Pond weed control
i have a 0.8 acre spring fed pond ~4'-6' deep that has a small overflow.
The pond has Filamentous Algae but is plagued with what I think is hydrilla or Chara Algae ( see attached). It grows to the water surface in large clumps/ patches.
The main source of nutrients that I can figure are about 20-30 Canada geese that live there year round and logs that have fallen into the ponds. The grass around the pond is not fertilized and there are no horses or cows but some deer.
the pond has been aerated for 1/2 of last summer and all winter and spring. Last year and this year I have tried various bacteria products, barley straw pellets and got a permit for and stocked 8 grass carp, and some algaecide. Last summer i tried harvesting the submerged plant by dragging a log through the pond.
The fish in the pond appear healthy. In addition to the geese, there is a blue heron
I also just purchased and will try some of Easy Pro Natural Phosphate Binder to reduce the phosphates and give the bacteria a chance.
The submerged plant has much more biomass in the pond than the filamentous algue. I want to identify the plant and find out how to control it. Thank you
Delaware County Pennsylvania
Thank you. My mother owns the pond and she likes the geese. My request was more to identify the plant.
I tested the water and the PH was 7 and the ammonia was in the acceptable range but the nitrates and phosphate were elevated.
I think the plant is Chara. Chara is often called muskgrass or skunkweed because of its foul, musty almost garlic-like odor. Chara is a gray-green branched multicellular algae that is often confused with submerged flowering plants. However, Chara has no flower, will not extend above the water surface, and often has a “grainy” or “crunchy” texture. Chara has cylindrical, whorled branches with 6 to 16 branchlets around each node.
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus” for many aquatic invertebrates. Chara is consumed by many species of ducks.
There are a couple of look-a-likes that you might want to check out, too. Texas A&M has an excellent site to help you ID plants and it shows you management options.