Next To Nature with Winston Reed: Aquatic Weeds

Winston Reed:
This is an aquatic weed. It’s pleasant looking, but it can be invasive. I’m your host, Winston Reed. This is Dr. John Long, expert of everything nature, and this is Next To Nature. Weeds, they can be annoying in both your front lawn and the water as well, huh?

Dr. John Long:
Right. Correct. Weeds have a certain place in an environment, obviously. A weed really is defined as a plant out of place. When weeds become a problem, when they overtake certain environments, whether it be your lawn or a lake or a pond.

Winston Reed:
Right, so how do you prevent that invasiveness?

Dr. John Long:
Well, one of the ways that you prevent it is not introducing it to the water at all. Certain plants or weeds grow in the water naturally. They become a problem when they become the dominant weed within the ecosystem of the pond or lake.

Winston Reed:
We just saw somebody pull their boat into this body of water. Now, if weeds get caught up in that boat and they take it to another body of water, that can cause an infestation in that next body of water, correct?

Dr. John Long:
Absolutely. That’s one of the ways that aquatic weeds are actually moved from one body of water to the next. A person that has on their boat, whether it be inside the boat, outside the boat, or if they’re attached to the trailer itself, they go to another body of water and put their boat in, that weed can be transferred to that next body of water.

Winston Reed:
Now, I’m looking at the weeds over here and they’re not bunched up together. Seem to be pretty isolated from each other.

Dr. John Long:
Right. Some weeds are like that. Different weeds act in different ways. You can see some weeds that are clumped up as you say. Some of those are not as bad or as invasive as other types of weeds that have an overwhelming distribution within that water, such as these water hyacinth and lily pads.

Winston Reed:
This is pretty casual, not too invasive over here, correct?

Dr. John Long:
For the small clumps, yes. But when you see what people call lily pads, that is an invasive type of activity. You can see that if you look out across the water, you can see that it is primarily lily pads and they will take over.

Winston Reed:
Now, is there any benefit to the weeds?

Dr. John Long:
Absolutely. The benefits are they provide habitat for bait fish and other fish and they provide other things like for frogs-

Winston Reed:
That jump around-

Dr. John Long:
Yeah, the typical way you think about a lily pad is in the habitat for a frog. They are beneficial but they have to be controlled. You’re not going to eliminate them, unfortunately, but you can control them through herbicides, and aquatic herbicides. They tend to be expensive, but it all depends on what you want for your water. And maybe sometimes I can show you how to clean the boat where you don’t spread weeds into other bodies of water.

Winston Reed:
I love that. Well, that’s our time. Thank you for watching. This is Next To Nature. We’ll see you next time.

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Categories: Featured, Local News, Next to Nature