Concern about Eurasian water milfoil and its hybrid is growing as this invader spreads in Clark Lake. DNA testing proves that its here and a recent study funded by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation indicates that there is already 20-acres of it in Clark Lake. It’s most visible at the County Park and in other locations along shorelines where the weed pokes above the surface. Where there is boat traffic, the tops are lopped off by props. That leads to the spread of the invader. One small cutting can multiply into 250-million new plants in just one season.
The experience of lakes in our region, as well as in other parts of the country, are a warning. Not only does an infestation curtail boating, swimming and other recreational uses of the lake, it destroys natural habitat for wildlife. Fish, turtles, migrating birds as well as native aquatic vegetation, struggle when this invader spreads. Recently Ann Swain took photos of turtles attempting to navigate Eurasian milfoil in a Texas body of water. The turtles could not swim through it. They paddled above it.
Another observer at a regional lake observed ducks struggling. They could not swim through this invasive plant–they walked on top of it!
This website reports on the problem and possible solutions. Most recently posted is a piece that describes some of the findings of the report paid for by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.