Monday, March 10, 2014

Management Minute - Aquatic Plant Management Options

Hydrilla infested waterbody in North Carolina.  Photo Credit: NCSU

Happy Monday everyone!  Many of us have been slammed with cold weather this winter.  Perpetual snow and ice have kept us yearning for those warmer, sun-filled months that seem like they may never show.  In our haste for a change of season, we have likely forgotten that many aquatic nuisance plants arrive and thrive with the rising mercury.  Today on our "Management Minute", we will be taking a look at a few of the resources available to you through the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation.

Rake of Hydrilla.  Photo credit NCSU
 When aquatic weeds are encountered by a group of stakeholders, a quick and cost efficient means of control is often the first thing to be sought after.  Despite what many may think, there are a wide variety of control options available to handle just about any weedy situation in a water body.  This is discussed in depth on the AERF website by Dr. John Madsen of Mississippi State University.  Dr. Madsen suggests that issues in determining the appropriate solutions in aquatic plant management  are mostly sociological rather than scientific.  "In most instances, a motivated resource management group (whether they be a lake association or a local, regional, state or federal agency) could use a half-dozen of the available options to manage aquatic plants in their lake. The limitations to effective management are time, patience, and funds, not the lack of an effective management tool." says Madsen.

The AERF publication, "Advantages and Disadvantages of Aquatic Plant Management Techniques" discusses the variety of control methods available for nearly all of your aquatic weed problems.  This paper helps point out that there truly is no "one-size-fits-all" model for aquatic plant management. What works for one plant species in one waterbody, may not be as transferable as one might think to another water body. From biological control of hydrilla through grass carp to the chemical control of water hyacinth, this paper has it all! 
Eurasian watermilfoil infestation.  Photo credit: NCSU

 Have a look at this publication to make sure that you are prepared for aquatic weed treatment season 2014.  For more information on the topics discussed, see the AERF Best Management Practices Handbook.  Join us later in the week for more of the best in aquatic plant science, management, and innovation!  Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow on twitter for updates!

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