OPINION: Help keep the “silent invader” under control in Lake Mary and Lake Elizabeth

Eurasian watermilfoil

Eurasian watermilfoil

Note: The following post was submitted by the Twin Lakes Aquatic Plants Committee. — DH

Lake Mary and Lake Elizabeth have a silent invader, an invasive plant which, if not kept under control, will form a dense mat across our lakes.

Aquatic plants are our friends, as long as they are in moderation. They are visually pleasing and environmentally desirable. Their presence is natural and normal in our lakes, and in fact they are an important link in a lake’s life system. However, in large quantities, plants can interfere with recreational uses and may be a serious problem. Eurasian watermilfoil is an invasive plant which grows much faster than our native plants.

In addition, Eurasian watermilfoil dominates the re-growth community. Plants in our lakes are nourished by phosphorus and nitrogen that originate in the watershed (the hills around our lakes) and are washed into the lake. To prevent excessive growth of aquatic plants, phosphorus has been banned in fertilizers on our watershed. Nitrogen in fertilizer encourages the growth of plants, and “greens up” our lawns. But when it washes into our lakes, it feeds the plants in the lake. So be judicious about the use of fertilizer!!

Why care about Eurasian watermilfoil? Invasive plants threaten our lakes, which are precious resources that underwrite the economy of our community. So, the Twin Lakes Aquatic Plants Committee arranged for our lakes to be treated with herbicide to control the growth of invasive plants. Before treatment, notice went out to property owners in the community. The Lake District obtains a permit from the DNR to treat invasive species. It is not intended to harm native aquatic plants.

In addition to using fertilizer sparingly, check your boat when you launch it as it may be carrying undesirable hitchhikers: invasive plants!

Rita Meier

Twin Lakes Aquatic Plants Committee


One Comment

  1. Sharon Perry says:

    Is it safe to swim in a lake treated with herbicides?

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