Aquatic Weed Control: 4 Ways to Kill Curly Pondweed

Curly Leaf Pondweed Curly Leaf Pondweed Control Curly Pondweed curly pondweeds diquat endothol fluridone invasive curly pondweed

Curly Leaf Pondweed Control

Curly Leaf Pondweed is a perennial weed that is native to Europe.  It escaped into American waters in the late 19th century and was first noticed in Minnesota in 1910.  Curly Leaf Pondweed was found in most of the United States by 1950.  It gets its name from the oblong rippled (curly) submersed leaves.  Leaves are serrated and alternately placed, typically 3” long with a reddish mid-vein.  It has annual burr-like winter buds (turions) and small reddish-brown fruit.

Curly Leaf Pondweed has a unique life cycle.  In early spring, Curly Leaf Pondweed is one of the first weeds to appear and will die back by mid-July.  Turions begin forming early summer and continue to germinate in the fall.  These turions remain alive even in winter under thick ice.

Curly Leaf Pondweed grows rapidly.  This rapid growth may crowd native growth and reduce recreational activities like fishing, swimming and boating.  These limitations may also reduce real estate values.

4 control methods:

1)      Mechanical:

Hand pulling is intensive and time consuming.  Cutting at the base can prevent turion production.  Weeds will re-root from fragmentation, so removal of all fragments is necessary.

2)      Biological:

Grass carp will consume Curly Leaf Pondweed.  Recommended stocking rates are 7-15 fish per surface acre.  Results seldom appear until the second season.

3)      Chemical:

Diquatendothall and fluridone are three good control options, especially when applied early, prior to production of turionsDiquat and endothal are both fast-acting contact options that will quickly kill the foliage they touch.  Both options can be used for spot treatment or treatment of the entire pond.  Fluridone is a systemic option that will kill the entire weed root and all.  This option is best applied early spring to new growth.  It must be applied to the entire pond and is not recommended for spot treatment.

4)      Drawdown:

This is an effective option for small areas including swimming beaches and around docks. 

5)      Barriers will block sunlight that weeds need to grow.  This option will have to be anchored and routinely maintained and may have a negative impact on trapped organisms below the barrier.

Prevention is an ideal way to prevent spread of Curly Leaf Pondweed.  Be sure to clean your boat and trailer of any weed growth before launching or removing your boat from any water body.

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