How to Maintain and Remove Coontail from your Lakeshore

If you own a lakefront property, you may notice a variety of lakeweeds beginning to wash up on your shoreline or accumulate around your dock. Many of these floating lakeweeds are native to Minnesota, and the most common include coontail, eelgrass, and chara. Eurasian Milfoil, an invasive lakeweed, can also wash up on your shoreline. 

A variety of lakeweeds can inhabit your shoreline or clog up the water around your dock. The lakeweed we see at Waterfront Restoration causing the most issues is coontail. While it lacks true roots, coontail may be loosely anchored to the bottom by specialized, finely divided, or free-floating stems. Due to the lack of roots, it allows the plant to free-float around the lake in certain conditions such as wind patterns or boat traffic. Since coontail struggles to stay anchored in the sediment, it moves around the lake with wind patterns and boat traffic.

If you’ve noticed weeds accumulating along your shoreline or around your dock, keep reading to find out how to manage and remove lakeweeds like coontail. 

Issues caused by a coontail blockade 

Coontail is an abundant lakeweed that you may also know by the name “hornwort.” Unlike many other aquatic species of plants, coontail is a free-floating plant, meaning that it lacks true roots. They can appear to anchor or “root” in the sediment, but not by true roots but rather buried stems. 

When a coontail plant does manage to anchor into the lake bottom with its rhizoid structures near the base of the plant, it is often confused with other lake plants like milfoil

Since coontail is a free-floating plant, wind and water movement can easily relocate the plant. That’s why, even after physical removal, you may notice more coontail blow back in and wash up on your shoreline. Eventually, this causes a blockade making it difficult to enjoy the lakefront property. A thick enough build-up of coontail can inhibit your ability to enjoy recreational activities like boating, fishing, and swimming. 

In addition, coontail can also stunt fish, deplete their oxygen levels, and make it difficult for them to move about naturally; therefore, regularly maintaining coontail is important not only for you but also for the ecosystem.

Coontail is a native lakeweed, so in small concentrations, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s when it starts to accumulate in large quantities that it can become an issue. 

How to remove coontail 

How you remove aquatic and floating plants can impact the ecosystem of the lake. That’s why at Waterfront Restoration, we have an experienced team of divers and shoreline cleanup workers who remove lakeweeds like coontail. 

Physical management and removal of coontail and other floating weeds is done by raking or seining the plants from the water. While this is one of the most effective methods, coontail can reestablish if any fragments of the plant remain.

Leave coontail removal to the professionals. 

There are a lot of factors to consider when managing and removing coontail from your shoreline. Waterfront Restoration takes the guesswork out of your lakeshore management. Call to schedule a free no-obligation in-person or virtual consultation for coontail removal today.

Our expert team at Waterfront Restoration walks you through all of your options and how we will get your waterfront weed-free again. 

Located in the Twin Cities, call Waterfront Restoration today at 952-356-0614. 

Located in the Brainerd Lakes area, call us at 218-210-2003.

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