Aquatic plants in ponds can be beneficial in moderation, but they can also be deadly to fish when left unmanaged, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
Brittany Chesser, AgriLife Extension aquatic vegetation management specialist, Bryan-College Station, said emergent plants, also referred to as shoreline plants, can be beneficial for water bodies when managed properly, and a new course is available to help landowners manage aquatic species in private ponds and lakes.
“Emergent Aquatic Plant Identification and Control” will teach participants how to identify emergent plants and how they differ. The course explores management challenges, offers examples of native and invasive species, and ends by providing resources to manage aquatic vegetation.
By the end of the course, Chesser said registrants will understand the importance of managing native and non-native emergent aquatic plant species and how to identify species commonly found in Texas and the southeastern U.S. The program will also provide effective control options, including mechanical or biological means, for aquatic plants.
More about the series
The course is the final program in a four-part series related to aquatic plant management. The program and the series are available for private applicators and landowners to access wherever and whenever they prefer.
Chesser said the course will take approximately one hour to complete. No prerequisites are required, but prior viewing of the “Aquatic Vegetation Management Basics” course is recommended. Other courses include “Algae and Floating Aquatic Plant Identification and Control” and “Submerged Aquatic Plant Identification and Control.”
Registration for each course is $25, or all four courses in the series can be purchased for $85. Each course provides one Texas Department of Agriculture integrated pest management continuing education units upon completion. Program purchases allow access for one year.
“An overabundance of aquatic vegetation, varying from algae to shoreline plants, can be detrimental in ponds, especially in ponds stocked with fish,” Chesser said. “Untreated, aquatic vegetation can decrease oxygen levels in water and cause fish kills.”
She said the overall goal of this series is to provide the knowledge for landowners to identify and manage these plants effectively.
“This new course specifically covers both native and non-native emergent plants commonly found along the ponds edge. Dense stands of this vegetation can deter wildlife and livestock access and also hinder recreation by snagging fishing lines.”