Lake of the Ozarks sees uncommon plant growing in its water

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. -- "Lake of the Ozarks is one of the healthiest lakes in the nation," according to Donna Swall, the Executive Director of the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance, Inc.

But this summer, green splotches can be seen floating down the Lake of the Ozarks.

"No, it is not green paint," Swall mused.

It's also not harmful algae.

It's a plant called duckweed.

Duckweed is a usually uncommon find in the Lake of the Ozarks, but because of the heavy rains this spring, and the increased water flow from the Truman Lake, growing conditions have been perfect for the plant.

"It grows very, very fast," Swall said. "With the lake being so large, we don't really have a concern here. If you're on a small pond, because of the speed that it grows, it could cause a problem, but not at Lake of the Ozarks."

Instead, Swall said the duckweed is a great food source for fish, snails, beavers, and, of course, ducks.

Duckweed's roots also act as a natural filter, purifying water as it floats downstream.

Swall added even though the duckweed will stick around for a while, there is no concern to people who want to enjoy the rest of summer on the water.

"It's not to be a concern to the boaters. It's not going to fall your motor. None of the marinas have reported any issues at all. Swimmers can swim, boaters can boat, you might see a little green on your boat, but that's about it," Swall said.

The Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance says the duckweed should be all cleared up by the end of the boating season.

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