Aquatic Plant Management

Committee Members Committee Documents
Cmr. Chad Buchaklian (Chair)
Steve Larry (Treatments)
Dan Schultz (DASH)
Gary Bluemel (Harvesting)
2019 Herbicidal Treatment Permit
2019 AIS Areas
2019 Navigational Lanes/Herbicidal Treatment Areas
2019 DASH Areas
2019 Mechanical Harvesting Lanes
2018 EWM Survey Results

The Aquatic Plant Management (APM) Committee is responsible for managing the aquatic plant growth, both invasive and indigenous, throughout the waterway. We will clearly communicate to the WWMD board and owners through monthly board meetings, regular reports and updates to this website. Click here to see the latest meeting minutes, which include committee reports.

Aquatic plant conditions change on a continuous basis. Effects of the seasons, floods, droughts, heat waves and dam levels affect the aquatic plant population in different ways. It is the role of this committee to explore, recommend and implement the use of all appropriate approaches possible to manage these changing conditions in a cost effective manner.

Summary of Weed Treatments

Tichigan Lake

Every year the Waterford Waterway Management District works on several projects to protect the quality and usability of Tichigan Lake.  One of the most important projects the WWMD heads up each year is the control, treatment, and removal of aquatic weeds with a special emphasis on invasive species such as Eurasian Water Milfoil in the lake.  It is important to remember that the measures employed by the WWMD are designed to ensure that the lake remains navigable for all of the users of the lake, not to remove all of the weeds (which play an important role in the ecosystem) or to remove all of the weeds from sight.  Further, based on limited resources and DNR regulations, the WWMD prioritizes weed control activities that will allow continuing navigation for use of the waterway. Weed control and removal is not oriented toward enhancing scenic beauty but rather to make sure the lake is not overrun by weeds thereby limiting access to the lake’s users.  We are currently doing EVERYTHING the DNR will allow us to legally do to control the weeds.  We are strictly limited to those areas and activities authorized by the DNR.  We regularly reach out to the DNR to request any additional options and we are constantly researching alternative methods and we will continue to do so going forward.  The following is a brief summary of the methods currently employed by the WWMD.

Herbicidal Treatments are approved and permitted by the DNR based on the Lake Management plan developed by the lake management planning professionals at the consulting group of Onterra, LLC, DePere, Wisconsin,  and implemented by the WWMD, and the DNR.  This Tichigan Lake Management plan is legally required and is a result of extensive study and analysis of focused management of the Waterford waterway system. These treatments include early season EWM treatment, Navigational Lane Treatments and other AIS treatments.  Surveys are regularly conducted monitoring the growth of the weeds and the location of weeds and invasive species.  These surveys tell us where we may have problems the following year with species like Eurasian Water Milfoil and Curly Leaf Pondweed.  We can treat (with permit approval) larger areas early in the spring for these plants.  Treatments later in the year are less effective and can produce large scale algae blooms as a direct result of the decaying biomass when treated to late.  In addition to these early treatments, we follow up with Navigation Lane treatments throughout the season.  These treatments are meant strictly to clear a 30′ wide path through areas of dense growth to the pier head of riparian owners allowing them access to open water.

DASH is diver assisted suctioning.  This technique is also permitted and approved by the DNR.  As implied by the name it is the suctioning of weeds off the bottom on to boats where they are hauled off to a local farmers silo for compost.  This process is slow and somewhat expensive but it does yield results that will last longer than one year as the weed and its root structure are often pulled up by the diver.

 Finally the WWMD weed control planning also employs the use of a weed harvester.  The harvester also abides by the plan set forth and approved by the DNR.  There are restrictions on where the harvester can work due to the equipment they use.  The harvester has cutters that work under water and they can’t get in to very shallow area without damaging the equipment.  The plan approved by the DNR allows the cutter to work in the main lake and they cut a path around the lake with “spokes” radiating outward from the main path toward shore allowing riparian owners to access open water.

All of these processes are highly regulated and monitored by the DNR.  There seems to be some confusion from riparian owners thinking that the WWMD decided where and when to employ these methods.  The WWMD must abide by the DNR’s approved maps and permits and any changes from the current plan must be approved by the DNR.  We have very little control over what we can do,; rather the WWMD exists to facilitate the control and removal of weeds but the DNR ultimately decides what the WWMD is allowed to do.  As of now we are doing everything we are legally allowed to do but we continue to look for ways to improve the riparian owners’ use of the waterway by exploring all available options and will continue to do so as we move into the future.

Summer Aquatic Plant Management Update

June 18, 2020 – All forms of weed removal and control on the waterway are now underway. Wisconsin Lake and Pond Resource (WLPR) has concluded their first round of navigation lane treatments and they are reporting great success with the treatment this year.

We do have an increasing problem with both Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) and Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP). The areas with extensive growth are noted in the maps below. The CLP growing season ends shortly and the weeds should begin to die back at the end of June in to the beginning of July.

