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Can you legally remove invasive pond weeds in Virginia? (Bonus: 7 aquatic weeds to look out for)


Table of Contents

  1. Invasive Aquatic Plants Found In Virginia

  2. What government agencies should I know about?

  3. What laws should I know about?

  4. What tools are best for clearing weeds in my pond?




We all love the summer. Sunshine. Barbeques. Swimming. There's a lot to enjoy in the summer when you have lakefront property! (...or a pond or swimming hole for that matter)


The next few months are going to be a perfect time to clear any invasive weeds from your pond before they become big problems at the height of the season when you just want to be able to take a swim. Can you do it legally in Virginia though? Do you need to apply for any permits or licenses? What tools are the safest for your family and the fish population? We're going to answer these for you in this guide. Read on!



7 Invasive Aquatic Plants Found In Virginia


While you shouldn't just clear everything out without any regard to the pond's ecosystem, there are seven weeds that are considered so invasive that they should be removed to keep the ecosystem healthy. These plants can alter the pH of the water, starve native plants and threaten food sources for everything from insects to fish to birds and other larger animals.


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 below, and we've included links to Wikipedia so you can see what they look like.



What government agencies should I know about?


Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries



What laws should I know about?


After looking closely, we couldn't find any laws that applied to removing weeds with tools. We couldn't find any permits you needed to apply for either.


On the other hand, several laws are surrounding the use of chemical weed killers as a private citizen. In most cases, they affect a lot more than just the weeds you're treating for or require a license and special training to use within the state of Virginia. Pond owners are also responsible for the well-being of habitats downstream of their property. If too much weed killer is applied during a pond renovation and it causes a fish kill downstream, the owner is liable for replacement costs associated with the clean-up.


Herbicides are often toxic to most other life forms too, and if it gets released from your pond or lake it could push a sensitive species closer to extinction.



What tools are best for clearing weeds in my pond? (Or lake, swimming area, or any place with water and weeds)?


For most aquatic weed removal jobs, we recommend using the Dock Weed Rake for scooping out and pulling out most of the worst weeds quickly, and ergonomically.



For stiff reeds and thick vined weeds, the Dock Weed Knife cuts above and below water. With an 18-foot handle, it's capable of clearing a wide area with ease.


The Surf/Sand Rake is great for smaller projects like docks or beaches. At just $49.99, it's priced for anyone.





Having a clear pond all summer has never been so easy, and now that you don't have to hire someone, it's affordable for every family. If you have any questions at all, reach out to us. Our experts are ready to help!


Read more: https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/47751/VCE420_844.pdf?sequence=1



Legal Stuff


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.

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