Characteristics common to aquatic plants:

Both non-native and native aquatic plants can grow faster and denser than normal when too many nutrients enter a lake. These nutrients come from many sources: failing septic systems, runoff from fertilized lawns and gardens, animal wastes, and stormwater runoff and erosion from construction sites. Nutrients and soil from these sources help to enrich lake bottom sediments, providing "fertile ground" for aquatic plants. With all this extra plant food, aquatic plants can grow too rapidly and become a nuisance.

An On-line Version of an Aquatic Plant Identification Manual for Washington's Freshwater Plants

By far the largest group of aquatic plants, marginals are plants that typically grow at the edges or "margins" of a pond. These also do well in bog gardens. Much like lilies, many tropical marginals will provide extraordinary colors not seen in most hardy marginals. Treat them like annuals and replace each year.

Aquatic plants are classified as:

An On-line Version of an Aquatic Plant Identification Manual for Washington's Freshwater Plants No single definition of aquatic plant control can cover each specific contingency; therefore, good communication on the front end is a key. The resource manager and stakeholders must first establish expectations for the amount and duration of plant control prior to the initiation of a control activity, and then implement a management strategy to meet these expectations. This definition and the attached paper are intended to address factors that relate directly and indirectly to aquatic plant control. Numerous variables influence aquatic plant control operations and many of these parameters, including water body uses, environmental conditions, and available management tools are presented in , along with the influences they may have on the planning or outcomes of aquatic plant control operations. The white paper and Appendix may be useful to managers responsible for conserving identified uses and functions of public waterways, and who must explain to stakeholders the reasoning behind management plan selection and the ultimate results.

Aquatic Plant and Algae Management Permit

The above definition best applies to management techniques that directly target a reduction in plant biomass. It is recognized that some management strategies seek to impact factors such as plant reproductive capacity (e.g., production of flowers, seeds, tubers, etc.) or nutrient availability, and while these techniques are often recognized as a valuable component of an integrated management program, physical reduction of plant biomass may not result for many years. Moreover, in our definition, the use of the term “substantial” may seem ambiguous; however, we feel there is an inherent problem with using quantitative guidelines (e.g., a 70 percent biomass reduction results in acceptable control) to define what is in most cases a series of qualitative field observations by the aquatic resource manager and stakeholders to determine the success of the management activity. Aquatic resource managers should always consider if the proposed management technique has a successful track record, and know the limitations of the potential strategy. Claims that a product or technique can provide control should be supported by peer-reviewed literature, experiences from other resource managers with similar management objectives, or current research and demonstration efforts.

Remember: Never discard aquatic plants in natural waterways.