How To Drag Weeds Out Of Pond

There are few things more aggravating than diving into supposedly refreshing lake swimming areas only to emerge entangled in weeds, lily pads, and rotting vegetation. Besides, the propeller and fishing line can get tangled when fishing in weedy waters, no matter how careful you are.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions for pond weed removal. While a few weeds aren’t necessarily terrible, they reduce sunlight and deplete dissolved oxygen from the water when left to grow.

Cattails, for example, grow thick, widespread rhizome mats in the ground that resemble roots. Some weeds, like algae, are vital to the food chain, but unchecked growth can cause difficulties for fish and other aquatic plants.

In our guide, yo can learn the best ways to get rid of weeds from lakes besides just using a weed rake for pond. By the end, you’ll have enough to go about removing lake weeds, thus improving life for your aquatic plants, fish, and all those who love to fish or swim in lakes. (Learn How Long After Spraying Weeds Can I Water)

Guide To Drag Weeds Out Of Pond

How To Get Rid of Large Pond & Lake Weeds

The best way to deal with pond weeds is to figure out what kind of pondweed you’re controlling.

We’ll go through the different types of pond weeds, and later you can see the best pond weed removal strategies to control and get rid of pond weeds.


Cyanobacteria can poison pond fish and wildlife. While not precisely algae, cyanobacteria develop rapidly and are toxic to wildlife.

While many pond owners fear algae, some algae are required for proper ecological balance, but certain species can get out of control.

Eight major species of algae are

  • diatoms
  • Chlorophyta (green algae)
  • Chrysophyta (golden algae)
  • euglenophyta (dinoflagellate)
  • Phaeophyta (brown algae)
  • Rhodophyta (red algae)

Overall, don’t panic if you find algae in your pond!

Other organisms that can’t produce oxygen or nutrients rely on them as a food source for insects, fish, and birds.

In addition, if your pond’s water quality is healthy, any algae present provides little to no damage to your pond’s occupants.

Emergent Weeds

Emergent Weeds

Emergent pond weeds, such as bulrush, are incredibly hardy and can become invasive because of rapid growth.

Rather than being aquatic or terrestrial, emergent weeds grow in a few inches of water.

Some cattail species, phragmites, purple loosestrife bulrush, and alligator weed are examples.

These plants grow along the water’s edge and lake embankments, and when left unchecked, they can consume the entire shoreline, making it difficult for humans and wildlife to reach.

Floating Weeds

Any plant, including lilies, can swiftly deplete nutrients and block sunlight if given the right conditions.

Floating weeds are most commonly seen in shallow water only a few meters deep, but they can also be found in deeper water.

They can spread across the water’s surface, stopping light and oxygen from reaching anything below.

Water lilies, duckweed, water lettuce, hyacinth, spatterdock, and waterweed are all common floating weeds.

Floating weeds are frequently easier to control than emergent weeds because their rhizomes are less extensive and more susceptible to hand and chemical removal procedures. (Learn When To Spray Lawn For Weeds)

Submerged Weeds

Submerged weeds grow beneath the water’s surface and, in the correct conditions, can become invasive and create dense mats.

Submerged weeds are found below the water’s surface; however, their upper portions may float limply on the surface.

They have flexible stems that make it difficult for them to rise above the surface, but this also makes aquatic weed removal easy through cutting, raking, or to use other pond weed removal techniques.

Lake Weed Control Methods

Before looking at the best lake weed removal tool, here are various ways you can deal with weeds covered in the previous section.

Algae Control Methods:

1. UV Clarification

UV Clarifiers, effective at a smaller scale, can control free-swimming algae mechanically yet may not be suitable for lakes.

Clarifiers control green water algae and are harmless for fish, wildlife, and microorganisms.

2. Shading & Pond Dye

Another method shown to offer success is pond dye, which reduces the amount of sunlight available to algae. Like an aquarium, this method would reduce the number of such weeds in ponds.

Unfortunately, other plants in your pond that need sunlight to reach the pond bottom and root systems could suffer from a lack of sunlight.

