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Harvesting 101 - Engineer Research & Development Center

What is Harvesting?

Operational Considerations for your lake.

Expected Results from a Weed Harvesting Program.

Most aquatic plant harvesting systems will cut and remove submersed plants to a depth of five or six feet. As this biomass is removed from the lake, the water is immediately ready for use and there are no restrictions on use of the area that might be experienced with herbicide or some biological control treatments.

Removal of this biomass prevents its eventual decay and settling to the bottom, helping to reduce sedimentation in the lake. There is some nutrient removal with harvesting too, as the nitrogen and phosphorous that is bound up in the plant exits the water body. Harvesting is usually not lethal, leaving behind an oxygen and possibly habitat producing plant, which may be desirable in some situations.

Many harvester managers have witnessed a reduction in nuisance plant growth after a few years of repeated harvesting. The plants showed signs of stress and came back thinner, lower growing, and more scattered than before. In some cases desirable plants were able to out compete the nuisance plant growth. 

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