The "Hand Test": Floating Growth ID

The hand test is a simple yet effective way to discern floating plants like Duckweed and Watermeal from algae. It involves collecting and examining what you find on your lake or pond's surface. By feeling the texture and structure, you can gain some basic information about your problem -putting you one step closer to the right solution.

Step 1: Safely dip your hand (gloved preferably) into the water and pick up some of the growth.

Step 2: Feel the texture and examine other characteristic.

  • Does the growth separate?
    • If it separates into clusters of tiny oval leaves with small translucent roots, then you have Duckweed.
    • If it separates into little green dots that have a gritty feeling, then you have Watermeal.
    • If it separates into slimy, mushy globs, then you have some type of algae.
  • Does the growth mat together?
    • If the growth comes out as a mat of wet, hair-like strands, then it is likely some type of algae.

For more information, check out this video!