3. Manual Removal

String algae are usually easy to control. In contrast to conventional algae, Chara is more closely related to other weeds and plants than algae. It can be cut, scraped, vacuumed, or simply dragged by hand.

String algae are strings that accumulate to produce mats. Remove these with a rake or your hands if the mats aren’t too heavy or wide. (Read Why Do Weeds Grow)

4. Draining Pond Water

If manual or chemical control approaches haven’t proven effective in removing or controlling green water algae, drain, clean, and re-fill your pond.

This will kill most algae spores, and you can use another control method like a UV clarifier to remove the water clear.

5. Algae Herbicides

Herbicides include copper sulfate and cutrine plus. Pay attention to the product’s label to ensure proper application and dose.

You can also use another natural bacteria to break down algae, although you have to remove any algae once it dies as it would decompose and waste oxygen.

Treat only half of your pond at a time, and remove dead algae soon.

Emergent Weed Control Methods:

1. Seasonal Cutting

Rhizomes, which are thick, tangled roots-like structures from which new organisms grow, are the primary reproductive organ of most emergent weeds.

These weeds can be manually pulled or controlled with herbicides. Cutting can be effective, yet don’t cut before July, when they’re busy growing for the spring.

When they lack the energy to resprout in July, August, or September, wait. After a few years, you’ll see a decrease in plants such as cattails and phragmites.

2. Emergent Weed Herbicides

Herbicides aren’t always necessary because of the risk of chemicals harming other organisms like fish; however, such chemicals are required in some circumstances.

You need a systemic herbicide to treat plants like cattails, phragmites, and bulrush you directly administered to the plant.

Depending on your area, the herbicide, and weeds you need to get rid of, you may need a permit to apply the herbicide or use a professional. (Read Tall Fescue Vs Kentucky Bluegrass)

Floating Weed Control:

1. Manual Removal

Like water lilies and spatterdocks, some floating weeds have rhizomes; thus, you need to handle them like other plants that grow rhizomes.

Pulling, cutting, or using a herbicide. Water lettuce has no roots since it grows on the surface, and duckweed can easily be raked, skimmed, or vacuumed from the surface.

Floating Weed Herbicides

2. Floating Weed Herbicides

In more established weeds, contact or systemic herbicide may be required. Some contact herbicides work swiftly on emergent, submerged, and floating weeds, but they also break down quickly in water systems. This reduces the chance of harming your fish or other animals.

Submerged Weed Control Methods:

1. Manual Removal

Submerged weeds are easy to remove by hand pulling, raking, cutting, or skimming because of their delicate stems.

Trees can also shade the pond, but only up to 60% of the pond should be shaded to avoid stunting the growth of native plants.

2. Submerged Weed Herbicides

These species are easily eradicated by hand, although herbicides can be used if they’re well-established and a persistent problem.

Seasonal herbicides like Sonar can be used once and treat submerged and some floating weeds for the entire season. However, this offers a risk because it implies the chemical will stay in your pond for a long time.

If none of these don’t suit your case, and you want long-term control, you can try stocking your lake with grass carp.

These fish devour invasive plants, yet as they are an invasive breed, you need to check if it is legal to have them.

Lake Weed Removal Tools

Here are the best tools for getting weeds out of your lake and onto the shore where you can destroy them.

Weed Cutter

This tool is the best for removing weeds from lakes and ponds.

It’s designed to slash through thick aquatic vegetation, including cattails, lily pads, milfoil, and other rooted aquatic vegetation.

The tool is designed to be thrown into the water and dragged towards you, swiftly severing any lake weeds.

Two razor-sharp stainless-steel blades clear a 48” wide channel as you drag it through the water. Besides sinking to the bottom, its little weight allows you to throw it towards your goal simply.

A 30-foot floating rope quickly covers large areas of weeds, and a clip-on carabiner keeps your throw rope from getting lost.

Using it from a boat is possible and can be easier than dragging the weight by hand.

