Clark Lake’s invasive weeds were under the spotlight at tonight’s meeting of the Columbia Township trustees. Steve Hanson, representing Professional Lake Management (PLM), summed up important way marks in the battle against hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM) present in Clark Lake. This invasive species multiplies quickly and is notorious for taking over lakes. It curtails recreational uses such as boating and fishing, destroys wildlife habitat and impairs navigation. Lakes that stood idly by watched property values plunge.
The first effort to control or eradicate HEWM took place in 2015. The effort was funded by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation through donations. Treatment was limited by riparian rights and only a small portion of the 30 acres of HEWM was treated.
Ninety-five percent of lake front property owners contacted by the Invasive Species Committee signed a petition asking for action. As a result, Columbia Township formed a special assessment district (SAD) that allows treatment anywhere HEWM exists in the lake and supports the cost through property taxes.
Watch this 8 minute video, and Steve Hanson will take you chronologically through the war on weeds, explain the different treatment options, and point to the future of the program. Addressing the trustees, Steve Hanson began by noting the results of the 2015 effort.