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Darin Ballington

Weed Issues

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At the MYA AGM, Bill Green, MYA Race Officer said that he wanted to compile data on weed issues for clubs, primarily in his role as Race Officer it is to help the placing of events at the correct time of year for particular venues to reduce the effect of the dreaded, but if you have any thoughts, help or advice please contribute.

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The Environmental Agency recommends the use of barley straw for the PREVENTION of Algae growth in lakes and ponds, not so long ago I was involved in using barley straw to combat a blanket & bind weed problem in a boating lake fed by land drains. the following pointers may be useful.

1. The straw needs to be added to the lake before the problem arises. We used to add ours around mid February as it needs 4 to 6 weeks to start breaking down properly. It acts by inhibiting algae growth not destroying existing so if you are to late deploying you will need to remove it mechanically (damn hard work!)

2. The bales need to be broken up to allow the water to circulate throughout the bale, if you don't do this the centre of the bale can stagnate and can actually make the problem worse. (place them in loose chicken wire or the posh reusable version plastic mesh) http://www.componentforce.co.uk/category/410/protective-netting-standard

3. Add flotation devices (we used pop bottles) to the bales to keep them on the surface of the water as the straw becomes waterlogged.

4. Dosing rates are quite critical and can be found out by trial and error, an Environment Agency article gave typical dosing amounts, which are repeated here, this may not be practical for very large lakes.

https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/fs1171/Pond-Lake-Mgmt-Using-Barley-Straw-to-Control-Algae.asp

5. The breakdown of the barley adds minute amounts of chemicals to the water which would appear to INHIBIT the growth of ALGAE, please note that despite it's name Blue/Green Algae is considered a bacteria and not an Algae.

Dyes may also be used and will help to inhibit the growth of horticultural weeds as well this is perhaps the most useful article on it's use within recreational lakes

http://www.maidenheadsc.org.uk/main/images/downloads/dye%20use%20in%20weed%20management%20-%20very%20final.pdf

 

I hope this helps

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As a newbie to the sport I am puzzled by the coyness (bordering on dishonesty) of clubs about their weed problems. This year I was a member of two shallow water clubs, which I shall not name to preserve their dignity, both of which are known to experience weed problems. One of them announced a Summer sailing schedule for the weed period but then failed to announce that their weed was so severe that racing had to be abandoned all together and could only be resumed properly at the end of September. The other published a sailing schedule at the beginning of the year and maintained that schedule throughout the Summer despite their sailing water being so severely affected by weed that only shallow keeled boats could be safely sailed. Why can't clubs be honest about their weed problems, publicise when they have weed that interferes with sailing, and indicate what alternatives are available to members and, more importantly, potential members? Given that weed is an inevitable feature of shallow water ponds and is likely to appear and disappear at about the same time every year, give or take a week or so, why on earth do clubs insist on publishing Summer sailing schedules that they have little chance of maintaining? Insiders to the sport know all about this and take it in their stride but it really puts off newcomers, particularly when they turn up at ponds on bright Summer Sunday mornings, as invited on club websites, to see nothing but swans and ducks.

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Charles.

I am sure we are all saddened by your assessment of Radio Sailing Clubs as being coy and bordering upon dishonest, to paraphrase.

You infer that you are no longer a member of these clubs because of the propensity of the sailing water to become un-sailable due to weed and wonder if you have found another club.

One believes that you may not appreciate that a Club is a collection/group of member and not a commercial organisation and that in general Clubs find it hard to attract people to run some aspects of the club particularly the Club Website and so you might consider closer involvement in a Club.

Communication is the key and is a two way street and nothing prevents you from e-mailing or telephoning the Club Sailing Secretary to get a status report ahead of the event/meeting.

Regular attendance and contact will forewarn you about potential weed issues.

EVERY Club in the UK is blighted in some way with Weed or other conditions, ice in winter, leaves in autum etc. that makes sailing impossible or frustrating.

What is Bill Green Doing

Bill Green is not trying to produce a Real Time Weed Alert; he is compiling a Data Base of measures of COMBATTING the problem, MEASURES that Clubs might implement ahead of the weedy season.

The problem is that a Club, as stared earlier, is but a collection of members. The difficulty being tasking the implementation of control measures to someone is difficult. The problem is compounded in many cases by the fact that the Club do not control the water and do not have the resource to implement control measures.

Similarly the weed growth does not follow a strict calendar and the severity changes from year to year.

One should review Harold Ramis's play Groundhog Day, to gain better insight or simply Search - "Weed " on this forum for previous postings- You will get at least 5 hits dating back at least 5 years.

Dave

11

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Dave,

Once people start patronising people rather than actually responding to their concerns, which in my case related to the public face of our clubs, there is only one way these discussions go on-line which is very personal and very nasty. I guess that's the way the world of model yachting works and I will have to live with it.

