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Aquatic Plant Management

A Primer on Aquatic Plant Management in New York State


Overview

The presence of aquatic plants in lake environments can be summarized in a single statement:

If light reaches the bottom, plants will grow.

Of course, it is not as simple as that. Aquatic plant populations are governed by a complex interaction of physical, chemical, and biological factors.


This report provides basic information about recognition of native and non-native aquatic plants in lake environments and ways to manage non-native aquatic plants that grow taller, thicker, and denser. Too many of the wrong type of plants in the wrong place at the wrong time are no longer beneficial aquatic plants and commonly viewed as WEEDS. The document also describes the elements needed to develop a comprehensive aquatic plant management plan and local- and lake-scale control strategies that have been used to minimize the impacts of invasive plants on lake uses. Invasive plants, particularly non-native plants, can rarely if ever be eradicated from lake systems.