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The Dangers of Aquatic Weeds

Posted on April 10 2019

The Dangers of Aquatic Weeds
Aquatic Weeds

Aquatic weeds are part of healthy lakes, rivers, and streams. They provide food, living space, and shelter for fish, birds and other wildlife. They protect lake shorelines by holding soil on the lake bottom and water’s edge, which in turn reduces erosion.

A problem arises when too many aquatic plants exist, and they become nuisance weeds. Too many aquatic weeds can reduce water quality, get tangled in boat propellers, produce bad odors as they rot along the shoreline, reduce property values, hurt tourism, impact fisheries, increase communities’ budgets for control and management of the weeds and can be a dangerous hazard for swimmers. Nuisance aquatic weeds can be native or invasive.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are those plants or animals that are not native to a given area and have characteristics that can harm the environment, the economy, or even human health. Characteristics of invasive species can include the ability to establish quickly, produce a high number of offspring, grow and reproduce quickly, disperse over a wide area, persist without cultivation and other advantages over native species.

Impacts of invasive species can include:

    Increased competition with native species
    Alteration of environmental conditions
    Reduction in variety and diversity of species
    Less suitable habitat for fish and wildlife
    Impacts on food chain and effects on ecosystem

Aquatic plant invaders form dense mats of vegetation that block sunlight and decrease any native plant from growing (which in turn reduces native wildlife which rely on the native plants). Once the invading plants begin to die, the decomposers consume the oxygen in the water, creating an inhospitable environment for native aquatic species.  These mats also pose a severe problem for boaters and others using the water for recreation. Boat propellers can very easily get stuck in the plant’s stalks, and the thick weeds make it impossible and very dangerous to swim in invaded areas. It has been recorded that people who swim in dense aquatic weed areas have been known to get tangled in the aquatic weeds. Once tangled, individuals may start to panic and may waste precious energy on kicking and panicking trying to escape the aquatic weeds. After panicking and fighting to get out of the weeds it is possible that the person may be too exhausted to swim anymore and may become susceptible to drowning. This can especially happen with children as they are generally smaller, are not as strong of swimmers as adults, and may be vulnerable to panicking more in these situations. These are just some of the many reasons we believe in limiting the number of aquatic weeds present in your water body.

Because aquatic weeds are in water bodies, they are hard to remove effectively. Chemicals can spread quickly, so herbicides are challenging to use in invasive aquatic situations. To prevent the spread and establishment of invasive aquatic plants all recreational equipment must be properly cleaned after use, and boats should never be driven through invasive plants as they can be quickly spread through stem fragmentation. That’s why we recommend stopping the growth of aquatic weeds right at the source. Aquatic plants grow in the muck at the bottom of the water body. This muck is composed of rich organic material that provides lots of nutrients for aquatic weeds. Therefore, without the muck there would be fewer aquatic weeds. That’s where Muck Away comes in! We sell a specially formulated product that’s designed to sink to the bottom of the pond and eat away the muck where the aquatic weeds grow. Once the muck has been removed subsequently the aquatic weeds are reduced. The great thing about this product is that it is not a herbicide; instead, it is a beneficial bacteria. This bacterium is already naturally present in the soil to break down organics, however, through science we were able to take this bacteria and put it into a pelleted concentrated form for you to use where ever you like! Such as along the dock, the shore, around your boats, or throughout the entire dugout, it is up to you! So, if you would like to reduce the aquatic weeds in your water body or have any questions give us a call.


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