Canadian Waterweed and How To Control It

Canadian Waterweed and How To Control It

Canadian Waterweed and How To Control It

Canadian waterweed might sound innocent with its picturesque name, but it's become a formidable problem in the ecosystems of lakes, ponds and streams. Native to North America, this noxious, aquatic plant has spread its roots far and wide, making itself at home in water bodies across the globe, including Europe.

Canadian Waterweed, (Elodea Canadensis) is also know as: elodea, pondweed, Canadian pondweed and American waterweed, is considered as invasive species in European waters.

Origins and Spread:

Canadian Waterweed (elodea canadensis) is native to freshwater habitats of North America, where it thrives in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams. Its journey beyond its native shores began innocently enough. Likely introduced to Europe in the 19th century, through the aquarium trade or as a hitchhiker on ships hauling lumber, Canadian waterweed in Europe was first recorded way back in 1836.

Once introduced, elodea wasted no time in establishing itself in European waters. Its rapid growth rate and ability to reproduce vegetatively meant that it could quickly colonize new habitats, outcompeting native species in the process. Today, elodea is considered invasive in most European countries, where it poses a threat to the ecological balance of natural water systems.

Invasion of Europe:

From the waterways of France and Germany, to the lakes of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, elodea has made itself at home in at least 41 European countries. In the United Kingdom, elodea has become a significant problem in both still and flowing waters, choking out native plants, negatively impacting and altering natural habitats.

Elodea’s invasive tendencies are magnified in regions with temperate climates and extended hours of daylight in spring and summer, allowing the weed to spread rapidly during the growing season. The impact of elodea extends beyond ecological concerns, affecting recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. Dense mats of vegetation can impede navigation, clog water intake pipes, and create stagnant areas prone to algal blooms and oxygen depletion. As such, controlling the spread of elodea has become a priority for water resource managers, conservationists and waterfront property owners.

Combatting the Invasion with LakeMats®

Enter LakeMats, a revolutionary solution in the battle against aquatic weeds like elodea. These innovative mats offer a chemical-free, 100% effective approach to weed control while simultaneously providing benefits for aquatic ecosystems. At the heart of LakeMats’' effectiveness is their ability to deprive invasive plants of the one resource they need most: sunlight.

Elodea, like all plants, relies on photosynthesis to produce energy for growth and survival. By strategically placing light-blocking material made of opaque, “nonwoven” geotextile fabric - LakeMats® create an impenetrable barrier between the sun's rays and the lake bottom. Without access to light, elodea is unable to photosynthesize, effectively halting its growth and spread.

Because LakeMat’s fabric is both gas and water-permeable, it allows benthic microorganisms (the small creatures that keep water bodies clean) to come and go freely.

Another version, MuckMats® offer more than just weed control. Adding a layer of reinforcing “geogrid” disperses weight over a large area (like a giant snowshoe). MuckMats provide stability, creating instant, firm lake bottoms that allow people to walk on soft, mucky bottoms without sinking. This additional benefit enhances recreational opportunities and improves the overall usability of your waterfront property.

The Innovative Safe Solution to Canadian Waterweed

Canadian waterweed may have found its way into European waters, but thanks to the innovative solutions of LakeMats and MuckMats, this noxious weed is easily controlled, safely and effectively without harming fish, wildlife, people or pets. By depriving invasive aquatic weeds of light and space, you can reclaim your water body and help restore natural balance to your lake, pond or river.

LakeMats also control any submergent weed, including Eurasian Watermilfoil, Azolla (water fern), and Naiad, to name just a few.

As we continue developing safe, effective strategies for weed control, we’re ensuring lakes, ponds and rivers remain healthy, vibrant, and resilient for generations to come.

Canadian waterweed has long, slender stems that grow from the water bottom and reach towards the surface. The stems are covered in whorls of bright green, narrow leaves, giving the plant a feathery appearance. 

Elodea often forms dense mats on the surface that make it difficult for boats to navigate through. Overall, Elodea has a distinctive look that’s easy to recognize once you've seen it.

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