Aquatic Invasive Species

More than 75 residents attended the Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop

Over the past several years the District has devoted more and more resources to the fight against aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and purple loosestrife. Following the recommendation of the Board of Water and Soil Resources the District added new program and policy as part of the 2015 amendment to its 10 Year Management Plan. Under the new AIS program, the District will be able to focus on four implementation strategies:

• Conducting regular assessments of district lakes to determine the presence and prevalence of AIS

• Developing a prioritized list of known AIS with corresponding protection and management strategies

• Developing and implementing a ten-year education, assessment, inspection and management plan in collaboration with relevant stakeholders including state and federal agencies, county and local governments, lake owners associations and other district residents

• Exploring ways to mitigate the effects of native vegetation on recreational usage

Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) Verified in Long Lake in May Township

The Department of Natural Resources has verified the presence of eurasian water milfoil in Long Lake.  The invasive plant was discovered during the District follow-up macrophyte survey for treatment of curly leaf pondweed in the lake.  The District has requested and received a variance to treat both species in the lake which is classified as an environmental lake where treatment is not typically allowed.  Special consideration was given to the situation since Long Lake feeds downstream into Terrapin, Clear and Mays Lakes within the Warner Nature Center/Wilder Forest area where CMSCWD studies have shown that these lakes have an unusually high diversity of native aquatic plants.

The Board of Managers has expressed an interest in protecting these downstream areas and so has asked the District Engineer to prepare treatment options for Long Lake.  In addition, Washington County has approved a grant to install a filtering system to impede the spread of EWM downstream.  The Board hopes to meet with residents on the lake at its October meeting to discuss the options.