Curly pondweed trying to grow in Lake Sharpe is taking a hit.
Today, the city park staff treated for the nuisance aquatic plant along the shoreline and boat ramp between the causeway and entrance to the main river channel.
“Lake Sharpe is very important to recreation in Pierre,” said Toby Stertz, Pierre Park Department. “We want boaters and swimmers to be able to safely enjoy our waterfront, so we’re doing what we can to eliminate the weed.
Curly pondweed primarily grows in warm clear water where sunlight can be accessed. It grows from the river bottom to within about 18 inches of the surface, forming dense mats that can interfere with fishing and water recreation.
“We don’t worry as much about it in the deeper water. It just can’t survive without sunlight,” said Stertz. “Our goal is to keep it out of boat motors and away from people and pets.”
The city uses a chemical to abate the weed and applies it using a spray boom attached to the back of a small boat. The boom has drop lines that deposit the chemical among the blossoming weeds.
According to Stertz timing is a bit tricky when it comes to treating for pondweed. Water has to be warm enough to allow the plant to sprout, but it needs to be treated before it grows much.
“Once it takes off, you end up with a lot of long stringy weeds that are tough to get rid of. Without early treatment, we could expect a full bloom by the Fourth of July.”
The City received a permit from the State of South Dakota to apply the chemical treatment. Exposure to the chemical is not considered dangerous to people or animals.