In a typical year, the weed harvesters would usually be on Lake Hopatcong by mid-May. Unfortunately, due to state-wide budget issues weed harvesting has been delayed this season. Weed growth on the lake this year has been stimulated by a mild winter. The lake never fully iced over and this allowed for an early growth spurt in the spring. In some shallow cove’s weeds already extend to the water’s surface.
With more people home due to the COVID response there has been an increase in boating activity on the lake. We believe that the floating weed mats are a result of boat propellers chopping the tall weeds. Wind blows these weeds into coves or forms mats that float on the surface. Here at Aquarius Systems, we refer to this as prop chop.
With assistance from NJDEP, Morris and Sussex Counties, and the four municipalities we are hopeful that at least two harvesters will return to the lake in mid- to late-June. The current plan is to assess the worst impacted areas of the lake and address them first.