Bushy Pondweeds and Naiads (Najas spp.)
Common names: Bushy naiad,(pronounced NAY-ads) water naiad, brittle naiad, slender naiad, spiny leaf naiad.
Location: Clear water at depths of up to 20 feet.
Description: Grow entirely below water surface; have long, waving stems in deep water and are dense and bushy in shallow water. These are annual plants which must start from seed each year.
Hints to identify: Leaves are tapered to a fine point with tiny "spines"; seeds are shiny and smooth. Bushy pondweed is sometimes confused with chara, but chara has a musky odor when crushed and bushy pondweed does not.
Importance of plants: Entire plants are eaten by waterfowl, especially mallards; provide cover for young largemouth bass, northern pike, small bluegills and perch.
Management strategy: See DNR regulations. Bushy pondweed has become more common in recent years; it can grow abundantly in some areas and cause problems. In most areas, it will not be a nuisance and is best left alone--removal may allow less-desirable plants to move in. When control is necessary, aquatic herbicides can be effective.