Giant Weed Eater Takes Bite Out of Cooter Pond

This is a reprint from the Citrus County Chronicle from December 4, 1990. Dave McNabb from Aquatics Unlimited demonstrated the Aquamog in Cooter Pond for County officials. Citrus County later bought an Aquamog for use in their war on aquatic weeds. We are calling this series “Aquamog Blast From The Past”.

Giant Weed Eater Takes Bite Out of Cooter Pond

Aquamog-Cooter-PondCitrus County water weed experts converged on Cooter Pond in Inverness Monday and watched a different kind of weed-eating machine. Aquatics Unlimited of Martinez, Calif., introduced the Aqua Mog to Citrus, demonstrating its unique ability to uproot hydrilla and reach plants as deep as 22 feet.

By Diana Johnson
Staff writer

A new-fangled, weed-whacking monster took to Cooter Pond Monday.

The Aqua Mog, an underwater weed harvester made by Aquatics Unlimited in Martinez, Calif., chewed through weeds and floating mud islands during a demonstration for county and state weed controllers.

The Aqua Mog is a recently developed weed harvester which comes complete with assorted attachments to undermine uncontrolled weed growth, said Tom Dick of the county’s aquatic weed control department.

Unlike conventional harvesters whose blades cut only the top five feet of weeds, one of the Aqua Mog’s attachments can dip a roto-tiller-like attachments 12 to 17 feet into the water, cutting and uprooting plants, which then float to the surface, Dick said.

The Aqua Mog can also battle its way through floating mud islands, called tussocks, that have a depth of two to three feet, he said.

Because the Aqua Mog can dig into the root system, the results would last longer, as well, Dick said.

But even though the machine can dig deeper it has some disadvantages, Dick said.

Although it can go deeper than current weed cutters, its attachments take about a half an hour to dismantle and remount, Dick said. So another machine must follow to pick up the weeds left floating on the surface or time must be taken to change parts, he said.

The front-end-loader type arm would create some disturbance or the pond’s bottom, but Dick said he doubted it would cause any permanent damage to the ecological system.

The Aqua Mog is priced at $125,000 for the basic machine. Smaller harvesters now being used locally cost about $50,000 he said, and larger machines cost about $100,000.

The costs of the Aqua Mog models are too expensive for the county right now, Dick said, but if the company is willing to consider a contract usage or try-out period, the machine may be used to battle hydrilla and other weeds suffocating canals in Crystal River.

The machine will continue to be demonstrated in Cooter Pond Tuesday morning, Dick said. Cooter Pond, which is located next to the sheriff’s department and State Road 44 was chosen because of its low usage and neutral location to residents.

Dick said the compnay demonstrated the machine at a trade show in Orlando this past weekend before being asked to demonstrate it here. He reserved judgement on how much it might help in the war on weeds here until he had seen it in action some more.

You can see a copy of the actual article by clicking this link > Aquamog in Cooter Pond