Lake Weed Removal Options

Lake weed removal plays a very important role in the health of your lakeshore which is why the Minnesota DNR, along with many others, continue their research on finding the most effective solutions to removing lake weeds from our Minnesota lakes. Lake weeds are not only a nuisance to boaters, but they can also be a safety hazard to swimmers. One of the main challenges in controlling lake weeds is the continuous maintenance throughout the spring, summer, and fall that is required to ensure a clean lakefront.

Lake weeds, in some aspects, are similar weeds that grow in your garden on land; they will keep coming back even after they have been removed. Not only do you sometimes see re-growth of the same weeds, but different types of lake weeds bloom at different points throughout the season. For example, curly leaf pondweed often grows between the months of May and June whereas Eurasian milfoil grows up toward the end of June into July. We have found that the most effective, eco-friendly way to remove aquatic lake weeds is through the process of SCUBA by-the-root extraction. This technique guarantees a weed free area instantly and all the weeds are removed directly from the lake. Another benefit of hand harvesting each and every individual weed by their root system is the long-lasting results it creates.

Below is a list of pros and cons for the different lake weed control options (ordered from the most to least effective).

SCUBA By-the-root (hand harvesting)

Scuba divers line up alongside a dock each with a hand full of lake weeds.

  • Eco-friendly
  • No health hazards
  • Longest lasting results
  • Selectively removes invasive weeds and maintains native weeds
  • Prevents muck buildup
  • Instantly weed free
  • Won’t feel any weeds when swimming
  • Removes dangerous objects such as sticks, cans, and glass
  • Weeds are all hauled away/removed from the lake
  • More Labor intensive so costs are higher than other methods

Learn more about our SCUBA by-the-root process here!

Cutting (Machine harvester)

Harvesting algae

  • Can do acreage size areas further out in the lake
  • No health hazards
  • Less expensive
  • Many weeds are missed
  • Not long lasting results- like mowing lawn- need to keep coming back
  • Can spread weed fragments
  • Regular maintenance
  • Not selective in terms of weed species


Chemical control of lake weeds

  • Least expensive
  • Can service a larger area
  • Some health concerns
  • Strict regulations
  • Can create muck buildup
  • Must wait up to days/weeks before swimming
  • Pets can’t drink from the water for a certain amount of time
  • If you have lawn irrigation fed from the lake, you will not be able to water your lawn after chemicals are applied
  • Can be hit or miss with the results- large patches of weeds may still remain
  • Must be applied multiple times – regular maintenance
  • May cause weeds to die and float to surface

Visit Minnesota DNR chemical regulations to find our more information.


Let’s Connect & Get to the Root of Your Problem!

As experts in the field of aquatic species, we can help determine what the best solution is for your specific needs. Call Waterfront Restoration to schedule a free no-obligation consultation! Either in person or with a virtual meeting! One of our WR team members welcome the opportunity to walk you through our programs, capabilities and pricing options! Located in the Twin Cities, call Waterfront Restoration today at: 952-356-0614. Located in Brainerd Lakes area call us at: 218-210-2003.