Coontail grows completely submerged, often floating in large clumps on the surface. Plant stems can reach nine feet in length, with rings of bright green leaves. The forked leaves are brittle and stiff to the touch resembling a wet raccoon’s tail.
The plants have no roots at all, but sometimes develop modified root-like leaves that anchor the plant to the bottom. The plants sink to the bottom in the Fall then rise up in the Spring. Large masses of plants provided excellent fish spawning areas and produce large amounts of dissolved oxygen.
When nuisance levels are reached chemical control is effective.