2013 Harvesting Update

Effective August 20111, Hopatcong State Park took over responsibility for weed harvesting on Lake Hopatcong.  All inquiries regarding the program should be addressed to the State Park.

Prevent Water Chestnut from spreading to Lake Hopatcong

Help prevent the spread of an extremely aggressive, non-native aquatic plant called Water Chestnut that is rapidly taking over nearby Lake Musconetcong. First step is to educate yourself, your family and friends and everyone that enjoys Lake Hopatcong on how to identify the plant.  Second, if you find the plant on the Lake Hopatcong, contact the Lake Hopatcong Commission immediately at 973-601-1070.  View photos of the devastation caused by Water Chestnut on Lake Musconetcong and learn more ways to prevent the spread to Lake Hopatcong.

Learn more about the Lake Hopatcong stakeholders' efforts to identify and remove water chestnut on Lake Hopatcong.  Articles are available at lakehopatcongnews.com and northjersey.com

Homeowner Weed Disposal

Each of the four lake municipality (Jefferson, Mount Arlington, Hopatcong and Roxbury) have different weed disposal arrangements for its residents.  Check with your local municipality for details. 

More about Weed Harvesting on Lake Hopatcong

When there is adequate funding available, during harvesting season, two harvesting crews are deployed.  Many shallow sections of Lake Hopatcong are susceptible to an abundant density of rooted aquatic plants, commonly referred to as weeds.  To harvest these areas, the harvester operator cuts the weeds toward the center of an  infested area typically closer to the middle of the lake and will remove weeds closer to the shoreline as the harvesting is completed in that area.   Before moving to another section of the lake, the operator will pick up floating weeds (floaters) with the harvester near the shoreline.  The operator will not harvest weeds near rocks, in shallow water or near bulkheads. 

When cutting weeds, the harvesters move at less than 5 mph and move considerably slower if the water is choppy or if it is windy.  As an example, on a beautiful sunny day with no wind or waves, it takes the harvester approximately 15 minutes just to travel from the Point Pleasant in Hopatcong to the beach at the State Park when the harvester is not cutting weeds.  Under the same conditions, if the harvester was cutting one pass from Point Pleasant to the State Park beach, it would take at least 30 minutes to harvest that distance.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of weed harvesting.  To learn why the weed growth in 2006 was so heavy, click here

Are you interested in identifying the types of native and invasive aquatic plants found in Lake Hopatcong or to learn about notorious invasive species currently not found in the lake?  If so, the Identification Manual of Aquatic Plants in Lake Hopatcong and Potential Future Invasive Species is a great learning tool. 

To see a video on Lake Hopatcong harvesting click on the following link:  LAKE HOPATCONG COMMISSION WAGES WAR ON AQUATIC WEEDS (NJ.com/Star-Ledger Video)

Before Harvesting

Picture furnished by a Woodport Cove homeowner.

After Harvesting

Homeowner sent before and after photos to former Governor McGreevey in support of continual funding for Commission.

Weed Growth

Under ideal conditions, some weeds can grow as much as 14 inches in length in a single week.

Eurasian Water Milfoil

The plant stems commonly grow to lengths of 6 to 9 feet and is one of the most common weeds found in Lake Hopatcong.

Lily Pads

Only limited sections of lily pads are harvested. Others remain for fish habitat and protection.

Phosphorous fuels weed growth

Use lake-friendly, phosphorous-free fertilizer to reduce weed growth.

Early Start

Weather permitting, harvesters head out early each weekday morning.

Harvester Fleet

The LHC has a fleet of six harvesters and two transport barges.

Can it Fit?

All harvesters were specifically designed to fit under Brady Bridge.

Less Weed Growth

River Styx Cove has significantly less weed growth now than it did when this photo was taken on June 6, 2003.

Harvesting Access

Hopatcong State Park is one of eight access locations used to harvest Lake Hopatcong.

Weed Disposal

Weeds disposed at Morris County MUA are used to make top soil.

Updated:  08/16/2016