The Columbia Township board dealt with both kinds tonight–invasive weeds in Clark Lake, and the kind, now legal, that some will light up.

The board unanimously voted to opt out of allowing the sale and distribution of marijuana anywhere in Columbia Township.  Don’t expect to see a headshop in Brooklyn or somewhere around the lake.  Possession will be permitted, but selling will not.

The prescription for treating invasive weeds in Clark Lake has taken a new turn.  When hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM) became a threat, lake front owners petitioned Columbia Township to create a special assessment district to deal with it.  Why? Other lakes found that leaving HEWM infestations unchecked clogged their waters–reducing recreational opportunities, destroying wildlife habitat and diminishing property values. Clark Lake’s initial treatment under the SAD was with a granular product called Renovate OTF. It was applied over about 30 acres in spots where HEWM was found.  It had a significant effect.  But it didn’t have the desired lasting power. Because of that, PLM, the company doing the treatment, put treatment on hold while they sought a better solution. With Renovate aside, they next turned to a new product–Procellacor.  Because of Clark Lake’s depth and other considerations, this didn’t add up to a good fit either. PLM believes that Fluridone (Sonar) is the best next step.  PLM’s Steve Hanson explains why in this video.

Treatment would likely take place in late April or early May.  Steve Hanson notes PLM will “post a 30-day irrigation restriction by law, but at applied concentrations there will be no irrigation restrictions for lawns or ornamentals. The only irrigation restriction that may apply for a limited time is for seedling grasses. There will be a one-day swimming restriction on the day of application, and no fishing or other water use restrictions.”

The cost of treatment is in the $70,000 range.  Because there has been only one full lake treatment since the beginning of the SAD, enough money has been collected to cover the expense.

Michigan lakes have been hit by another invader–starry stonewort.  This algae has created havoc in some lakes, but so far has not been spotted in Clark Lake.  Trustee Flip Reynolds quizzed Steve Hanson about this threat.

Still photos by Paul Skawinski and Scott Brown. Click here for more on starry stonewort.