Current Review of Lake Muck Removal Products
Being in the business of solving lake muck and weed issues, I keep my eye out for new lake muck products. And I’m often asked, “How can I get rid of my muck?”
Here’s my review of products that relate to cleaning lake muck. To make it easier, I’ve grouped these muck removal tools and techniques by category.
Lake Muck Aeration
I love aeration. It is great for your lake. It won’t make muck go away, or get rid of many lake weeds or algae — but aeration will help all of them by adding oxygen to the lake.
Aeration makes your lake feel younger. Fish love it, the things fish eat love it — and the good bacteria in your water will start reproducing by the trillions and happily gorge on organic stuff in the water. You get a cleaner lake.
A friend has a solar powered aerator in a four-acre pond — there are fewer weeds near it — there’s even a few feet of open water around it. With all that extra oxygen, the good bacteria stay busy eating as much as they can. It’s a good thing. Pricing, $199 to several thousand dollars.
Lake Muck Blower (Lake Muck Blaster)
Lake muck blowers can really move muck around. Using electric fans to create underwater turbulence, they carry muck away from dock areas, (blowers are often mounted on docks). Other versions float or set on the lake bottom.
Two things bother me about lake muck blowers.
First, running a live electrical cord in a lake — attached to a motor with a spinning blade — What could possibly go wrong there?
Second, the prices run from $800 to $2,000 for muck blowers.
Want a simple, free alternative? Leave your boat securely moored to your dock, start the motor and — very slowly — engage the prop forward. Gently increase your speed, don’t go fast, take it nice and easy.
You’ll blow weeds and muck like crazy — gettingt the same results in a fraction of the time, for just the cost of a little gas. (You’re welcome). Remember, don’t blow big trenches in the lake bottom, or blow muck over on your neighbor.
Lake Muck Dredging
The grand-daddy — the nuclear option. Dredging is a big commitment — usually done by entire lake communities — but it removes muck by the tons. If a lake is managed well afterward, the effects of lake muck dredging can last a long time.
When I was young, a guy dredged a 6-foot deep canal at our lake. But he didn’t manage it after he dug it out. Within five years it was 2-feet deep — with 4-feet of muck on the bottom. Today the water’s about a foot deep. Not good.
Modern dredging, along with proper lake management practices can be very effective. In a sense, it turns back the clock, giving lakes more healthy years of life.
Lake Muck Mat
(Full disclosure, this category is where my products fit in).
Lake weed control mats kill lake weeds by blocking sunlight as they lay on your lake bottom. It’s the most effective, safe way to control lake weeds in small areas like private lakefronts.
Only one controls muck — my MuckMat Pro. It creates an immediate, firm bottom, right on top of your lake muck — using the same materials and technology that engineers use to build highways over soft soils and wetlands.
Using this technology, MuckMat Pro disperses your weight over a large area, (12‘x24’) keeping soil locked in place wherever you step. You really do walk right over soft, deep, lake bottom muck, (without touching it).
Adding sand (or gravel) creates an even firmer, more beach-like bottom. Another plus, the MuckMat Pro keeps your sand from sinking in muck — just like in highway construction.
Several MuckMat Pros can be placed together to create larger beaches. MuckMat Pro’s are easy to install and guaranteed. Prices range from $399 to $499.
Now, here’s my plug — If you like, please visit MuckMat.com to lean more.
Lake Muck Pellets (Lake Muck Tablets)
I know you have common sense. You own a place on a lake, you can use a computer, and you’re doing research right now. Those three things say you have common sense.
Apply common sense to lake muck pellets, (bacteria pellets). Bacteria are living creatures and living creatures eat organic things. We eat cheeseburgers or tofu — bacteria eat dead weeds, leaves, fish poop — organic stuff.
Most lake muck is about 10% organic, bacteria can eat this. The other 90% is dirt — sand, clay and silt. It’s like fiber in your diet, it’s not food, it just passes through. So, what eats dirt?
