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Got Pond Weeds? Call Wayne County SWCD

Each spring representatives from the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Wayne County, provide pond owners with a unique way to control aquatic weeds in their ponds. No more chemicals or dyes are needed, just some fish that like to eat weeds, lots of weeds.The fish, called a Grass Carp is similar in appearance to carp found naturally in local waters. The difference is in what they eat. They will live for approximately ten years growing quite rapidly eating nothing but the aquatic weeds. This year, as part of a revenue generating public program, the Soil & Water Conservation District will be stocking 135 weed eating fish into 26 ponds throughout Wayne County. According to Jeff Mortier of the SWCD, “the trick is to determine the correct amount of fish to stock, so the weeds are controlled without removing all of the weeds”. Some weeds are necessary on a pond, but when the weeds are over abundant, its time to control them. The process of stocking a pond begins one year in advance. First, the amount and type of weeds are determined, the number of fish needed to control the weeds is determined and then permits are required from the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. This all takes place the first year and then the SWCD brings the fish to the ponds the following spring. “The fish really do work and it’s a very cost-effective way to control pond weeds” states Mortier. “If I had a pond, I would use them as well”. For more information on this program, contact the Soil & Water Conservation District at (315) 946-4136.

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