Debbie Hayes heads up our Aquatic Weed Control, Pond Management, and Retention Pond division known as Carolina Aquatics. She is certified through Clemson’s Master Pond Manager Program, has been licensed for twenty years in commercial aquatics pesticide applications, and has over two decades of experience managing ponds and other outdoor plants and pests. We focus our pond management in the counties of Sumter, Lee, Clarendon, Kershaw, and Florence. We make some exceptions. So please call her.
Most ponds have plants growing in them. Overall, some plants are good for the health of the pond, and provide food and coverage for fish. When weeds spread, or invasive species are introduced, control intervention may be required. Excessive weeds cause many problems in ponds and lakes.
Some problems associated with invasive non-native weeds include:
- impeding public drinking water resources
- blocks drainage and irrigation canals
- danger to fish from non-native species growing in massive mats shading out native plants and reducing fish spawning areas
- decreased dissolved oxygen in the water
- breeding habitats for mosquitoes
- reducing waterfowl habitat and food sources
- decreasing fisherman's success in catching fish
- increase sedimentation in flood control reservoirs
- loss of recreation uses, ie boating, skiing, and swimming
How do these weeds become introduced into our ponds and lakes? There are many ways. People introduce them with their boat motors and trailers. Aquarium plants are discarded into ponds. Water garden plants that multiply are thinned and dumped into ponds. Heavy rainfall dislodges and moves mats of vegetation. Wild life move the plants around.
States spend millions of dollars each year trying to halt the spread of weeds. One is hydrilla. It is thought to have come into the United States as an aquarium plant decades ago, in the 1960's.
Aquatic plant managers must possess many skills to properly control weeds. They must be able to identify weeds typically found in ponds, both native and introduced. They must understand the safe usage and handling of aquatic herbicides, and, how to comprehend all language included on the label. They must have knowledge of the aquatic eco-system. They must have certification and continuing education. They must know boating safety rules and, how to calibrate and operate equipment associated with aquatic plant management.
Materials used to control weeds in waterways are expensive. In many cases it is best to use a licensed professional to avoid wasting time and money. Outdoor Appearance maintains its commercial pesticide licensing through Clemson University.
Should your pond need intervention to control weeds, respond using the form below.
Certain considerations in a pond’s water quality include turbidity, pH, alkalinity, fertility, hardness, dissolved oxygen, fish populations, wildlife, and runoff. Water quality is the foundation of pond management.
Fish stocking can be for recreational pond use or for weed and algae control. Population testing for fish should be conducted in late spring. Balance must be kept to have certain types of fish ponds. Sterile Grass Carp (Triploid) and Tilapia can be used to control weeds and algae. However, annual stocking must be made to insure the best controls. Sterile grass carp work best in their adolescence years. Certain Tilapia do not over winter and must be replenished when controlling algae.
Pond structures such as inflow, outflow, basins, and dams must be inspected regularly and problems must be addressed.
This is a necessary part of pond ownership. What can you accomplish today? How about in a year, or five years? Our recent One Hundred (more like a thousand) Year event opened the eyes of many associations as to the lack of proper care of ponds and pond structures. Who does what? Where does the money come from? All of these need to be addressed by the HOA or owner(s).