Effective management of invasive aquatic plants requires some fundamental but previously difficult prerequisites. First, you have to find the infestations; not easy when you can’t see underwater. Second, you have to create boundaries of the infestation; also not easy when you can’t see underwater or when the plant does not behave and form perfect surface-growing patches that you can trace with your GPS. So it used to be a game of darts using whatever tools available (e.g. rakes, manual interpretation of GPS and sonar, aquascopes, snorkeling, scribbling on paper maps) to crudely estimate the extent of invasive plant growth. Needless to say, delineations using this technique have been crude leading to equally crude and often ineffective management.
We demonstrated one example of the differences between manual delineations of the invasive curly-leaf pondweed and more precise delineations using Lowrance HDS and BioBase automated processing. The results are telling!
Given all the economic, environmental, political, and public-relation risks of imprecise invasive aquatic plant management, can the interests of the public trust afford shotgun approaches? Many of our BioBase users like Restorative Lake Sciences don’t think so and can tell you about their experiences. Share with us how BioBase is helping you make more informed and precise lake management decisions!