NOTHING EATS DIRT! Because — it’s just dirt — it passes through
Let’s say your muck is 50 inches deep, and bacteria eats all your organic material, — you still have 45 inches of muck.
Right now, you already have trillions of hungry bacteria in every cubic foot of water in your lake. If they could eat dirt, they would have by now. Throwing some muck removal pellets in the water won’t change that
I read a review — a guy tested muck pellets. He put muck in buckets with lake water, carefully marking muck depth. He added digester pellets, then even more pellets, twice the amount. The result was — nothing… nothing at all.
I’m a Lake Guy, not a Pond Guy. Muck digester pellets may work in small ponds with aerators. In lakes? …Not so much. Prices $39 to $300.
Lake Muck Rake
I’ve looked at, (and occasionally use) several rakes marketed as “muck removal rakes.” They are big rakes, some have special teeth.
Think about, “raking lake muck” in water, for a moment. Can you really see that happening? Me either… I actually tried it. It’s not a practical idea — not to mention, raking in a lake is a lot of work.
They’re really for raking lake weeds. A “lake muck rake” is a marketing term — not a real thing — it’s a rake for lake weeds. Living on water, you’ll probably want a big rake, sooner or later. Pricing, $39 to $99.
Lake Muck Removal Pumps (lake muck vacuums)
The idea is — suck up the muck and put it somewhere else. Muck vacuuming is mostly for private ponds, because the owner can chose where to put the muck.
Commercial companies bring in big equipment that vacuums muck out of ponds, and pumps it up to 2,000 feet away. The fees are usually based on time and materials. Works great for small ponds.
For lakes, the hurdles, high costs, government regulations and disposing of all that muck, makes removal pumps impractical. But for private ponds — they’re very effective. (Best name: an Ohio company is called “Muck Suckers”).
Lake Muck Removal (Gizmos)
Can’t group these with real, commercial muck removal pumps. Many contraptions being marketed as muck pumps — aren’t even pumps! Instead they spin, blow or drag something around on the lake bottom.
These kinds of muck products stir up silt and break off pieces of lake weeds, (which settle on the nearby lake bottom). Not too effective, but mostly harmless.
Some bad ones however, suggest “blowing the muck away.” That’s code for blowing muck to a neighbor’s beach or out further into your lake. Don’t do that — it’s rude and causes even more problems for your lake.
Lake Muck Roller (machines that roll around in lakes)
Ah, the venerable, original Weed Roller. There’s even a song about it on YouTube! Well not really — the song is called “Weed Roller,” but it’s about something completely different. So I Googled “weed roller” and… that didn’t work either… (use the term, “lake weed roller”).
There are a few versions around now, using the original Weed Roller idea. They roll around slowly, agitating the lake bottom. Weeds can’t grow in the semi-circle where the rollers are. Fair enough, they work.
But some hint they eliminate lake muck. Really? Say you have three-feet of muck. Will they roll/dig out a hole three feet deep, down to hard bottom? And where would all that muck go?
I’ve seen these rollers in action, I’ve helped move and install them. They clear weeds out, and some silt, but clearing deep lake muck? No, they don’t.
The price range is $1,500 to $3,500.
Lake Muck Shovel
These are very clever lake muck removal tools. Lake muck shovels have holes (like a colander) letting water pass through them and prevents shovel suction when digging in muck.
I’m not sure why you’d dig up muck in the first place… but if you were, this would be the shovel to have, (it works on dry land, too).
I like innovative products, and lake muck shovels are a new take on a very old tool, I may get one. Prices range from $49 to $99.
Lake Muck Chemicals
Last minute entry, (I was asked about chemicals for muck).
No, there’s no such thing as chemicals that remove muck — Remember, lake muck is mostly just dirt. (Chemicals don’t make dirt go away, except when you’re doing laundry).
I hope this clears up your muck questions, at least some of them.
— Doug Fast
The Weed Doctor