Case Study: Weed Harvesters Offer a Solution to Aquatic Plant Problems in the Bay


  • 4945-acre bay within Green Bay, extending across the Door County Peninsula
  • Bay is artificially linked to Lake Michigan with a shipping canal
  • Substantial activity from commercial and recreational watercraft
  • Home to 4 marinas and 2 yacht clubs with 750 boat slips & about 80 moorings
  • Port is home to a major ship building and repair facility and a Coast Guard Station

Arial view of Sturgeon Bay


  • Aquatic plants, both native and invasive species, are abundant in the Bay
  • Curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil found to be quite widespread
  • Naturally occurring floating plant material captured around boats and slips
  • Abundance of floating vegetation quickly fills harvester requiring two unloading sites
  • Runoff from lawn fertilizers contributes to aquatic plant growth


Using Weed Harvesters, The City of Sturgeon Bay cuts and removes aquatic plants from over 116-acres in the Bay.

From May through August, Harvesters cut navigational paths, collect floating weeds and service mooring fields and marinas.

Aquarius Systems lake weed harvester in Wisconsin.

Aquatic Weed Harvester transfering weeds to a shore conveyor.

In 2022, the fleet of equipment removed 1,621 loads of aquatic vegetation. The nutrient rich vegetation was taken to local homes and farms to be used as fertilizer. The phosphorus contained in the harvested vegetation has the potential to produce 607 tons of algae.