Category Archives: APMS Blog

“Stunting” Hydrilla – A Look at Growth Regulators

coffeeI fondly remember watching my dad drink coffee on Sunday morning while reading the paper.  As an inquisitive 4 year old, I wondered what this warm liquid that my dad so eagerly gulped tasted like.  So as he went for a second round of pancakes, I shot in for a quick sip.  The bitter taste of what could only be described by a pre-K as dirty feet soaked in oil made its way out of my mouth as fast as it went in.  While I sat and wondered why any sane person would drink such a retched drink, my dad quickly chimed in with “Son, that will most certainly stunt your growth!”.  Years later I do find myself wishing I was a little taller (if only I hadn’t taken that sip) yet I am often found sipping that same drink every morning on my way to work, which I (and likely many of you) now would describe as the “nectar of the gods”.   (more…)

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54th Annual Meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society – In Case You Missed It!

The 54th annual meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society was held July 14th-16th in Savannah, GA and featured some of the best in aquatic plant research, management, and industry! For those of you who may have missed it, here is a recap of the 2014 meeting.

This year’s meeting was held in conjunction with the MidSouth APMS Chapter Annual meeting at the luxurious Hilton Savannah DeSoto, overlooking the Madison Square and Spanish moss draped oak trees of historic Savannah. We had quite the turnout, with 186 delegates and 27 guests registered over the course of the meeting. The 2.5 day meeting featured over 60 presentations, including oral and poster presentations from 20 students representing 10 different universities. The student turnout certainly suggests that our Society is certainly growing as 15 of the 20 students had not previously presented at an APMS meeting!

Student Poster Award winner Kallie Kessler Colorado State University discusses her research at the Poster Reception

Day one opened with a special session on Hydrilla and growing concern over Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM). That evening, members dined on hors d’oeuvres and casually made their way through the evening poster session which showcased 26 exhibitors and 11 poster presentations.   Many folks made their way out to enjoy all that Savannah has to offer including various restaurants, tours, etc.

The Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation also held a "Find Carlton" Facebook contest in which many members of the Society participated.

The Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation also held a “Find Carlton/Selfie” Facebook contest in which many members of the Society, including Mike Riffle of  Nufarm participated.

Day two opened with student presentations, featuring research ranging from mapping and monitoring to active management of various aquatic plants.  Students were well represented from NC State University, University of Georgia, University of Florida, Clemson University, East Carolina University, Trent University, University of Illinois, Texas A&M, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State University, Grand Valley State and even from as far away as the Aligarh Muslim University in India.  Despite heavy downpours and lightening on the evening of day two, the awards banquet was held as scheduled aboard the Savannah River Queen. As usual, a number of well-deserved awards were given to some of the best and brightest in our industry. These awards were -

  •  T. Wayne Miller Distinguished Service Award – Jim Schmidt – Applied Biochemists
  •  Max McCowen Friendship Award – Tommy Bowen – Duke Energy
  •  Outstanding Graduate Student Award – Justin Nawrocki – NC State University
  •  President’s Award – Ken Langeland – UF IFAS, Dan Thayer – SFWMD, Bill Zattau – US Army COE, Jeff Schardt – FL FWC
  •  APMS Graduate Student Stipend – Dr. Scott Nissen – Colorado State University

The APMS also recognized outgoing Directors David Isaacs and Larry McCord as well as long standing Treasurer, Sherry Whitaker who served the position well for 6 years!   Incoming directors include John Madsen and Dick Pinagle.  Current President, Michael Netherland also “passed the torch” to President Elect, Cody Gray.

President Michael Netherland (left) and President-Elect Cody Gray (right)

The third and final day of our meeting featured a special session on public outreach, an ever growing and important facet of our science. A student tour was hosted by Estate Management. Students enjoyed a day in the Savannah wildlife refuge and learned about the dredge operations at The Landings.

The meeting was a success by all measures as members and non-members alike reported a very enjoyable meeting experience. Next years annual meeting will be held on July 12th-15th at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. Stay tuned for more information and announcements regarding next years meeting including calls for papers and registration.

See you all next year!

For the full agenda and titles from this year’s meeting, click here.

Interested in becoming a member?  Check out the APMS website to find out how!




