It has taken several years of drag chains attached to tractors, grass
carp and a determined effort to rid our pond of Canadian pondweed.
Widely used as an aquarium plant, if let loose in favourable conditions, it can quickly choke the water with its rapid growth and dense foliage.
We introduced the pondweed to oxygenate the water, encourage invertebrate and insect life and offer grazing for our fish.
But the plant rapidly invaded all areas of the pond.
The light was blocked out to lower depths and the fish did not flourish. It had to go as the prime reason for our pond was to fish it and you can’t do that if your hook is constantly snagging on weed.
Our friend Sue has the same problem with her pond but a different approach to ridding her water of the noxious plant.
Her pond is situated close to the back of her house and forms part of her garden.
No room here to position a couple of tractors, nor are we talking about the same scale of size.
The pond, however, still has a deep middle section and is too big to be able to clear the pondweed from the side of the water.
This pond has for many years been home to some magnificent carp. Show stoppers.
Now unfortunately memories of a delicious meal for an otter and several herons. With the number and size of fish much reduced the pondweed was taking over. Drastic measures were called for.
Calling in the help of one of her friends as backstop to a length of rope to prevent her falling in and in an emergency pull her out, Sue donned a pair of chest waders and boots.
She clambered into the water, cythe in hand, to cut off the weed at its roots. But the floor of the pond was treacherously slippy and the slope down to the deepest section of the pond literally swept her off her feet as she slid under the water.
She was pulled out with chest waders full to the brim with pond water and weed. Time to rethink.
From the back of a cupboard she retrieved an old wet suit.
Topped up the outfit with fetching thigh waders.
Lashed herself up with the rope again and was about to enter the water when a neighbour called round.
“He took one look at me, head to toe in rubber, rope tying me a stake in the garden and my friend helping me smooth out all the wrinkles in my wet suit and tighten the ropes,” Sue said.
“Sorry, didn’t realise you were busy. I can see I have come at an inconvenient time,” he said, clearly embarrassed and thinking he had interrupted some weird fetish bondage act.
“ I haven’t spoken to him since; he takes care to avoid me” Sue said.
“That weed has a lot to answer for.”