6 Best Tools for Removing Lake and Pond Weeds
Weeds getting in the way of water fun? Try these great lake and pond weed removal tools to help clear out a sandy-bottomed spot.
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Pond Weed Removal
Lakes and ponds offer many great ways to spend the warmer months. Swimming, boating, fishing, water-skiing and other lake activities create memories that last a lifetime.
The trouble is, excessive weed growth in your favorite lake or pond can quickly make time in the water a lot less fun. Think slimy weed tendrils brushing past your arms and legs as you swim, or strings of aquatic vegetation clogging your boat motor and tangling your fishing line.
These are some of the reasons many water enthusiasts make lake and pond weed removal a regular part of their lives. If you’ve got a weedy lake or pond situation, here are the best tools for aquatic weed removal, and how they work.
A rake is the first and arguably most important item in an aquatic weed removal tool collection. Designed to remove loose patches of floating, rooted weeds (coontail, curly-leafed pondweed, etc.), a good pond rake should be long-handled for maximum reach.
Look for one that’s also lightweight, to minimize leverage working against you as you reach into the water from shore. Its toothed section should be as wide as possible, to maximize the amount of weeds removed with each stroke. The best lake and pond weed rakes pluck weeds from the water’s surface and the lake or pond bottom, depending on what sort of vegetation you’re removing.
Some weed rakes, like this one from Jenlis, come with a rope that attaches to the handle, allowing it to be thrown into weedy water and dragged back to shore. It’s also got handy floatation attachments so the rake can glide along the water’s surface, pulling weeds without being submerged in the silt below.
Similar to a pond rake, pond weed cutters are long-handled implements with V-shaped cutter blades on one end. Good weed cutters are lightweight for easy handling, but still heavy enough to sink to the bottom and dragged to cut all weeds in their path at the roots.
Like many pond rakes, good cutters often come with ropes meant to tie to the ends of their handles, That allows the tool to be thrown into the water, then dragged back, taking a large swath of weeds with it. After several passes with your pond weed cutter, switch to the rake to collect the freshly severed weeds from the water’s surface.
Hand-Operated Weed Tiller
The trouble with cutting pond weeds where they sprout from the lake or pond bottom is that their root systems remain intact, allowing the weeds to grow back. That’s where tools like the Jenlis Muck Razer can help.
Featuring a rotating cylindrical head with hooked metal teeth mounted to a long handle, this tool rolls along the lake bottom, digging through mud and silt and plucking out weed root systems. Once removed, the roots float to the surface to be easily fished out with a weed rake. I don’t know of another company besides Jenlis that makes a hand-operated tool so well suited to this job.
Weed Barrier Sheets
Installing a heavy-duty pond liner sheet is one of the most effective ways to stop the growth of pond and lake weeds. Typically used to line decorative backyard ponds and streams, barrier sheets like this one can be installed in large bodies of water, too.
Start by removing the weeds from your target area. Then spread the barrier sheet out over the lake bottom, pinning it down with large rocks. Choose a barrier size that suits your needs. Once covered, weeds can’t photosynthesize, leaving the bottom clean and weed-free.
Note: Check your local bylaws before installing any barriers. The legality of this varies from place to place.
Liquid Weed Inhibitor
Sometimes lake and pond weeds become too thick for raking or cutting to be practical. That’s where the right sort of liquid water care product can make things easier. The best one I know of is Aquashade. An eco-friendly, dye-based product, it shades the sunlight that normally filters through the water, preventing photosynthesis and stifling weed growth.
Although well studied and considered harmless to all organisms besides weeds, be sure to check with your local authorities before buying or using it. There are places where these products aren’t permitted.
Rakes, cutters and tillers are all well and good, but they’re almost useless against weed varieties that grow on the water’s surface. Troublesome algae, duckweed, watermeal and other weeds have no roots at all or very light and fine root systems. This makes these weeds difficult or impossible to drag free of the water with a rake.
Surface skimmers can help. The Pond Parachute is simply a flotation stick attached to a fine, flexible mesh net. When slowly dragged through floating weed-filled waters, the buoy keeps the device moving along the water’s surface while the net trails behind. It collects large swaths of algae or other weeds in seconds.