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The “Why” of Aquatic Plant Management – New Paper Covers Benefits of APM

9-2089413-tcn071113weeds2_t460What a busy week for the APMS!  We had a wonderful meeting over the past several days.  A meeting centered on research, extension, and industry, all focused on some aspect of the aquatic plant world.  Many of us have been in the “business” for years.  No matter who (research, industry, or education/outreach), what (aquatic management, biology, mapping, etc), or where (hydrilla in the southeast, EWM in the north, flowering rush in the west), its sometimes good to ask the WHY…. (more…)

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‘Tis the season of “Cyanos” – Identifying and Managing Summer’s Pesky Pond Problems

Photo Credit - Jamie Morgan

Photo Credit – Jamie Morgan

As temperatures start to rise and rainfall becomes less, summer is a great time to cool off at your local water body, be it swimming, water skiing, or fishing. However, summer also marks the season of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are often the dominant primary producers in ponds void of aquatic vegetation. They have the ability to fix nitrogen and regulate buoyancy, providing a clear advantage over desired species that fuel the food-chain such as diatoms and green algae. (more…)

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A Systematic Look at Fish Kills in Florida’s Lakes, Rivers, and Canals

Photo Credit - Florida FWC "Fish Buster's Bulletin"

Photo Credit – Florida FWC “Fish Buster’s Bulletin”

Nothing is more shocking to a resident, fisherman, or resource manager, than to discover hundreds (or even thousands) of dead fish in the waters in which the recreate or work.  While rare, “fish kills” do happen annually in various ponds, lakes, and rivers across the country. (more…)

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APMS supported research investigates habitat level relationships with turtles, susceptibility to deadly disease

The APMS supports a great deal of student research through it’s many National and Regional research scholarships and awards.  One such award offered is the Philip M. Fields Scholarship, provided by the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society.  The scholarship is awarded to a student who is researching an area related to the biology, ecology or management of aquatic plants in the Southeastern region.  Applications are evaluated on the basis of relevant test scores (ACT, SAT, GRE, etc.), high school and/or college grades, quality and relevance of course work or research, a proposed budget, information obtained from references, and other related information.

Mercurio, the 2012 award recipient in the field.

Mercurio, the 2012 award recipient, in the field.


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Student Research Focuses on Hydrilla and AVM in Southeastern Reservoirs

AVM positive coot.  Photo Credit - UGA Wilde Lab

AVM positive coot. Photo Credit – UGA Wilde Lab

First documented at DeGray Lake, Arkansas in 1994, the neurologic disease Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM) has been implicated in numerous deaths among waterbirds and their avian predators.  Currently, the disease has been confirmed in six species of waterfowl, two bird of prey species and one shorebird.  A trend in deaths of the affected species has been noticed in the fall/winter seasons of various southeastern reservoirs. One particular reservoir on the Georgia – South Carolina Border has seen some of the greatest numbers of deaths across water bodies affected.  (more…)

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New Treatment Options for Duckweed Provide Alternatives for Landowners, Research Says



If you own a pond in the southeast, you have likely run into problems with duckweed.  While the plants do serve several benefits such as bioremediation and biofuel production, nuisance populations can cause negative impacts as well.    Although individual plants are among the smallest in the world, duckweed colonies can spell big headaches for landowners, clogging irrigation intakes, impeding navigation, and causing fluctuations to dissolved oxygen that can spell disaster for aquatic life.  While these plants don’t usually cause problems in large, public water bodies, they can be a major nuisance to backyard and agricultural ponds as well as water gardens.  Control of these minute plants can present many challenges as the small size and staggering reproductive ability of duckweed makes it almost impossible to remove all plants from a system. (more…)

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Differentiation of submersed aquatic plants may be more than meets the eye…

Successful aquatic plant management can be broken down into three main components: 1) Identify, survey, and quantify, 2.) exert management and 3).  assess the efficacy of management efforts.  Arguably the most important part of a successful aquatic plant management plan is the accurate identification and quantification of the species of interest.  More often than not, surveys of submersed aquatic plants require extensive, time-consuming survey to get an adequate “picture” of what lies beneath the surface. (more…)

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Management of Hydrilla Dependant on Biotype, Experts Say

Homeowners, boaters, fisherman, and other recreational users deal with a familiar looking problem weed in water bodies from Florida to Maine.  A resident on a lake in New York State would likely call the whirled leafed invader the same as a farmer in the bayou.  Hydrilla,  a nasty invader throughout many water bodies of the United States may look similar across state lines, but researchers with the Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility in Lewisville, TX show just how different the plant, and it’s subsequent management can be from one state to the next.Hydrilla vertcillata.  Photo Credit:  NCSU AWP


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