Article: "Weed Growth"
Excessive weed growth is a problem for swimmers and boaters. So we do our best to maintain just enough plant life to compete with algae for lake nutrient, but not so much that it interferes with lake recreation and aesthetics. Weed growth is minimized when we are able to maintain low nutrient levels, both from the sediment and from inlets. However, if we experience excessive growth, there are two herbicide approaches that are effective. One is a systemic herbicide, like Sonar, which is applied early, before weeds get tall. This minimizes weed growth and in turn it minimizes the amount of dead weeds falling to the bottom of the lake adding to the internal biomass. The other type of herbicide is a contact herbicide like Reward. Contact herbicides are applied when weeds are developed, even to the surface. The weeds are killed on contact and die off pretty quickly. Both these herbicides are applied in the spring, and they may require two treatments.
Hydro-raking can help reduce weed growth by removing some of the nutrient available to plants. It also helps remove dead plant life and shoreline leaves, again taking away nutrient for further growth. Drawdown may also help if the lake bottom is exposed long enough to freezing weather. To the extent we can remove other lake bottom “sludge,” we can also cut back on weed growth. Shading with products like Blue Dye help to cut back on weed growth as well as algae growth by limiting UV light. The challenge is to find that balance which allows some native species to flourish while keeping weed growth from interfering with swimming and boating.
Alan Fedeli, Chairman of Cupsaw Environmental Committee and NJCOLA board member