Clark Lake has always had weeds, but that has always been balanced with large areas that are relatively weed-free. That’s good news. Some lakes have had terrible weed infestations. In those cases the challenge has required political agreement, lots of effort and piles of cash to address the problem. And even at that, success in eradication or control is not guaranteed.
Clark Lake weeds have been kept in check because those naturally occurring in our lake don’t tend to overwhelm. Recently there have been some concerns that an invasive weed has made it into the lake. The likely source would be from boats (not thoroughly washed) coming to our lake from other bodies of water where this kind of weed exists. This invasive weed is the Eurasian Milfoil. This kind of weed multiplies rapidly and is hard to control.
Today John Deming took weed samples in five different areas of Clark Lake—near the County Park, Hancock Point (where the golf course use to be), middle of the lake between Eagle Point Cove and the north shore, sand bar in the middle of the lake between Mud Point and north shore, and near the Township Park. These weed samples were carefully packaged and are being sent by overnight delivery to botanists at Grand Valley State University.
Identification is not straightforward by casual examination. The Eurasian Milfoil is known to form hybrids with native weeds. At first glance the hybrid doesn’t appear to be very different from the native variety. But the hybrids multiply rapidly and can dramatically change the character of the lake. The Grand Valley lab is able to identify the status of the weeds by DNA testing.
As details become available, please find updates on this website.