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Lake Weed/Algae Control

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Does anyone know what is recommended to control Chara (pronounced "Care-a") which is a rootless algae. I tried a product from a company in Rogers that claims they are in the business of "restoration" of a "lake". This product we were told was effective in largely eliminating chara, and it was spendy. I thought I'd roll the dice on it to give it a shot. Well, I tried 2 applications of the stuff, and it had NO impact, whatsoever. So, I thought I'd call them and get their take. The guy essentially said that chara is essentially impossible to control, but if anything would do anything, it would be this product. He also stated that chara would be back soon, and that it would involve repetitive applications and wiht that, it may never make an impact. I told him that the sales pitch that they gave (keep in mind I supplied a picture of the growth, and it was ID'd as the chara algae) said that this was the product to control chara. I NEVER would have purchased this expensive stuff had they said what they told me today. So...this post is for 2 reasons.

1. Does anyone know of a real method to control this algae (by the way it looks like a weed that lays on the bottom)?

2. Get the word out about this company (not specifically mentioning names) doing a bait and switch with a hefty fee.

Any feedback is appreciated.

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Try the aquacide company out of White Bear Lake

Recommended Products

CUTRINE-PLUS Granular

Excellent

CUTRINE-PLUS Liquid

Excellent

WEEDITRINE-D combined with CUTRINE-PLUS LIQUID

Excellent

HYDROTHOL 191 Granular

Good

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Problem with Aquacide they sell it and you dont get a permit from the DNR you could face a large fine,some chemicals are also restrictive of human ,animal contact without posting area treated, a suit could follow.

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Chara is a branched algae. If you grind it with your fingers it should give you a musky odor. Make sure you have identified it correctly. There are some good sites on the web with descriptive photos. I am assuming you purchased Hydrothol 191? Depending on how big of an area you treated and the water depth you may have been under the dosage rate needed to control the chara. What are the dimensions of the treatment area? how deep is the water 1/2 way out and how deep is it all the way out? How much chemical did you put in that area? You can figure out the acre feet of your treatment area and get to the right dosage rate. 100' X 100'/ 43,560(feet in a acre)gives you surface area of .229 acre. If your average water depth is 5 feet you would have 5 X .229 = 1.14 acre feet. The label will tell you how much product to apply to control your target plant.

Apply in the morning on a sunny day with little wind. If you made the application under the cover of darkness it will not be as effective.

If the 191 isn't doing the trick try using a crystal form of copper sulfate (CuSo4). Much more economical. And can control the chara effectively.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL CAREFULLY!!!

and stay within the label dosage rate.

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This was a real small area (15' x 30') and about 4' deep. This was the CuSo4 product (crystal).

You are also correct in your description of the musky odor (skunklike).

I will be shifting gears to the old bed-spring.

Just frustrated with the lack of truth given to us when dropping a good chunk of change.

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I have had similar situations with them - they tend to know their stuff but their solution is always herbicides and algacides - not good for fish! Regardless of that...as you now know, Chara is not an easy thing to deal with. For anyone else that hasnt seen it, its kind of crusty and abrasive and when you crush it in your hands, it stinks. As you research it, its sometimes called Skunkweed or Muskgrass. Sometimes people actually like this algae because it can help keep the water more clear and it acts as a ground cover meaning that it might not let other invasives come in. But since you are wondering how to get rid of it the best way is WORK. Yup, good ol labor! There are several mechanical tools available. ( Note from admin, please read forum policy before posting again,thank-you.) They are in plymouth or new hope. I have a 18' long reach rake from them but they have other options like a beach buddy . They also have aeration and fountains - not sure but that may help too. Sorry for the long post - I feel your pain!

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It's not conducive to the kid's swimming. I'm talking a small area around the dock. It gets to be about 4-6" of wirey-smelly mess on the bottom.

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Well, I'm going to give you some tough love, so take it with a grain of salt:

Why not use the stuff to teach the kids about biology or lake ecology? Chara isn't a broadleaf that is going to harbor a bunch of fish by any means, but it is an algae so you can talk about eukaryotic cells. Chara is great for attracting crayfish; it is one of their favorite foods. At night you can use a flashlight to see all the crayfish scuttling around on the bottom. Young of the year perch and panfish like to hang out near chara flats, see if you can see a few from the dock and talk about their importance.

I offer these alternatives because I don't think chara really impedes swimming. If you are taught that it is part of the lake, the mental block of "weeds are icky and need to be eliminated" isn't harbored in your children. They learn that they don't need an immaculate sand beach for swimming. I see it as a tragedy of the commons thing...everyone does habitat elimination or manipulation incrementally and thinks they have no effect. Then you look around the lake and see sprawling docks, lawns mowed to the water's edge, and automatic weed rollers gearing up at 7 a.m. each morning.

It's within your riparian rights to do as you wish within the letter of the law, so I can't criticize you for doing what you want to do, I'm just saying you might consider thinking about it twice. Chara is tough to get rid of, grows quickly, and is one of the first plants to recolonize a barren area.

Good luck.

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I remember swimming at the lake when I was a kid you either had weeds on your legs or rocks and blood suckers I preferred the weeds LOL I really don't like the idea of dumping poison into a lake then swimming in it or eating fish out of it especially kids I doubt if that smelly algae has anything caustic in it like the weed killer does after treatment, I just don't trust chemical company's in general.

Definitely call the DNR and make sure your not destroying critical fish habitat or spawning area.

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