By Jason Luce, Lake Management Scientist
Throughout history, humans have always been drawn to water. Each of us undoubtedly has positive memories centered around a lake, pond or river. After all, these resources have forever played an important role in the health, happiness and functionality of our communities by serving as sources of food, drinking water and recreation. But as our world becomes increasingly developed, the risk of spreading aquatic plant species to non-native regions is at an all-time high. Once established in new ecosystems, invasive species can threaten local wildlife, impede recreational activities, even interfere with management of stormwater.
The eradication of invasive species can certainly be viewed as an investment in the long-term safety and enjoyment of our water resources, but how can we accomplish this sustainably?
Where do invasive species come from?
Invasive plant species can travel and establish themselves within new ecosystems in a number of ways, including recreational boat travel, industrial shipping, bird migration and storm introduction through floods or high winds. Regardless of the specific travel mechanism, the invasive nature of a plant comes from an absence of natural competitors or predators. Plant biodiversity can decrease once an invasive plant is established, threatening the diversity of species that depend on native plants, including fish, animals, micro-invertebrates, and beneficial insects.
How can invasive species be controlled?
Eradicating an invasive species can be difficult, especially within a large ecosystem such as a lake or wetland system. These plants may be floating, submerged, emergent, or wetland specific. Depending on the particular species and extent of growth, invasives can be removed physically via hand-pulling, cutting, burning, or mechanical harvesting. Unfortunately, these efforts can be costly and often need to be repeated over several years to ensure the invasive species is fully removed.
(Before and After ProcellaCOR)
What if physical removal efforts are unsuccessful?
Herbicides are typically used as a last resort option, but are sometimes a necessary and incredibly important tool to target stubborn invasive species growth. While traditional herbicides have been effective at this task, a new innovative herbicide called ProcellaCOR has proven to more safely and efficiently target undesirable weeds, such as:
- Water milfoil species
- Water hyacinth
- Slender spikerush
- Crested floating heart
ProcellaCOR’s dramatically lower use rates and favorable reduced-risk environmental profile allow professionals to more selectively target nuisance species without impacting native plants. This solution also requires much shorter exposure time to the target plant, meaning clients can enjoy faster results without lake or pond closures. Finally, the reduced-risk profile, approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also gives lake managers more opportunity to manage invasive species in states that are highly regulated.
ProcellaCOR applications can only be done by certified professionals, so you can rest assured that the management initiatives are completed safely and effectively.
Selective weed management technologies continue to advance as lake and pond owners further prioritize long-term sustainable management practices. Nonetheless, ongoing monitoring and rapid response are key to staying ahead of any new potential spread. When an invasive species is identified in the early stages of establishment, it is possible to minimize an infestation before it gets out of hand.
Ultimately, we all play a part in the protection of our precious water resources from invasive species. Our efforts not only protect native wildlife and cut costs, they help to extend the longevity of lakes and ponds for our children and future generations to use, play and enjoy.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management needs.SOLitude Lake Management is an environmental firm committed to providing full-service solutions that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Our services include lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management programs, algae and aquatic weed control, mechanical harvesting, hydro-raking, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, water quality testing and restoration, bathymetry, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat assessments, invasive species management and nuisance wildlife management. Services, consulting and aquatic products are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, parks, and state and federal agencies. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com