Harvester removes spiny-leaf naiad from lake


For the past couple of years, the POA has been battling spiny-leaf naiad in the lake. This plant grows in large clusters on the bottom of the lake, and after it seeds, it breaks loose and floats to the top, creating a nuisance and possible hazard to boats.

This past week, residents may have noticed a mechanical harvester out on the lake. Mechanical harvesters are large machines that both cut and collect aquatic plants. Cut plants are removed from the water by a conveyor belt system and stored on the harvester until disposal.

Harvesting offers a environmentally sound method of controlling excessive aquatic plant growth and nuisance, such as the spiny leaf-naiad. It creates immediate open areas of a water in an eco-friendly manner.

Harvesters have the ability to cut and collect several acres per day, depending on weed type, plant density and storage capacity of the equipment.

Harvesting speeds for typical machines range from 0.5 to 1.5 acres per hour. Depending on the equipment used, the plants are cut from 5 to 10 feet below the water’s surface in a swath 6 to 20 feet wide.

Harvesting is similar to mowing a lawn, once the plant grows back, the lake will need to be harvested again.