People unintentionally harm pond environments by releasing inappropriate fish, dumping aquarium organisms, transferring water from a river or using contaminated equipment. Inappropriate organisms, or the microscopic hitchhikers on them, in associated water or on equipment can create havoc in a pond, such as harming desired fish populations, introducing diseases or establishing invasive species.
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.
Sericea lespedeza is a deep rooted drought tolerant perennial legume that was introduced in the upper south region of the United States from Japan in the late 1890’s. Sericea is especially tolerant of low fertility and low acid subsoils. Sericea became important as a low quality forage plant in the 1920’s and 1930’s when it was used for pasture and erosion control.