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 Ponds and lakes can develop dense stands of aquatic vegetation that interfere with intended uses and can destroy the aesthetic value of the site.  "Most weed problems can be resolved with good planning and careful management of a body of water," said Dave Rizzuto, TWRA Region I Lake and Hatchery Biologist.

 Planktonic algae and aquatic plants compete for growth in a pond and since planktonic algae is the primary food for many aquatic life forms, heavy plant growth can produce a limited fishery.  Ponds choked with aquatic vegetation almost always have large numbers of small fish, and consequently, offer poor fishing.  Prevention of aquatic vegetation is often the most practical solution in overall control. 

 Preventive measures include carefully planning pond construction, appropriate fertilization, chemicals, herbicides, and biological control.

 Some types of aquatic vegetation will eventually grow in almost all ponds, so the best time to plan for aquatic plants is during pond construction.  One important construction feature is to deepen the pond edges to eliminate very shallow water.  If there is no vegetation present, fertilizing will cause a green "bloom" of microscopic algae which will shade the bottom and suppress aquatic plant growth.  If vegetation is present, however, fertilizing will make the problem worse.
Certain chemicals and herbicides are capable of controlling specific types of aquatic vegetation, but Rizzuto advised that before making any purchases, the owner should contact their Regional TWRA office for advice.
 Biological control can be a long term, cost-effective method for the management of certain species of aquatic vegetation.  Grass carp (white amurs) have proven to be the most effective.  Each one is capable of eating two or three times its own weight in aquatic vegetation each day.  Also, these fish will not spawn or muddy the water, and their diet consists primarily of aquatic vegetation. 

 Anyone experiencing farm pond problems is encouraged to contact their Agricultural Extension Agent, or the nearest regional office of the TWRA.


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