Anglers lucky enough to own their own pond know the joys of catching fish from waters they personally manage. They also know the labor involved in upkeep of a personal fishing hole. This time of year, aquatic vegetation is likely at its densest, making it difficult to fish a pond or even launch a small boat. Here’s a few tips on controlling pond weeds.
Pond owners should remember that a healthy pond needs some aquatic plants. Managing vegetation for a balance that is good for fish and anglers is the key. Herbicides are a tool in the arsenal for pond owners with a big vegetation problem, as are triploid grass carp, which can be introduced to feed on pond plants without risk of them reproducing.
However, for those willing to put in a little sweat equity, pond rakes and cutters are less-obtrusive, less-expensive measures that can be used to clear around docks, swimming areas and to cut fishing lanes.
Attached to a rope and thrown, rakes can either be dragged along the bottom to rip up vegetation or they can be used with a float to skim sludge and plants from the surface. Cutters sink to the bottom and cut the stems of plants that will then float to the surface for disposal.
Check state laws about disposal of aquatic vegetation. They are intended to stop the spread of aquatic invasives. Many plants spread by fragmentation, so be careful not to let cuttings drift into other areas. Allowing plants to dry completely on the bank before moving them not only lightens the load, it keeps them from spreading.