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Data Collection Methods
We encourage lake residents to conduct annual (or more often) surveys of the aquatic vegetation in their lake. By knowing what normally grows in the lake and where, you can spot new, potentially noxious weeds before they become wide-spread. Early action is much less costly than waiting until the plant becomes well-established. It's best to survey on a calm day in mid-summer.
Collecting underwater plants for identification
You can collect an underwater aquatic plant by dropping a weighted rake to the bottom of the waterbody and pulling up the plants snagged by the rake. When possible, the entire plant, including roots and flowers or fruits, should be collected. (The flowers and fruits of aquatic plants often stick up above the water in a spike-like arrangement.)
For wetland or underwater plants contact:
Collecting wetland plants for identification
- Collect all or as much of the plant as you can.
- Make note of the date, location, and collector's name and address.
- Don't allow the plant to dry out.
- Wash the plant to remove algae, debris, and other adhering materials.
- Have a damp paper towel layed out flat. (Wet the towel and squeeze most of the water out.)
- Lay the plant carefully on the damp towel (as if it were going to be pressed in a book).
- Cover it with another damp towel.
- Place the plant in a watertight plastic bag, such as a ZipLockĘ bag.
- Put it in a regular-size mailing envelope
- Include your name, address, telephone number, and a copy of the notes you made when collecting the plant. Please use a ball-point or waterproof pen, so we can read your notes.
- Try to mail the plant on a Monday to minimize the time the plant spends in transit. Also call or E-mail ahead to make sure that somebody will be there to identify your plants when they arrive.
Wetland plants grow in wet areas that may become dry in the summers. Wetland species typically have their roots in the water with most of the rest of the plant emerging above the water. Cattails and skunk cabbage are examples of native wetland plants. Many of the noxious wetland species are tough and robust and do not necessarily need to be kept damp like the underwater species.
- Before collecting the plant, contact either the County Weed Board, the State Noxious Weed Control Board, or Kathy, or Jenifer. We will give you the mailing address. We need to know that your sample is on its way to us.
- It is important to collect as many parts of the plant as possible; leaves attached to stem and flowers, seedheads and fruits (depending on the time of year).
- Be careful not to spread the seeds when collecting or mailing the plant.
Poorly-prepared plants, or plants that sit in hot conditions, often arrive in such bad shape that they can't be identified.