Lake Rake with Float

This heavy-duty metal rake works nicely with the prior tool to drag cut weeds out of the water and away from your dock. It can also skim algae and floating vegetation from lakes and ponds.

The concept is identical to the weed cutter above, plus a 20′ length of plastic rope for throwing into the water and pulling back towards yourself. It also has an 11-foot rust-proof metal handle and a polyethylene float removable.(Learn How Long Does It Take For Weed Killer To Work)

By removing the float and reducing the handle, the rake becomes a professional landscaping, ideal for cleaning up muddy lake bottoms and beach sand.

Aquatic Weed Eradicator

Aquatic Weed Eradicator

This tool is excellent for controlling weeds around docks, beaches, and lakes. It’s like the weed cutter above, but without the throw rope.

The 11-foot-long handle allows you to reach a vast area while pushing or pulling weeds.

Aquatic Herbicides

Sometimes you just have to use the big guns. For example, if the job of getting rid of pond weeds is too big for weed cutting tools, a little aquatic herbicide administered in the correct places will do the trick.

For use on turf, broadleaf weeds, and unwanted grasses like cattails and water lilies. Because of its slow-acting nature, it may take several weeks to remove weeds entirely. However, it is also safe for humans, fish, animals, birds, and pets, so there’s no need to worry.

Parachute Skimmer

While bladed weed cutters and rakes work effectively for rooted aquatic weeds like lily pads and cattails, surface weeds require a different tool.

A surface skimmer is required to properly remove algae, blanket weed, and duckweed from the water surface.
Traditional surface skimmers cannot capture algae and other floating debris and a 5-foot-long floating collection net.

It has two parts: a top piece to catch surface scum and a bottom weighted component that suspends below and traps suspended objects. A screen between the two portions guarantees all pond weeds are caught.


The Beachroller is another effective tool for weed removal, breaking uproot systems, and ensuring weed regrowth.

Unlike other weed removal tools, this roller tears up the root system and tills the lake or pond bottom, ensuring a sandy and smooth bottom.

You just put the roller in the water, let it fill up to the lake bottom, and push it along to cut and pull weeds by their roots.

There are end caps allowing you to add weight, so it stays on the bottom of the lake as you drag it with your boat.

Weed Cutter

Pond weed cutters are long-handled tools with V-shaped blades on one end. Weed cutters should be light enough to handle but heavy enough to sink to the bottom and dragged to cut all the pond weeds at the roots.

Like a pond rake, good cutters often come with ropes attached to the handles, allowing them to be thrown into the water and brought back, weeds and all. After a few passes with the weed cutter, move to the rake to collect the freshly cut weeds.

Lake Bottom Blanket

The Lake bottom blanket is a 100% organic, easy-to-use, and highly effective lake weed control solution for lake property owners, pond owners, and anyone who has lake weeds plaguing their water source.

It is 100% effective on subsurface weeds, and the organic material doesn’t harm the fish, animals, or other aquatic life living in your lake or pond. You can install the Lake Bottom Blanket anytime in the growing season and move it or remove it after 4 weeks, then store it until the next weed season.

If you can’t kill weeds in your lake, here’s how to remove them.

  1. Wear waders to avoid getting wet and reaching weeds further from the bank. Determine wader height by pond depth and personal choice. Wear gloves when using a rack or rake to protect your hands.
  2. Begin removing the bank of invasive weeds. To begin, extend the rake into the water and remove weeds near the water’s edge.
  3. Work your way around the pond’s edge to remove weeds that are easy to reach.
  4. Wade into the water to reach weeds that grow further out. Then, wade out to a shallow working area where water won’t flow over the waders. Firmly hold the rake.
  5. Extend the rake out from your body and rake the invasive weeds in the pond. Then, pull the rake toward you, pulling the weeds.
  6. Pull weeds from rake tines and set them on the shore.
  7. Continue to stretch and pull the rake to clear weeds from the growth in the pond.
  8. Place weeds from the water on the bank to help drain water and reduce overall weight.
  9. After that, bag the weeds and adequately dispose of them.

How To Drag Weeds Out Of Pond

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