ALERT - NEW INVASIVE WEED FOUND IN THREE LAKES
Curly Leaf Pondweed
Curly-leafed pondweed gets its name from its rippled, wavy, and crinkled submerged leaves, growing in water up to 15’ deep. The leaves are often compared to small lasagna. It has small “teeth” along the leaf edge. Curly-leafed pondweed can be an aggressive invader that can cover large portions of lakes. It is a non-native plant and should be eradicated as soon as possible. In early summer of 2006, we found and pulled out one patch in Waccabuc. In 2007 and 2008 we’ve found growing plants in a Waccabuc cove and a stand at the west end of Oscaleta. Please keep an eye out, report any new infestations, and pull all that you can!
Young curly leaf pondweed plants can form under ice cover during late winter, which makes this invasive one of the first nuisance aquatic plants to emerge in the spring. Curly leaf pondweed spreads in many ways: turions, which look like small brown pine cones, are dispersed by water movement; established plants form large colonies from rhizomes; and curly leaf pondweed can also spread by fragmentation.
Impacts: Curly-leaf pondweed is a highly competitive plant, capable of rapid growth and spread. Infestations may displace native species, reduce biodiversity, impede recreational activities, and reduce property values. As the dense mats of vegetation decay, available oxygen in the water may be depleted. The resulting anoxic (low oxygen) conditions may lead to fish kills and harm other aquatic organisms. Nutrients released from the decaying plant matter may also contribute to cultural eutrophication and algae blooms.
At the early stage of infestation, we may be able to control this by hand harvesting. Please contact Paul Lewis 763-3231 or Jan Andersen 763-3615 if you find this plant in our lakes and let us know where you found it. Pull it out by the roots, carefully collecting all the pieces and dispose of the weed away from the water.
This plant most likely came to our lakes as a “hitchhiker” on a boat. Please ensure you carefully inspect all boats or water toys that come into our lakes. Also please be careful to dispose of unused bait appropriately. This is the dominant plant at Lake Katonah, and they use herbicides annually to control it.