Absolutely! They provide habitat and protection for fish and waterfowl, they’re a food source, they recycle oxygen and carbon dioxide, they help prevent shoreline erosion and filter water particles. They become a problem when there is an overgrowth of aquatic weeds, especially on your beach front.
Yes, I leave mine in all year. You can take them out if you want to, but it’s a lot of work and completely unnecessary.
Yes, but lily pads are a tough customer. The best thing to do is cut them back and put one of our Mats over them as early in the season as possible. If they’re on shore, you can use a black, plastic tarp to place over them. The idea is the deprive them of sunlight. But they are tenacious!
That’s exactly what these materials were designed for in the first place. The grid and fabric of the MuckMat Pro form small “dimples” when sand is added, holding it place. The MuckMat Pro is the best soil separation there is. LakeMat Pros typically aren’t sanded simple because they’re
usually meant to be moved around.
I would. The thing about muck is, it releases a lot of gases in the summer and it moves around easily. The more tension you create over the top of it, the better off you are. Some people don’t use all the plastic stakes, but for best results, I’d use them all.
It depends on what country, or state you’re in, and sometimes, even what county or water body! If you speak with your regulatory agency, you’ll want to tell them you’re interested in installing a “seasonal benthic barrier.” Most areas won’t require a permit if it’s something you put in and take out like a swim raft. If you’re getting a MuckMat or BoatLift-Mat, it’s primary purpose is to provide a “seasonal” platform to walk on. Most areas have no policy on lake bottom platforms.
It depends. If you have a lot of foot traffic, (boats, kids and dogs) that will keep sediment from building up. However, once a year or so (depending on how much sediment is floating in the water) you’ll want to sweep it off, blow it off, or if you’re really ambitious, take it out of the lake and wash it off. I don’t suggest this last method, but it’s up to you.
Zebra mussels like structure, like your dock, your boat, or you if you stand still long enough. Our Mats are flat, like the bottom and aren’t really attractive to zebra mussels. They move across the Mats, but don’t stay there. They’ll be about as scarce on our Mats as they are on open, sandy areas.
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Pretty simple, they prevent sunlight from reaching the weeds. No sun means no photosynthesis, which means, no growth.
Leave them right on the lake bottom and use a push broom to sweep them off just like a garage floor. If the sediment is a too thick, use an upside-down lake rake, or a squeegee first, then sweep.
A power washer works great, yes even underwater, or any pump designed to move a lot of water. Trash pumps work well. Pumps that move air don’t work. They move air at high speed, but have little torque.
The short answer — if you’re old enough to ask the question, they’ll probably last longer than we will. The fabric manufacturers claim it lasts thousands of years underground. Who knows?
The only real study we found stated the fabric “begins to get brittle at 35 years.”
We’ve seen from one- to eight-inches. Three inches seems about average. One yard of sand equals about one-inch covering a 12×24 MuckMat Pro — and one yard of dry sand weighs about a ton — which is why you don’t put sand on LakeMat Pros if you’re going to move them.
The only simple answer is use either a LakeMat Pro or a MuckMat Pro. The frame will keep it square and cause it to sink. I’d also suggest fastening some type of weights on the four corners to hold it in place until it settles on the bottom… yes, I’d leave the weights on it even after it settles.
No. That said, if someone is dumb enough to be fishing in shallow, weedy water, with a non-weedless hook, and they’re dumber still to let it sink to the bottom and the hook gets stuck in the Mat, they will break their line trying to get it out. Doesn’t happen often. At my current cottage, I’ve had eight Mats in for four years. Over that time I’ve had one lure caught on one Mat. Just pull backwards, and the lure comes out easily. If you have a bumper crop of dumb fishers, you may have more lures to pull out, but it’s not likely.
No, not unless you want to clean them thoroughly (if you have hydrilla), or it’s required. Ice can’t hurt them and they won’t float away. You will want to clean them in the spring though.
Yes, it’s especially easy to connect LakeMat Pros and MuckMat Pros simply by fastening the frames to each other. We had one guy who did 16 Mats! It’s common for people to fasten two, three, and four together.
Don’t set anything over fish beds while they’re spawning — that’s just rude. Most freshwater fish prefer or “need” a fairly solid bottom to bed in. If you create an area with a solid, sandy bottom you’ll be amazed how many fish will bed on it. Plus, you create “border cover” along the edges, which attracts bigger game fish.
The rule of thumb is, if it’s “seasonal,” like rolling docks, they don’t need a permit. If it’s “permanent,” like a seawall, they do. Boatlift Mats are supports for “seasonal” products. MuckMat Pros can also be “seasonal” unless they’re sanded, which makes them pretty permanent.
