Harvesting azolla

My dam has red azolla (azolla filiculoides) which is a native floating aquatic fern. I would like to harvest it to use it as a mulch and to add to compost. I imagine there are several tons of the stuff. The question is how to gather it. A net scoop would work around the edges but this sounds rather energetic to me, one could end up with a bad case of gorilla arms and get very wet. Other ideas are to use a net on floats and pull the net across the dam or to pump it through a mesh of some kind and allow the water to run back into the dam.
Google tells me that azolla is used in the way I want to but so far nothing about how to gather it.
Before I re-invent the wheel has anybody tried this or heard of it being done? By what method?
David
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On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 11:03:43 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"

A large leaf rake works for me. I have a 15x25 pond. Azola is a nuisance, but large goldfish and koi will eat it if there is nothing else. I have a few hundred pounds of parrot feather and elodea to harvest--free if you remove and haul it away.
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yes. a good friend has an aquatic plant business and has both duckweed and azolla that had overwhelmed her plants and kept the water too cool in her greenhouses. She puts a pump into a container and then sits the container so that the front edge is just below the surface and as the water and floaters get sucked in they stay in the container and she cleans it out when needed. surprisingly it creates a kind of slow river in the 44' x 11' wide ponds in the greenhouse so eventually most of the "stuff" gets pulled in.
Ingrid

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Thanks
D
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