Which would you like first—the good or bad news?

The good news is the success of this summer’s treatment program aimed at eradicating hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM).  According to PLM’s Steve Hanson, “things looked really good.  We did not find any healthy HEWM throughout the lake.”  Lakes that did not take action against this invasive weed found that it took over.  They faced reduced recreational use, destruction of habitat, and diminished property values.  Clark Lake invested in weed control through the creation of a special assessment district that is under the auspices of Columbia Township.  

Steve Hanson said the 60 day samples of lake water show the treatment product “will still be working on any lingering milfoil.” 

The bad news is that the recent lake inspection uncovered an even more virulent invader—starry stonewort. It was found at the east end of the lake near the County Park. The best treatment option is to go after it immediately, which probably will take place Thursday.  Hanson comments this “would be a good opportunity to show any of you who are interested what starry looks like and how to identify it.  The more eyes we have on the lake, the better. We don’t know exactly how starry will respond in the lake and if it will be able to dominate the system, but trying to head it off in the early stages is a far safer bet.”

How does starry stonewort get into Clark Lake?  The likely culprit are boats and their trailers that have been in an infected lake.  The invader can even hide sandwiched between the trailer bunks and hull of the boat. When it hits the water, it reproduces.

Would you like to be part of the early detection program?  You can do so by reaching out to John Deming at 529-9117 or through the website email, clarklakespirit@gmail.com.   

Starry stonewort treatments are less costly compared to the war on HEWM—about $65 per acre.  So there is a bit of good news tucked into the bad news.

Below is a video produced in Wisconsin that shows how to identify starry stonewort.