Lake owners know that plant maintenance is crucial to preserving the aesthetic appeal and water quality of your lake. Not many know, however, that not all aquatic plants are bad! Aquatic plants are crucial to the ecosystem of your lake, they convert nutrients found in the water and soil into plant matter fed on by aquatic animals and bacteria.
Lakes and other water bodies need aquatic plants to thrive and remain healthy and visually appealing. We already know aquatic plants provide habitat and protection and food for the animals and bacterias living in the water, but they also prevent shoreline erosion by fighting and filtering unwanted bacteria, minerals, and particles in your water.
Aquatic plants become the problem, however, when there is an overgrowth of aquatic weeds and invasive plants, especially in shallow areas such as your beachfront and shoreline. Overgrowth can lead to a reduction in oxygen levels, potentially clog any pipes and filters, and can get in the way of recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and sailing.
Controlling Aquatic Plants
Although aquatic plants can be beneficial, they can also create problems such as overgrowth and unsightly weeds. Additionally, invasive plants can disrupt the biodiversity of the water’s ecosystem, negatively affecting water quality. So, it's important to know how to identify the different types of aquatic plants growing on your waterfront.
Aquatic plants are present throughout the year because they have an adequate supply of nutrients and water. The amount of growth depends on if there is adequate depth in your lake as plants tend to grow in shallow areas. Floating plants and algae are the most common types of aquatic weeds, these plants can spread rapidly and cause odors.
Categories of Aquatic Plants
Many aquatic plants look similar, but they are typically divided into three categories. Aquatic plants can grow in or on water and are either submerged, emergent, or floating. It’s important to know which types are beneficial and which ones are harmful to your waterbody.
Emergent Aquatic Plants
Emergent aquatic plants are mostly beneficial. They are rooted at the lake’s bottom and extend way past the water’s surface, allowing leaves to photosynthesize more efficiently due to high levels of sun exposure. These plants act as nutrient filters that can keep the lake’s ecosystem healthy and thriving by keeping mineral and bacterial levels balanced.
Examples of emergent aquatic plants include:
Submerged Aquatic Plants
These types of plants grow from the lake bottom and rise to just below the water’s surface, growing entirely underwater. Submersive plants are usually considered undesirable, especially in small ponds. Too much of these plans can be concerning because they have the potential to reduce oxygen levels in the water, negatively affecting the health of animals, bacteria, and forage that live in it.
If submerged plants account for over 20% of your aquatic plant growth, it is considered harmful and possibly destructive to your lake and shoreline as overgrowth can lead to muck and shore erosion.
These types of plants include:
These types of plants float freely on the surface and can grow in water with adequate depth. Floating plants can quickly cover the entire surface of your lake which prevents sunlight from penetrating the water, causing oxygen depletion. Low oxygen levels can prevent native plants that keep your lake healthy, from growing properly, and can affect fish and other species living in the water.
Examples of floating plants include:
Invasive vs Native Aquatic Plants
Invasive plants are introduced into lakes and ponds through human activity. This includes boats, trailers, bait, and fishing tackle bringing foreign matter into the waterbody. These plants should be removed as soon as possible because they can be extremely destructive and dominate the entire water body entirely.
Some examples include:
Native plants play an important role in the ecological balance of lakes. They provide food, shelter, and protection to aquatic wildlife. Planting native plants are one way of managing and fighting off any invasive plant species on your waterfront, and because these plants are adapted to the local environment, they are typically easy to grow -- requiring little to no effort from your end.
Aquatic Plant Maintenance
The LakeMat by Goodbye to Muck allows you to control 100% of your aquatic weeds naturally. Our design allows you to target which areas of the water you want to be totally weed-free, targeting even floating plants such as lily pads. The LakeMat will take care of aquatic plants without the use of harmful chemicals, sharp blades, or electricity – keeping the oxygen levels in the water at optimal levels.
The LakeMat is made with the strongest geotextile materials on earth and lasts for a minimum of 20 years. The non-woven and permeable synthetic blocks UV rays from reaching the lake bottom, interrupting the photosynthesizing process and eventually killing off forage underneath. The LakeMat is also quick, easy, and inexpensive to install, just lay your LakeMat in the desired area for 3 to 4 weeks, then move it to a new spot.
Maintain with Goodbye to Muck
Depending on their type, aquatic plants can either be beneficial or harmful for your lake or waterbody. The best way to keep your lake at optimum conditions is to quickly identify and control plant growth.
Goodbye to Muck has created innovative products such as the LakeMat to make aquatic plant control quick, easy, and most importantly, safe. Our mission is to create solutions that will make your waterfront healthy and visually appealing all season long.
At Goodbye to Muck, lake maintenance is convenient and hassle-free.
Visit us today and check out our range of lake maintenance products.