This article originally appeared in the March 1998 Ag News and Views newsletter, revised 2023.
One of the most common calls we get during late summer regarding pond management is about a pond full of dead fish, and the owner wants to know what happened. People are worried the water has been poisoned and is unsafe. The vast majority of time, the fish kill is a result of low dissolved oxygen levels in the pond.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 Ag News and Views newsletter, revised 2023.
Aquatic vegetation is the proper name for the “moss” seen in ponds and other bodies of water. Unfortunately, many people do not view aquatic vegetation in a favorable light, with coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum) being a species that is often viewed negatively. In truth, coontail has both positive and negative attributes, and methods are available to control its growth.
During spring and summer, many people become concerned about plants growing in their ponds. This concern may or may not be justified, because aquatic plants are desirable for many pond management goals. Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) is a conspicuous emergent aquatic plant that frequently grows in local ponds. Lotus has several other common names such as yoncopin, water chinquapin, yellow nelumbo, pond nut, rattle nut and duck acorn. Lotus has large, round, entire leaves that float on the water or perch above the water. A lotus leaf does not have a slit unless it is torn. The flower is large and pale yellow. The stalk bearing large seeds bends over in the fall, and the large holes in its flat surface cause it to resemble a shower head. It typically grows in water 1 to 6 feet deep and seldom persists long in water deeper than 7 feet.