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Hydroacoustics Technology is Helping to Locate and Map Aquatic Plant Beds


Hydroacoustics technology used to navigate boats, track fish and hunt for sunken treasure is now making waves in weed control – shedding new light on the size and shape of plant beds lurking beneath the water.

To map the location of weeds, boats guided by global positioning systems and equipped with sonic depth-finders travel across a lake, bay or other body of water in a carefully calibrated pattern. Data from the soundings is recorded onto a memory card and analyzed by sophisticated software to indicate the presence of plant masses growing beneath the surface – including their depth, underwater height and density.

Growing numbers of public and private organizations concerned about invasive weeds have incorporated hydroacoustic systems. They are using the technology to map changes in both invasive and native plants under a variety of scenarios – from no management to intense management.

 
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Discharge Permit required for Weed Control - In 2009 a circuit court ruling declared that the application of pesticides to water bodies in the United States required a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued under the federal Clean Water Act. This permit is required for anyone who applies pesticides in or over water bodies, including weed and algae control.


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