Heard Pond became so heavily infested that the beauty and recreational value of it were lost. Once flourishing with native water lilies Heard Pond had a reputation for great fishing and bird watching. All gone, due to the lack of open water, nearly completely covered with water chestnut.
That summer aquatic weed harvesters were put to work and removed 1.2 million pounds of the aquatic plant. Then again in 2004 when 500,000 pounds were removed and yet again in 2005 with the removal of 192,000 pounds of water chestnut were harvested from the water and taken to compost.
Successive season mechanical harvesting saw a steady downward trend and by 2009 hand harvesting became the primary course of action with as few as 240 pounds collected in 2012. Since water chestnut is an annual plant, seasonal harvesting is necessary to rid the lake of the millions of seeds that must have been in the water at the beginning of the whole lake harvesting process. One unharvested plant can produce 20 to 30 seeds.