curly map

This map, provided by the city of Pierre, shows where the city intends to treat for curly pondweed, a species of aquatic vegetation. Curly pondweed is a native of Eurasia and Africa, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and forms dense mats that can inhibit the growth of native plants and impede recreational activities.

The city of Pierre intends on taking on curly pondweed, according to Parks and Recreation Director Tom Farnsworth

Curly pondweed, a nuisance aquatic plant, is blooming in Lake Sharpe and causing the city environmental and safety concerns, Farnsworth noted.

“Lake Sharpe is very important to recreation in Pierre,” he said. “Aside from the environmental hazards of the weed, we’re concerned about swimming and boating safety.”

Of particular concern, is the area of water between the Causeway and Downs Marina. The Curly Pondweed in that area stretches from the bottom of the lake to about 18 inches from the surface of the water.

“Especially with the Fourth of July upon us, we want to mitigate the weed to the best of our abilities along the swim beaches and heavily recreated areas,” said Farnsworth. “We don’t want boat motors, people, or pets to be bothered by that stuff.”

A city contractor is scheduled to treat the water using a spray boom attached to the back of a pontoon boat. The boom has drop lines that deposit the chemical treatment among the weeds.

Farnsworth says that the city has treated the water in the past but is utilizing a new system this year.

“Previously, we tried a broadcast system that basically sprayed the chemical over the water. This more direct application has proven to have a stronger impact,” said Farnsworth.

Curly pondweed grows from the lake bottom forming dense mats that interfere with fishing, waterfowl hunting, water recreation and can deplete oxygen levels leading to fish kills.

The city received a permit from the State of South Dakota to apply the chemical treatment. Exposure to it is not considered dangerous to people or animals.


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