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Joined: Sep 2020
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Almost getting ready to reflood a pond after renovations and I am looking for advice or resources on beneficial vegetation. Most of what is easily available online concerns controlling nuisance vegetation, as opposed to what to plant or encourage.

Pond is in far southern Georgia. ~3 acres averaging maybe 6-7', with an additional ~acre of 1-4' at the head of the pond.

Perhaps the best resource I've found is https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-...beneficial.html#adding-plants-to-a-pond. That said, I am wary of the American water lily, in particular, in such a relatively shallow pond.

Additionally, since we've had issues with Eleocharis and will be putting in sterile grass carp, should we wait a year or so to stock carp to allow the plants to establish (thinking pondweed in particular).

Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by EWS; 10/10/21 07:51 PM.
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EWS, I wouldn't stock TGC to try and control Eleocharis. They don't prefer to eat it and will denude the pond of the beneficial pondweed first.

There are different plants in the pond community. Here is a good primer for you: https://aquaplant.tamu.edu/plant-identification/

The white lily and spatterdock can be considered invasive plants due to how fast they can spread. You can plant hardy lilies that won't spread as fast.

The only place that I know to purchase pond plants is https://www.cardnonativeplantnursery.com/

They have the plants broken down into habitat areas.

I wouldn't stock Triploid Grass Carp until you know you have a plant problem, and then make sure that they will consume the plants that are causing the problem, and won't go after the plants that you want to keep in the pond. You cannot tell them not to eat certain plants, they don't listen very well. wink


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Thanks for the response. As I said, I am wary of water lilies. Subsequent to the original post, I did find some information on more manageable lilies: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=517405. But would value input from others on these - given circumstances of this pond, I would be very wary of any lily that can handle over 3-4' of water.

The Eleocharis is a known issue. It was hyacinth that finally prompted us to drain the pond, but the Eleocharis had made one bay of the pond pretty much unfishable even before the hyacinth took over. I believe it is E baldwiniii, which when growing submersed can create thick mats that basically fill the entire water column - hard to fish and even harder to land them. When the pond was drained, you could see that it absolutely blankets the bottom in this bay, which comprises about a sixth of the main pond. It's one of the shallower, flatter areas of the main pond at ~3-5 feet, and I think would be good bedding ground if not for the Eleocharis.

The pond was created ~20 years ago and has never had much in the way of vegetation other than the Eleocharis, the hyacinth (brought it by ducks, I believe) and some sedges, bulrushes and smartweed in defined areas with gently sloping shorelines. There has never been any intentional planting.

It was actually another post on here that gave me hope the carp would control the Eleocharis: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=231460. I would prefer carp to repeated spraying with diquat. But I do understand the concern over difficulty in establishing desirable plants, particularly submergents, when grass carp are present. Any other suggestions for controlling Eleocharis while allowing establishment of beneficial submergents?

Last edited by EWS; 10/10/21 08:08 PM.
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I looked at the Oklahoma extension link you provided. I heartedly agree with that info except for the native american water lily and spadderdock (see later). Those two can be big problems in ponds but not so in small lakes or larger. For good shoreline plants explore native blue flag iris and Louisiana iris. I also agree with putting all new plants into a container nursery first to allow them to establish and then transplant the spreading plants into the pond.

I would never plant native american water lily nor spadderdock in a pond less than 3-5 acres unless you want those plants to overtake and become rampant the pond. They spread fast by seeds and the easily fragmented root rhizome buds. It often takes spadderdock 5-10 years to over grow the small pond but it can definitely do it. I've seen spadderdock grow into 10 ft of water. If you want water lilies, plant only hardy hybrid lilies in size growth spread of dwarf, small and medium. Seeds a sterile and do not have lots of rhizome buds. They spread slower and depending on spread size they grow much shallower sometimes too slow spreading for quick fish habitat - dwarf the shallowest growers.

As noted in the ok state edu link; for getting good plants established you will have to diligently fight the turtles and water fowl for eating the new plants. No matter what plants or where you get plants,, Be aware that piggy plants can be attached or associated as seeds or tissues on the new plants. Thus again the benefit of first planting in a nursery container. I've washed soil from new transplants and still commonly get unwanted nuisance plants. Waterfowl with seeds in their manure can also bring in unwanted plants. Since you live in southern US with warmer winters I suggest for the best submerged plant is the spiral eel grass and or dwarf Sagittaria. Sagittaria subulata more commonly known as Dwarf Sagittaria. Both stay short 6"-16" tall. Note that their suggestion of native standard eelgrass will grow tall (4-6ft tall), can cause clear water and cause lack of phytoplankton (nutrient competition) to allow it to grow 16ft deep. Good if you want that and bad if unwanted.

For more reading see discussion in this link.
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=440475#Post440475

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/09/21 09:52 AM.

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Thanks. The link you provided to other threads was particularly helpful - I had searched the forums, but certainly had not found all of those posts.
Various sagitarria, pickerelweed and blue flag irises are definites, and with the existing sedges, bulrushes and smartweed in shallow-slope areas, I feel like emergents are covered. Any recommendations on native submergents that might be compatible with grass carp? Or any alternatives to grass carp or repeated spraying that anyone can recommend for dealing with the Eleocharis baldwinii?

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If you know that Eleocharis baldwinii will be a problem, then the first year I'd just let it grow then towards the end of the first year before it sets it's seeds either hit it with Diquat or Fluridone. (if you don't have water flowing in or out of your pond I'd use Fluridone.) Wait until year 3 before planting any plants that cost $$ because you might have to hit it again in year 2 to kill any seeds that hadn't germinated before you whacked it the first year.

Any plants you put in the pond will get whacked by the chemicals. Grass Carp don't prefer it, so they will eat everything else you plant and leave that for the last thing to eat.

I just don't see the reason to spend $$ on plants to kill them when you kill the Eleocharis baldwinii.


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