LakeMat Pros are definitely “seasonal.” Because this type of weed control is a gray area, some agents may say a permit is needed, others will say it isn’t. To our knowledge, we’ve never had a customer turned down for a permit. But, we’ve had those who apply and then have to wait several months to get one. Some people may feel it’s a case of “Better to ask forgiveness than to beg permission.”
Our Mats create firm, weed-free, surfaces on soft lake bottoms. There are three versions Boatlift Mats — are made to hold heavy weight, like lifts, docks and even deck supports. MuckMat Pros — create firm, 100% weed-free, lake bottoms to walk on.
LakeMat Pros — create weed-free lake bottoms, but don’t provide support like MuckMat Pro.
All our frames are all made of tough, rigid, “aluminized” steel. The Mat materials we use are made for building highways on soft, unstable soils. BoatLift Mat material is super-strong, low-stretch, woven geotextile fabric. MuckMat Pro and LakeMat Pro material is non-woven, gas-permeable geotextile. MuckMat Pro has a “geogrid” making it perform like a giant snowshoe.
The steel frames weigh between 60 and 80 pounds and the fabrics are gas permeable. They stay put, they won’t float or drift away — even in rivers.
The BoatLift Mat series are all 14-feet wide, and come in lengths from 9- to 24-feet. MuckMat Pro and LakeMat Pro come 12X24 and 12×14. DockMats are 5’9”x14’
LakeMat Pros and MuckMat Pros will sink by themselves fairly quickly. It may take a few minutes. You can help it along if you wish. Original LakeMats and MuckMats have to be squared up and staked to the bottom, so yes, standing and walking on them is necessary.
After you purchase your mat with the pick up option, call 616-293-9101 to schedule your pick up. Our warehouse is located at:
9860 Cherry Valley Ave
Caledonia, MI 49316
There are a few problems with tarps and other materials. First, they trap gases from the decaying weeds — and we mean A LOT OF GASES. Trapped gas makes tarps float up. You’ve probably seen sanded tarps where the sand eventually slides off and the plastic eventually bubbles up.
Second, they’re slippery when wet, making them dangerous to walk on. So unless you want to have a whole beach that’s a “Slip ’N Slide” they’re not good.
Third, they don’t last very long, and pieces begin tearing off and contribute to “lake pollution.”
Fourth, wildlife get tangled in them, turtles and fish nibble and ingest frayed tarp edges.
Finally, tarps suffocate the benthic organisms in the lake bottom soil, because they don’t let gases (oxygen) or water pass through. This is a reason why some states are very restrictive on the use of what’s called “benthic barriers.”
Are these Mats benthic barriers?
Not exactly, because they don’t stay flush on the lake bottom unless there’s weight like a human foot or a footpad on a lift, pushing down. Otherwise the fabric stays between 1/2” to an inch off the bottom, letting water and gases pass through.
Not very easily. When it has, it’s involved a boat prop and alcoholic beverages. It take 130 pounds of pressure at 3/8ths of an inch to punch a hole in the non-woven fabric. And the BoatLift Mat fabric is even stronger. But if it does, it’s 100% guaranteed, we’ll replace it free.
If you following instructions, no. There are two ways weeds can grow back. One, if you don’t clean off a Mat, eventually enough sediment and nutrients will settle and provide a base for plants to grow.
Second, some weeds in shallow water, like hydrilla down south, may send tendrils up through the material. This happens when a LakeMat Pro is left in one spot too long. The simple fix is pick it up and move it around every month or so during the growing season. The Mat may need
to be taken out and cleaned once a year, depending on how aggressive the weeds are.
Why not get a Pontoon Mat for a jet ski lift and have lots of extra room to walk? NOT GOOD. Boatlift Mat material is made to hold heavy weight, long term. The more weight that’s on it, the firmer it gets. A jet ski lift, plus you and your family, isn’t nearly enough to pull it tight. It will stay “spongy” feeling. You’d be far better off using a MuckMat Pro for this, they stretch further faster.
The Titanic has sat on the ocean floor since 1912, but it pretty much looks the same as the day it sank. Metal rusts much slower underwater because air is 21% oxygen and water is about 1%. Oxidation (rust) needs oxygen. Bacteria will have eaten the Titanic long before it rusts out.
Yes, it prevents aquatic weed growth 100%, naturally, easily and inexpensively. LakeMat® provides a weed free area exactly where you want leaving other areas natural and undisturbed.
No, your LakeMat® material is porous, it allows gases to escape. For example, a square foot of tarp lets zero gallons of water pass per minute. Another (non-approved) product we found lets through just four gallons per minute. LakeMat® lets through 90 gallons of water per minute. In addition, we include “gas release ports” to allow the gases to escape.
