Aquatic Vegetation Control

Aquatic Vegetation ControlAquatic vegetation, both native and exotic, can become a nuisance if not properly managed. This is especially true in fertile ponds where there are plenty of nutrients available for plant growth. Excessive vegetation can hinder fishing, swimming, and boating activities. In some cases the easiest and most effective control can be achieved by stocking grass carp into your pond. In situations where biological and mechanical controls of vegetation are not effective or possible, herbicide treatments can produce the desired results. The use of approved herbicides for the control of unwanted vegetation is safe when handled and applied properly.

Aquatic Vegetation Many herbicides treat specific plants, therefore proper plant identification is essential. We provide weed identification services and offer specific recommendations for aquatic weed control, including herbicide use.

American Sport Fish has certified aquatic herbicide applicators that are experienced and qualified to treat your weed problem. Contact us for more information regarding our herbicide application services.

Pond FertilizationFertilizing a pond may increase the productivity of the pond by as much as 400%. When fertilizing, the goal is to produce an "algae bloom", which usually turns the water a green color. This algae bloom is actually billions of microscopic algae cells that act as the base of the food chain in your pond. By increasing the amount of food in the base of the food chain, you will increase the amount of food available to all sizes of fish.

Begin fertilizing when the water temperature approaches 60 degrees (normally in late February or early March in the southern U.S.). Make the first application at twice the recommended rate, to stimulate the bloom. After the first application, fertilize once every two weeks at the normal recommended rate until the bloom becomes established. Once the bloom is established, you will fertilize as needed based on the water visibility.

Visibility can be measured using a white disk, 8-inches in diameter, attached to a rope or a stick. Simply lower the disk into the water until it disappears, then slowly pull it up until it reappears. Measure the length from the water surface to the disk. This is the visibility of the water. The recommended visibility range for an algae bloom is 18 to 24 inches. When the visibility is too clear (greater than 24 inches), it is time to fertilize. When it is less than 18 inches, the bloom is too thick, and you should not fertilize until the pond clears to 24 inches. When fertilizing based on visibility, you will fertilize about once a month. You should stop fertilizing around November when the water temperatures decline into the 50’s.

Note that your pond may not produce the proper algae bloom if the alkalinity of the water is low. Have a water sample checked and add agricultural lime if needed.

  • Never fertilize when undesired aquatic vegetation is present.
  • Fertilizer will stimulate its growth, creating a larger problem!
Fertilizer Types Application Rate Comments
12-48-8 (Perfect Pond Plus) 5 lbs/acre This powdered fertilizer will dissolve in the upper 24 inches of the water. It can be poured from a boat or broadcast from the pond bank. No mixing or platforms are needed. It is the easiest fertilizer to apply for ponds and lakes.
10-34-0 Liquid 1 gal/acre This must be diluted with 5 to 10 gallons of water then applied by scoop or sprayer, or mixed in prop wash of an outboard motor. It is heavy (13 lbs/gal), and will layer on the bottom if not mixed.
20-20-5 Granular 40 lbs/Acre Pour on submerged platform 18 inches deep near shoreline. Do not broadcast over the pond bottom!

Surface AerationSurface Aeration

Power House aerators are surface floating units designed to provide daily and/or emergency aeration in ponds. Power House produces models available from 1/20 hp up to 3 hp models. These sturdy units come with the motor, float, and mooring lines, and are available with either 50 or 100 foot cord. They come ready to aerate the water with a vertical stream of water. They can be equipped with a “flow kit,” which allows the user to mount the motor horizontally to create a flow or directional current in the water. Installing automatic timers with aerators makes operation more convenient. Contact us for more information and pricing.

Operating Surface Aeration Systems

Surface aeration systems such as the Power House models are designed to provide emergency aeration to the pond at times of low dissolved oxygen. In most cases, it is not necessary to run the aerators 24 hours per day. During the day, microscopic algae produces oxygen through photosynthesis. This is usually enough oxygen to maintain a healthy environment. At night, the algae begins respiration, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. It is usually at night and in the early morning when oxygen levels are at their lowest. Unless you want to manually turn your aerator on each night, it is best to install an automatic timer to operate the aerator. Begin running the aerator in the spring from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am each day. This is more necessary in the hot summer months when water temperatures are high and algae blooms tend to be most dense. The aerators can be turned off once water temperatures decline in the late fall. It is not necessary to run the aerator during the winter months.

Diffuser SystemOperating Diffuser Aeration Systems

Diffuser systems are designed to mix the water throughout a pond, preventing the pond from forming layers (becoming stratified), of warm, oxygen rich water and cool, oxygen poor water. If a pond is allowed to stratify, there is a risk that the pond can experience a turnover, which occurs when constant wind or a cool rain shower forces the two layers of water to mix. The turnover can cause a fish kill because of the reduction in oxygen concentration in the water. The destratifier prevents the pond from forming layers, reducing the possibility of a turnover. When beginning to destratify, the system should only be run for a short amount of time. The goal is to slowly mix the layers so that we don’t force a turnover by mixing the layers too quickly. On the first day, run the destratifier for 15 minutes. On the second day double this amount of time to 30 minutes. On the third, double this amount to an hour. Follow this pattern until you are running the system for 24 hours per day after one week. The system should be run constantly for the warm months of the year. The system can also be run year round.

Diffuser Systems

Vertex aerators are designed to destratify ponds as well as provide aeration. The diffusers from this system are placed on the pond bottom. Air bubbles, produced by a compressor mounted on the pond bank, travel down weighted tubing to the diffusers. As the air bubbles travel to the pond surface from the diffusers, they create lift, bringing water with them. This concept is known as “air-lift,” and the current created by it mixes the water which prevents the pond from becoming stratified. Vertex diffuser systems are available in several sizes. Vertex also produces fountain systems for aesthetic uses. Contact us for more information on sizing and pricing.