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Identifying Aquatic Weeds & Algae


Algae grows in various forms. Filamentous algae is most common, it grows in strings or mats - often on the surface. Planktonic algae causes green water. It is millions of individual cells that cloud together. Chara is a weed-like form of algae. It grows like a carpet along the bottom of the pond. It has a musky odor and feels gritty. Use Cutrine liquid on filamentous and planktonic, Cutrine granular on chara.

Cattails and Other Emergent Plants

Emergent plants grow around the perimeter of a pond in shallow water with all or most of their foliage above water. Cattails, Bulrush, Reeds, Purple Loose Strife, Pennywart and Pickeralwood are common emergents. Use Shore Clear for best control.


The pondweed family has over a dozen varieties with the four shown above being the most common. Each of these plants can grow in deeper water - up to 10' deep in clear water. Sonar, Aquathol Super K and Hydrothol work well to control growth.


This plant grows in thick clumps and is usually not a big problem. The leaves are in whorls of three around the stem. It also grows in deeper water like the pondweeds above. Komeen or Reward are most commonly used to combat Elodea.

Duckweed and Watermeal

Duckweed is hard to control. It forms a thin layer over the surface in calm, wind free ponds. Duckweed will not grow well in moving water so use of a surface aerator will help in controlling growth. For chemical treatment Sonar is the best choice. Often times one Sonar treatment will last for multiple seasons. Reward or Weedtrine mixed with Cutrine and a surfactant can also be used, but regrowth can occur quickly if application is not done properly.


While beautiful to look at, waterlilies can become a problem in many ponds. They grow off of a large central root system (much like popal trees). Some growth is great for shade and cover for fish, but when left unchecked they will over populate. Use Navigate to control unwanted growth. Shore Clear/Aquastar with surfactant will also work if used after blossoms appear.

Eurasian Milfoil

A very prolific plant! Spreads easily since fragments of plant can reroot and grow. Do not try to remove by raking. Grows very dense making swimming and boating difficult. Sonar or Navigate are best for treatment options.

Other Less Common Weeds:

  • Naiad
  • Coontail
  • Bladderwort
  • Hydrilla
  • Parrot Feather
  • Water Hyacinth



Aquatic Weed Control

Many states restrict the shipment of EPA registered chemicals into the state. At this time most products that are not EPA registered are not restricted. Please look next to each product to see if it is EPA registered. If it is, please consult the chart below to see if it can be shipped into your state:

AK, CA, CT, ID, HI, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT & WA restrict the shipment of products into their states. Products can be bought from within the state but not shipped in.

No products can be shipped into Canada. Canadian law requires different labeling and registration. US labeled chemicals cannot ship into Canada.

GreenClean is restricted in the state of NY only, all other states ok, GreenClean Pro is restricted in NY and MA.

The following chart shows which treatments work best on each aquatic plant:

E = Excellent Control . G = Good Control

aquatic plant treatments



(Always refer to current product label for specific requirements)

restrictions on use of treated water chart

* In cases where restrictions are not given in above chart, consult your State Conservation Commission or Fish and Game Department for specific restrictions. Chemical manufacturers and manufacturer's representatives can also supply you with specific recommendations based upon water usage.

** See label for distance allowed from potable water intake.

+ Not for use in potable water.

NOTE : Waiting period ranges given for Endothall products (7-25 days) are dependent upon dosages used. See labels for accurate determinations.

NOT ICE: Copper sulfate is not included in this chart nor is it recommended due to problems with copper buildup in sediments and toxicity to aquatic organisms.

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