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New York Aquatic Weed Removal


Eurasian Water Chestnut Infestation

Do I need to hire a company to get rid of the seaweed on the shore of my nearby lake?


You can, but you don't have to. There are a number of companies that can come out and clear it, but most people like to just do the job themselves and save all the money.


All it takes is a weed knife, a weed rake and a little elbow grease. No permits, no licenses, no inspections needed in New York.


Want to know more? Read on!

Are there any invasive plants that I should be aware of?


Several. We found a full list here, showing the plants and a few insects, algae and fish. It also shows what region they've been known to appear in.


It's best to take care of them early and often, so if you're starting to show signs of them appearing it's time to take action today.

The worst offenders are:


  • Eurasian Milfoil

  • Eurasian Water Chestnut

  • Curly-Leafed Pondweed

  • Fanwort


What do I need to know about the law before I start cutting?


We encounter people with misconceptions of questions about the law out at trade shows all the time, so we sifted through the various laws and departments to make it easier for you. Laws can change and we’ll update these guides as quickly as possible. As always, you should contact your local office of the Department of Environmental Quality or Department of Natural Resources for advice on your exact situation.

Note: AquaticWeedTools is not a law firm. As such, AquaticWeedTools does not provide legal advice. The material in this guide does not constitute legal advice nor does contributing to the guide or communicating with AquaticWeedTools or other contributors about the guide create an attorney-client relationship.

The State of New York lets you do a lot to clear up the weeds in your ponds or lake without a permit if it’s your land and you’re using mechanical tools.


In most regions of the state, hand harvesting is not a regulated activity, although some NYSDEC Regional Offices may require permits or approval to perform larger-scale hand-harvesting. Within lakes outside of the Adirondack Park that are partially or wholly encompassed within wetlands, a wetland permit may be required.

We referenced this document pretty heavily as a source since there's just not a lot of information out there on DIY weed control in New York.


Unlike large scale, lake-wide management techniques, hand harvesting can be conducted on a single plant or a small bed at a minimal expense, if not minimal labor.

For large infestations the state usually recommends a company that can go in with scuba gear and remove them from the lake bottom. As you might guess that's pretty expensive. If you're just clearing around a shore, a tool like the Dock Weed Knife will cut most weeds out pretty quickly. Then the Dock Weed Rake or something similar will help you remove the cut weeds.


You should remove the weeds from the pond and deposit them away to keep them from coming back or decomposing on the lake floor, which may harm the fish and helpful plants.


What tools should I use to clear out the weeds around my dock?


The Aquatic Weed Rake from Prime Waters Manufacturing is designed to clear pesky weeds out with minimal effort, and safe enough to be used by any contractor or anyone in the family.

For Michigan weeds, we recommend using the Dock Weed Rake and Dock Weed Knife, and the Surf/Sand Rake to remove them once you're done cutting them down. Simply dispose of them like you would yard debris, compost them or there are companies you can hire to haul them away.

Having a clear pond all summer has never been so easy and safe for your family. If you have any questions at all, reach out to us. Our experts are ready to help!

Sources and Links

Common Aquatic Invasive Species of NY

Getting the Most (Out) Of Your Aquatic Plants

Local / Shoreline Management Activities

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