Also called “bottom screens” or “benthic barriers,” this type of weed control isn’t as well known as aquatic herbicides or lake weed harvesting.
Benthic barriers block sunlight preventing lake weeds from conducting photosynthesis. No sunlight means no weeds. It’s the most natural way to get rid of lake weeds. Several studies highlight the advantages and disadvantages.
“Benthic barriers are effective and fairly low-cost control techniques for limited areas (under 1 acre)… best suited to high-intensity use areas such as docks, boat launch areas, and swimming areas.”
—US Army Engineer Research and Development Center Environmental Laboratory
“Benthic barriers are among the safest and most ecologically sound in-lake physical control techniques. They have been effectively used in a wide variety of conditions for many varieties of nuisance vegetation. They blend in… and don't interfere with recreational activities, benthic barriers often afford the greatest public satisfaction.”
—New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Traditional lake weed barriers have had some challenges. LakeMat Pro’s patented material and superior design solves these disadvantages.
Sediment lands on top where new plants can take root.
Sediment is like dust settling on your furniture, it has to be dusted occasionally. Sweep it with a push broom, (in the lake) once a month, or simply move it every four weeks. The simple act of moving a LakeMat Pro through the water washes off the sediment.
Effects benthic communities, killing microorganisms beneath it.
LakeMat Pro’s patented material is gas- and water-permeable, it’s made for use in water. It doesn’t effect oxygen levels and allows benthic organisms to thrive. While LakeMat Pro’s frame sets on the lakebed, the fabric is designed to rest just above the bottom allowing water to flow in and out beneath it.
Non-breathable materials, like tarps or plastic sheeting, kill micro-invertebrates by creating hypoxic (no oxygen) environments, which can cause lots of problems. Not so with LakeMat Pro.
Barriers should be securely fastened to the bottom with stakes or anchors.
Not LakeMat Pros! Their aluminized-steel tube frames around all four sides hold them firmly on the bottom. LakeMat Pros come with plastic stakes, but usually you won’t need them.
Benthic barriers are “non-selective” weed control.
True in theory. But in reality, native plants get pushed out by the invasive weeds you’re trying to kill. Native plants and invasive weeds rarely grow in the same place. If you’ve seen a mass of invasive chara choking your beach, have you noticed any native plants growing in it? The answer is almost never.
Installation and maintenance require significant thought and time.
LakeMat Pros take 5 minutes to assemble and however long it takes to set it in your lake or pond. Other types of weed control mats do require considerable time and effort to assemble and install. LakeMat Pros are very quick and easy.
Other weed control mats require inserting rebar or sand, which is time-consuming and not very efficient.
The potential for tearing, and difficulty of reinstalling makes removal for cleaning impractical.
LakeMat Pro’s unique, patented material is “non-woven polypropylene.” It’s physically impossible to tear. It can be cut it with a razor-type knife, but the material is so tough, it take 130-pounds of pressure (@ 3/8”) to even poke a hole in it. That’s four times the pressure in your car tires.
Gases from plant decomposition collect under the barrier, lifting it up.
LakeMat Pro’s gas-permeable material is enhanced with gas-release flaps throughout the surface of the mat fabric, letting gases pass through. LakeMat Pro come with plastic stakes to secure the center of the mat to your lakebed if needed.