|As many of you are aware we are facing a challenging year controlling the weeds on the lake. This post is intended to inform you on the following topics:
- TREATMENT THIS YEAR
- FUTURE TREATMENT
- AUGUST MEETING
Although there are many reasons why invasive weeds plague our lake, a primary factor is the weather and watershed. The main invasive species of weeds in our lake are Eurasian Milfoil Weed (EMW) and Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP). Additional information is provided below:
TREATMENT THIS YEAR
- HARVESTING: In 2006 the Lake Shangri-La Property Owners’ Association (LSPOA) investigated how other lakes treat their weeds including harvesting. At that time we spoke with Paddock Lake and researched others. We learned that harvesting is a continual requirement (weekly), shallow waters near piers cannot be harvested and constant disposal of weeds is necessary. Also the equipment is quite expensive and an hourly wage is required for daily operation of equipment. It equates to mowing your lawn. At that time it was determined that due to the shallow nature of our lake and cost of operation, harvesting was not a viable option.
- LSPOA WEED COMMITTEE: In 2007 a LSPOA weed treatment committee was formed. That year alone we spent $14,000 on weed treatment. Since creation of the weed committee, a Lake Management plan was created with a $5,000 grant from the Town of Salem, multiple vendors have been used and quotes received, a strong relationship with the WI DNR has been established and continual water monitoring of various factors occurs regularly. Water clarity has increased by four feet in depth in five years. Although there continues to be much concern about weeds, the weed committee which originally included about ten people, now includes very few people.
- EURASIAN MILFOIL (EMW): Last year’s winter was mild and there was not enough snow cover on the ice to block the sunlight therefore many of the invasive weeds thrived throughout the winter. When the ice finally went out, the EMW was already at the top of the water; therefore already blocking sunlight for native “good” weeds. Also, the EMW species is able to replant itself with every piece of cut up weed that is able to float and re-root. Therefore, it’s important to remove floating EMW from the lake.
- CURLY LEAF PONDWEED (CLP): The CLP is a weed that does not re-plant itself when cut up pieces float around. However, CLP does recede when the water temperature rises to approximately 80 degrees and therefore seems to disappear. In July you’ll likely see this weed seem to disappear, however it is not dead. This may seem beneficial, but while it is not visible, it continues to exist, expands and returns next year. Therefore, treatment is necessary at the right time of year.
- ALGEA: Algae is a complicated matter that involves overall lake health, oxygen level of the lake and contents of the run-off from the surrounding watershed. When we are in a cycle of treating invasive weeds that are killed and rot, the rotting weeds deplete the oxygen in the lake which promotes algae growth. Also fertilizer (with phosphorous) can significantly increase the amount of algae. Although phosphorous has been made illegal for residential lawn fertilization near lakes, some farmers are allowed to continue to use phosphorous in their fields, therefore watershed can be a problem.
- Invasive weeds are not unique to our lake and plagues many lakes in Southeastern Wisconsin
The LSPOA received a quote for $13,400 to treat 28.5 acres of EMW focusing on resident occupied lakeshore. Due to funding and DNR permission CLP was not targeted nor was Lake Benet (the south end of the lake). Most of the EMW was killed in the targeted area and the remaining weeds that you are able to observe in the residential areas are CLP.
The actual cost was $9765. Noting that Benet lake still required serious attention, additional estimates were requested and received and indicate about $5700 to treat 20 more acres in Lake Benet. However, the DNR will not allow an additional treatment since the concentration of chemical in the lake will be too great. Therefore the DNR will not permit another treatment of the lake this year.
The DNR would rather have the association plan to treat the whole lake early next year. The treatment company recommended doing a treatment using Floridone treatment for the whole lake in 2017 and has used this method on several lakes in Illinois with great results. The WI DNR agrees that this would be the best way to treat and Floridone has been recently approved in Wisconsin by the DNR. Floridone targets both the EWM and CLP. We would do an application as soon as the ice is out, which is much earlier than usual, and then at least once or twice with a booster during the summer. The good news is that this treatment would possibly be effective for the next two or three seasons so we would not have to treat again during that time. A residual benefit is that if treatment is done so early, we won’t have dying weeds every year and the oxygen levels will be better. That means less rotting weeds and possibly less algae growth. The LSPOA board agrees this is a good strategy. Cost estimates have not yet been received.
The LSPOA has an open to the public meeting in August at the community center. An agenda is sent to all residents of the lake area prior to the meeting. All residents are encouraged to attend. The treatment company representatives will be present and the treatment of weeds will be on the agenda.
Membership in the association is voluntary. There are approximately 400 homes surrounding the lake and the association has only about 135 members. Annual membership is $125. By many standards of a subdivision membership this is not expensive. Funding is a major constraint on which options can be pursued to keep the lake healthy. As treatment options evolve and expand it will be necessary to secure more money. Additional membership is essential to continuing to battle invasive species. If you are a member, thank you. However, if every member recruits one other member, we could double our membership. If you are not a member please join. You do not have to be a resident of the lake area to join. Your membership is a way to be a part of the solution. Contact Bill Schulz to join. Bill can be reached at email@example.com.