On Friday, May 17 Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced that over the next three weeks DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will be treating six downstate ponds for aquatic nuisance weeds including Abbotts Pond and Tub Mill Pond near Milford. If left unchecked, DNREC states that these weeds can choke the waters, crowd out beneficial plant species, and prevent fishing and boating access.
The primary target In most of the ponds is an aquatic species known as hydrilla, which is a non-native plant. DNREC believes that the hydrilla likely entered the state through the aquarium trade. The Division’s Fisheries Section will apply Sonar, an EPA-registered and approved aquatic herbicide containing fluridone.
According to DNREC, Sonar has been used in Delaware since the 1980’s and proven safe and effective for controlling hydrilla and does not pose any threat to wildlife, including fish. “There are no restrictions on fishing or consumption of fish as a result of these planned treatments,” said Fisheries Administrator John Clark.
On the days of treatment , signs will be posted at the boat ramp areas at Abbotts Pond and Tub Mill Pond. The only special precaution for DNREC states that as a precaution, residents should not use water from the pond for a 30-day period from the day of treatment.
“Residents who live beside the ponds and those directly downstream should not use pond water to irrigate their gardens, yards, or agricultural lands for 30 days following treatment to avoid possible damage to their plantings,” Clark said. Clark also noted the Division of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind residents that in order to use any water from Delaware’s freshwater ponds, a permit from the DNREC Division of Water is required. Residents who have these permits will receive individual notice of the treatments.
Anglers and boaters are encouraged to remove all hydrilla and other aquatic plants from their boats, trailers and gear before leaving the boat ramp area in order to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic vegetation to other ponds and waterways, Clark added.
For more information on the treatment of the ponds, individuals are encouraged to call the Fisheries Section of the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.