Milfoil treatment areas getting smaller on Lakes Mary and Elizabeth

Eurasian watermilfoil

The amount of acreage in Lakes Mary and Elizabeth that have to be treated for Eurasian milfoil has decreased by more than half over recent years, it was reported at the Twin Lakes Protection and Rehabilitation District annual meeting Saturday.

“We really are down substantially in what we are treating,” said Tony Migon, chairman of the district’s steering council.

About seven years ago, much larger stands of milfoil necessitated treatments of as many as 20 acres in each  lake, said Craig Helker, of the state Department of Natural Resources.

Treatments are now down to about five to seven acres in each lake.

Treatments also have moved to earlier in the season during that time, which makes the 24D herbicide more effective and reduces exposure to people using the lake, he added. When once treatments took place in June and July, they now happen in later April and May.

The budget approved for 2012 included $5,000 for continuation of chemical milfoil treatment next year. A separate vote on the treatment program was approved by voting members present with a handful of  no’s.

Some audience members questioned the continuation of the program, asking about monitoring of levels of 24D and its safety for swimmers.

Helker replied that while there is some risk to the use of 24D, the state has researched the risk and found it to be acceptable. Usage directions for 24D say there does not need to be a waiting period for swimming after application. The same herbicide is commonly found in many lawn herbicides.

In studies he is familiar with, Helker said, 24D has been shown to breakdown to a point at which it is undetectable from within a day to 14 days.

Helker said monitoring can be done, but the district would have to fund it as the state will not.

While the milfoil treatment has been successful, it likely will not eradicate Eurasian milfoil, Helker said.

“I’d like to say you do these treatments you’ll be done with Eurasian milfoil,” Helker said. “It isn’t going to happen.” In fact it is likely new invasive plant species will be encountered in the future, he added.

In other business at the meeting:

  • Projects concern shoreline restoration, storm water management, dam modification with electronic lake level monitoring were approved unanimously.
  • The 2012 budget was approved unanimously. David Cox, village administrator, said the budget was nearly identical to the current year.
  • The 2012 tax levy was approved. It is the same as for the 2011 budget year — $131,000 at a estimated rate of $0.15494.

  • View Larger Map


Comments are closed.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives