Water chestnuts are a fast growing annual aquatic invasive that spreads rapidly and outcompetes native plants. The chestnut is found underneath the rosettes and have barbs that can be painful if stepped on.
The Water Chestnut plant is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and has since been spreading throughout the country.  If left, without intervention, Water Chestnuts will spread rapidly causing dense mats that make it difficult for people to fish and recreate.
Hand pulling is a great way to remove Water Chestnut’s before the seeds mature. Each chestnut contains seeds that can be viable for 25 years! Once the infestation has been cleared, the pulled plant material is collected and either disposed of or used as a compost.
Property owners should be aware of what the plant looks like to pull the plant and dispose of to help stop the spread.  If you are not able to please call SLPID at 518-223-3252
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Manager has requested that harvesting be minimized to preserve fish habitat.
  • Not entering shallow water areas with the harvesters preserves refuge areas for aquatic wildlife.
  • Operating the harvesters in between docks puts the harvesters and private property at risk for damage.
  • Working near-shore puts the harvester and operator at risk due to submerged pipelines, old dock debris, and the chance of hitting docks or boats is great.
  • Harvesting is for boating access to clear paths from groups of docks (not individual) to deep water areas.
  • Areas in between docks, boats, and shorelines are the landowner’s responsibility.
  • The harvesters stay away from all personal property.  This includes locations with moorings, swim floats, and other obstructions that will NOT be harvested near.
  • The SLPID board expresses the focus of the harvesting program has to be for access to deep water and cannot be for inshore personal use clean-up.

Whether it is seen as good or bad, aquatic vegetation (lake weed) is a part of lake living. All summer long, the aquatic weed harvesting team is very busy on the lake with two aquatic weed harvesters cutting back the lake weeds. As the summer continues, the increase of warmer weather and sunshine has promoted more weed growth. The aquatic weed harvesters cut up to 15 truckloads or 20-25 tons a day.

The weeds are cut and loaded onto a conveyor belt with minimal fall off. The harvesters cut leaving a band and then returning to pick up any fragments left behind. This is the best strategy that is followed in the state to assure there is minimal spread. The aquatic harvesters have the least impact on fish and other aquatic wildlife in the lake assuring an eco-friendly future. The vegetation is then trucked off to nearby farms and used for compost.

Some property owners like to maintain the weeds on their lake frontage. When clearing weeds on your lake frontage and around your docks, it is advisable that the weeds are removed out of the lake. Not only is this courtesy and respect to your other neighbors – so the weeds do not wash up on their frontage – but, this helps to control weed growth as the weed fragments are responsible for spread.

Piling weeds along the shoreline, on rocks or in a nearby stream or pond also facilitates the growth and is not suggested. The vegetation can be used as fertilizer and compost for garden beds or dried, bagged and brought to a nearby composting station. When boating, please take caution and do not go through weed beds as this is another way of spreading weed growth.