Clark Lake has already suffered from the introduction of an invasive species into the lake–Eurasian water milfoil and its hybrid (HEWM). Lakes that didn’t fight it found recreational use of their lakes curtailed, wildlife habitat destroyed and property values diminished. Clark Lake is fighting HEWM. If Clark Lake’s experience parallels that of some other lakes, the outcome will be in our favor.
But there is the threat of worse. There is another invasive species known as starry stonewort which is classified as an algae. It can do great damage to a lake in a short amount of time. What’s even more troubling, there is no known easy cure for it. That makes prevention all the more important.
There has been a marked lack of urgency about this threat. But a small step will take place this weekend to highlight the issue. There will be a portable boat wash set up at the launch on Hyde Road this Saturday and Sunday as a part of a pilot program led by Helene McComb, our Clark Lake volunteer. Sarah Plantrich from Michigan State University will operate it. She will show those launching their boats how to wash them down before they go into the lake. The concept is to stop the introduction of invasive species from getting into the lake in the first place.