Native Aquatic Plants
Aquatic plants such as water lilies, bulrush, coontail, cattails, eel grass (and many more native plants) may seem to be only a nuisance to the casual observer and, as such, they are often called weeds; however, they are very important and beneficial to a healthy and well-balanced lake or river environment. What do they do? What are the benefits?
Ø Buffer wave action and help prevent shoreline erosion,
Ø Take up nutrients present in surface runoff,
Ø Take up nutrients present in the lake bottom sediment including decaying plant and algae organisms,
Ø Give off dissolved oxygen that fish and invertebrates require,
Ø Provide shade and cover for young fish (e.g., sunfish nesting) and beneficial insects,
Ø Provide food and nesting material for waterfowl,
Ø Compete with algae for available nutrients.
A healthy shoreline on Cross Lake would be one that is ringed with native plants all summer and has an absence of exotic weeds such as Curleyleaf Pondweed and Eurasian Milfoil. Cut the exotics and let the native plants grow.