Algae and Aquatic Weed Management

Are weeds and algae taking over your lake?

The climate in Florida is wonderful in many ways, but it has allowed many exotic plants to take over and displace our native aquatic plants. Whether your lake or pond exists for its beauty and recreational use or for storm water retention and pollution control, excessive growth of nuisance plants or algae will have a negative effect on water quality and property values.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Toxic AlgaeAlthough most algae are not harmful, blooms of some types of algae can be detrimental to the environment, plants, or animals.  A few species also release toxins that are hazardous to animals and humans. Cyanobacteria are the most common form of toxic algae in Florida lakes. Cyanobacterial toxins cause skin irritation on contact, or more severe reactions if the water is ingested. In addition to identification of problem algae, toxin testing is also available.

Because there are many factors that can cause the overgrowth in your lake, the professional staff at Aquatic Systems will do a thorough evaluation to determine the root causes before we recommend ways to control it. The methods used to clarify the water and bring back a healthy balance of algae and beneficial aquatic plants in your lake include:

  1. Biological control – These are especially good for long term control and maintenance. Biological controls that Aquatic Systems employs include:
    • Triploid grass carp are a safe and effective biological method that are often used in conjunction with other methods to bring about both short and long term control of weeds
    • Reintroducing native plants to replace the exotic ones after they are removed
    • Beneficial organisms applied to control midge and mosquito larvae as a part of a whole lake integrated management plan
  2. Chemical application – Aquatic Systems believes strongly in using the best management practice available for safe and cost responsible controls of algae, weed and pest problems in your lake. When chemicals are used, they are applied by well trained, state certified Aquatic technicians and biologists. These EPA registered aquatic herbicides have been tested and found to be safe.
  3. Nutrient deactivation – You may think that nutrients are a good thing, but anything to excess can lead to more problems. This holds true in ponds and lakes as well. Algae love phosphorus! Agents that bind to these nutrients and make them inaccessible to plants and algae are added by experienced applicators.
  4. Aeration – Ever see a fish tank with bubbles? This is the same principle applied to larger bodies of water. Fish, plants and other living organisms need oxygen to live. Lakes and ponds need living organisms to support higher life forms and to aid in decomposing organic matter and pollutants. Aeration systems add dissolved oxygen to all levels of your lake or pond.
  5. Mechanical removal – Taking plants out by hand or machine. This is appropriate when the area of plant invasion is small or localized. Keep in mind that nothing will guarantee that a weed will never come back, but a program that includes regular site checks and mechanical removal of noxious plants before they take over will go a long way towards keeping your property in balance.

A combination of two or more of these methods may be the best course of action for long term enjoyment of your lake or pond. Implementing an aquatic management program tailored to your specific needs will go a long way towards restoring the natural balance of the aquatic eco-system of your lake or pond.

Rest assured, our technicians are rigorously and continuously trained, state certified and licensed to work in aquatics, wetlands, natural areas and right-of-way environments.

Contact us today to get started on ridding your lake or pond of these nuisances.

For more information about exotic plants:
Prohibited Aquatic Plants
US Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force