Aside from managing aquatic weeds, your LakeMat® also acts as a tension barrier. Think of it like a snowshoe over deep snow. By dispersing your weight, it holds you up. It may still feel a little soft, but you won’t sink in up to your knees. And, you won’t feel the muck and soft sediment on your feet. It feels something like walking on a felt carpet. (Note: We encountered one small lake where we put down a 20 foot pole and didn’t reach any firm lake bottom. Although rare, such ponds are dangerous to walk in under any circumstances. We do not recommend LakeMat®, or anything other than avoiding them altogether).
Simply take one end and roll it over like you were turning down a bed sheet. There isn’t a top or bottom, so either side works. By rolling it over, the silt and sediment fall off of your LakeMat®. If you have a LakeMat Pro, simply pick up one end of the frame and glide it to where you want it.
As long as you clean it off once a year or so, (sweep it or blow it off) it will last longer than you will. We guarantee the material for five years, but that’s very conservative. The fabric manufacturers project if it received no UV light whatsoever, it will last 20,000 years. So if we go with just 1% of that, it should last much longer than we will.
Yes, but eventually sediment will land on the sand allowing weeds to start growing again. If you have a blower to get the sediment off, while leaving the sand, this will work fine. Or, if you don’t mind adding more sand every couple years, this should work too. Many states however, don’t “cotton” to people dumping sand in lakes, so you’ll need to be cool about this.
No. MuckMat Pros aren’t meant to hold that kind of load. They can hold sand spread across the entire surface — but not a heavy load that pulls inward. You’d been the frame. BoatLift Mat frames are bigger and much stronger to carry that type of load.
Yes, they work awesome, just like for a jet ski lift. The instructions show how to “beef up” a MuckMat Pro to hold more weight for extended periods.
Yes, if you look at the video of me standing on it, I’m right at the edge. Then you’ll see me step off into the muck…Yuck!
Yes, just like the LakeMat®. In fact, a MuckMat® is a LakeMat® with a special material added to the bottom to allow you to walk on muck.
Will lake weeds grow up through the gas release ports?
Life is tenacious. So yes, eventually a lake weed or two may grow through the gas release ports, just like grass pushes through concrete on land. However, pulling out a couple small weeds here and there is much better than dealing with a whole beach front full of weeds and muck, isn’t it?
Sure, a little. Sediment will land on it too. But you’ll never sink it the muck again. As I’ve said elsewhere, just blow or sweep off the sediment that gets on your Mat.
Yes, the original LakeMat and MuckMat comes with line and plastic stakes. The new Pro series comes with long zip-ties and plastic stakes.
Aside from managing aquatic weeds, your MuckMat® also acts as a tension barrier. Think of it like a snowshoe over deep snow. By dispersing your weight, it holds you up. And, you won’t feel the muck and soft sediment on your feet. It feels something like walking on a felt carpet.
There are two reasons, (soil control experts will quibble with this, but I’m writing for people with muck problems, not experts)
The first reason is, soft soils such as muck, move sideways, or “laterally” if you like big words. When you step in any soft soil, mud, or muck the reason you sink is the soil moves sideways, taking the path of least resistance. Not much soil actually moves down.
As the muck moves to the sides it creates space for your foot to sink down, because you’re heavier than the muck.
So, the trick is to prevent the soil from moving sideways. That’s what the MuckMat® does. Square holes, or “apertures” if you really like big words, catch the soil as it moves and locks it place. Think of it as a giant snowshoe, it creates a thin veneer of soft soil that can’t move.
The second reason (yes, soil experts, I know this is part of the first reason) is weight distribution. Just like a snowshoe spreads your weight across a larger surface, so does the MuckMat®.
Think of it this way. When Sir Walter Raleigh laid his coat over a mud puddle so Queen Elisabeth wouldn’t soil her feet, both his coat and the queen’s foot sunk, (no rigidity or tension). However, if he’d put down a sheet of plywood, the queen would have pranced right over it and Raleigh wouldn’t have ruined his coat. A MuckMat® creates a “rigid” surface with its own “tension,” like a sheet of plywood, except it’s fllexible.
To recap: a MuckMat® keeps muck from moving, it distributes your weight and provides rigidity to the surface of the soil so you don’t sink in the muck. And that’s why it works.
As long as you clean it off once a year or so, (sweep it or blow it off) it will last longer than you will. Even if you never clean it off, you won’t sink in the muck ever again. We guarantee the material for five years, but that’s very conservative. The fabric manufacturers project if it received no UV light whatsoever, it will last 20,000 years. So if we go with just 1% of that, it should last much longer than we will.