Out,

Charles

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At the centre of just about every "hobby" club are four or five hard working people who do 95% of the work for tbe other members. I think this true of most model yacht clubs and I suspect this group will also be at the centre of any work party to treat,clear,worry about weed!. So whilst it would be great for the club webmaster to be posting weekly updates on stuff like weed, it cant match commercial sites and he probably has other jobs to do. A rare occurance ( !) but I agree with Dave in using direct phone or email contact to get the current situation. With increased temperatures, more non native species and more fertilizer washing in the growth of weed is going to get more eratic.


At worst, enjoy that moment as the club superstar picks up the frond of weed and all others sail by!

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To be fair , many clubs will not be the arbiters of what happens to the water they sail on as the "owners" will be local councils , water authorities or commercial ventures. You may, as a club, have permission to sail on the water but not to undertake "groundwork" by adding chemicals, straw or whatever. The club that I joined recently sails by grace of the local sailing club on a reservoir which they use by arrangement with the local water authority. Presumably , anyone wishing to undertake weed suppression would have to get that Authority's clearance.

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I spotted this thread while browsing the forum and found myself smiling and wondering if Bill's database included entries for Eels, Jelly Fish, and flexible plastic bags? Catching an eel or jelly fish on a fin or bulb is, indeed, something else and results in a 'call' that is definitely not in the published rules of sailing!

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On the plus side a metre of weed cushioned my IOM ASBO that recently sank at the Cotswold Model Yacht Club lake. The downside is that its formed a 1m deep layer at the bottom of our lake and thats in winter. The CSC dye the lake in spring and summer but we have to find a way to control this weed.

Has anyone tried using a thick plastic sheet, weighted down with paving slabs to stop the light getting to the site of the weed growth. Our lake is relatively shallow and flat and it might work. Anyone tried it?


Started out in 150ft schooner. Started out RC sailing with 30 year old IOM, then went to an ASBO, then DF65 X2, and now a new Sedici IOM. The Cotswold Model Yacht Club is a wonderful place to sail with friendly people and lively sailing.

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On the plus side a metre of weed cushioned my IOM ASBO that recently sank at the Cotswold Model Yacht Club lake. The downside is that its formed a 1m deep layer at the bottom of our lake and thats in winter. The CSC dye the lake in spring and summer but we have to find a way to control this weed.

Has anyone tried using a thick plastic sheet, weighted down with paving slabs to stop the light getting to the site of the weed growth. Our lake is relatively shallow and flat and it might work. Anyone tried it?

 

Unfortunately Paul I think that the best way to stunt growth is to have a period of sustained cold weather, which we have not had for a few years now, but it would be good to try your suggestion in a small area to gauge success.

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Thanks Darin, I'll see if we can do a small scale trial.

Paul


Started out in 150ft schooner. Started out RC sailing with 30 year old IOM, then went to an ASBO, then DF65 X2, and now a new Sedici IOM. The Cotswold Model Yacht Club is a wonderful place to sail with friendly people and lively sailing.

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Weed Cutting

Background

In 2017 Rotherham MYC with the Sailing Club purchased a Reedman Weed Mate which is a 5ft wide reciprocating cutter on an adjustable shaft, driven by a 12v electric motor. The cutter is mounted on a bracket on the front of a Dory, and can be mounted on the transom next to the outboard. This replaced an old weed cutting boat that had to be scrapped.

Weed has been an increasing problem in the reservoir since the floods of 2017 when the nitrate fertiliser was washed off the fields in the catchment area.

Harthill reservoir is a Chesterfield Canal filler built in 1780s, with three higher smaller reservoirs.

Blue dye cannot be used the water is flowing into the canal.


Cutting

When weed is cut, the wind and water-flow move the majority of the weed to the bank where it can be dragged out

It is difficult to cut the weed on adjacent tracks in Sailing Area, so some weed is always missed. Cutting at right angles or on diagonal tracks cuts more of the missed weed.

In the following days / prior to sailing the floating weed is raked from the Dory, but some is always left behind which catches on keels and rudders

During the summer the water level falls and the weed grows, so weed cutting is an ongoing need.

Finding sufficient number of volunteers especially with older and less agile members, is always a problem.


Alternative Methods of Cutting

Reedman who are based near Lincoln, offer a day based weed cutting service bringing a weed cutting boat on a trailer which cuts and collects the weed. They cut many rivers and canals for the Environment Agency and Canal & Rivers Trust, so you need to be make your bookings as early as possible to get into their diary; there are restriction on the distance of weed cutting near nesting birds.


Peter Cogill

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At the sailing club I used to frequent they had severe weed problems and tried numerous remedies including due weed cutting and stirring or agitating the water, the most effective was a system of ploughing on very early spring /late winter with a device from a local farmer that he used for dragging across the fields a square metal thing with spikes about 3 inches long sticking downwards, the idea was to rip out the young shoots we towed this behind a rescue boat it reduced the weed considerably


Mike Ewart

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