABEL of any herbicide before applying.
For more information on Fish Pond Management including Aquatic weed control, please visit our webpage www.alearn.info, then click on “Recreational Fishing.” Through this website you can also view a list of grass carp suppliers and a list of Pond Management Consultants who can provide herbicide application. For more information on this and other Extension topics, please contact Jordan Graves, Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management Regional Extension Agent, at 334-672-4826, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Chambers County Extension Office at 334-864-9373.