The EWM is best treated at the beginning of the season when it is most susceptible to the use of the chemicals. Treating it now would result in partial mitigation of spread but would also likely lead to increased algae blooms due to the increased decaying biomass in the water. We will either need to treat the areas noted in the maps in early 2021 at considerable cost to the district, or we need to continue to explore the possibility of the EcoHarvester. The harvester remains a viable option if we get approval from the DNR for its use. Both the DNR and WLPR agree that treatment at this time would be a poor use of district funds.

Tichigan Lake – mainly EWM and lots of it, especially in the north end. Areas inside the red lines are EWM. There is probably quite a bit more, especially along the west shore and southern half of the east shore, but these areas were not checked.

Buena Lake – dense CLP topped out throughout. The area north of the line is a mix of CLP and EWM. South of the line the EWM drops out and is replaced by native species. There’s still some, just not nearly as much or as dense.

Waterford Lake and Elm Island Bay – primarily EWM. There was some in Island View Bay, but it wasn’t the main problem.

Mechanical Harvesting is beginning this week and we will harvest as much as possible from the areas noted in the Lake Management Plan, and we will use the harvester where we can to make navigation lanes in the areas with heavy EWM and CLP growth.

DASH began their work last week. Dan Schultz and Riese Aquatics have done a great job clearing the Willow Court and White Oak Lane sites. Riese will be off the water this week but they will begin again next week and will stay until all of their sites are complete.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Chad Buchaklian at 262-957-0437 or cbuchaklian@gmail.com.

APM Committee Spring Update

April 4, 2020 – As we move into 2020 the Aquatic Plant Management Committee has undergone some changes. The previous commissioner Steve Larry has stepped down from the Commissioner position and is going to serve the district in a supervisory role monitoring the progress of Herbicide application. He will also provide support to our new Commissioner Chad Buchaklian.

While we are all doing our best to stay isolated and slow the spread of COVID-19, the APM Committee is busy working to ensure that we stay on top of any Aquatic Plant issues and we are working to have everything organized for the upcoming season. We spent the winter soliciting bids for Aquatic Invasive Species control (AIS), Navigational Lane Application, Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH), and Weed Harvesting. After a very thorough vetting and bidding process we have agreements with vendors for all of the above projects.

Wisconsin Lake and Pond Resource will continue to be our vendor for AIS and Navigational Lane herbicide application. They are the company we have been using, and they ended up being the most competitive bid again this year. They come to the District with a plethora of experience and first hand knowledge of the lake and the problem areas. Informational post cards have been sent out regarding the treatments, and we will post updates on the web page with the timing of applications, and they will post notices on piers when they have treated the area. Permit applications have been submitted to the DNR and we plan to begin treatments for AIS in April and Navigational lanes shortly thereafter. Please note, if you do not wish to have the area around your pier treated please contact Chad Buchaklian at 262-957-0437 or cbuchaklian@gmail.com to opt out of the applications.

Riese Aquatics will be doing the D.A.S.H. (Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting) program this summer. Riese comes to the district with a very long list of highly satisfied clients and they are very eager to get to work. They also went through a stringent vetting process and provided the District with the most competitive bid. We look forward to working with Brandon and the team at Riese this year.

Finally, the District has a new vendor for our harvesting program. Midwest Aquatics also provided us with the most competitive bid and provided the District with a great referral list as well as a high recommendation from the DNR. Midwest Aquatics has two harvesters, both of which are larger than the previous vendors harvester. They will be able to cut and remove weeds at more than twice the speed of the previous vendor saving riparian owner money and increasing the efficiency with which we get the project completed. We look forward to working with Dave at Midwest Aquatics this year.

While we have all been in a bit of a lockdown, the committee has been busy and we plan on moving ahead just like any other year. We anticipate a great season on the lake and we look forward to seeing all of you out on the water. If any riparian owner have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to Chad Buchaklian at 262-957-0437 or cbuchaklian@gmail.com and he will be sure to address the issue at hand. Stay safe, healthy, and we will see you all on the lake.

Starry Stonewort

A new invasive species, Starry Stonewort, has been detected in some local lakes. This species has been known to cause nuisance conditions in Michigan, New York and Indiana but is new to Wisconsin. Our waterway has been surveyed and none has been detected. Our Clean Boats/Clean Water program is checking boats at the Library Launch and we have no reports of any being found.

The information we have received from the WI DNR clarifies that Starry Stonewort does not kill fish and the lake will not ‘die’ if this plant becomes established. However, it can affect the aquatic plant community and alter the aquatic habitat in the waterway. We will include Starry Stonewort in our pre- and post-season surveys and if it were to be found it will be included in our Lake Management plans.

Flowering Rush Found in Our Waterway

During the herbicidal treatment done on June 2nd, 2016 we identified a new Invasive Species in our waterway. The WDNR was with our treatment provider and confirmed that we have a small amount of Flowering Rush growing in some areas of the shore line. When caught early, this is easy to remove with hand pulling. Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resource (WL&PR) is recommending a full survey with hand pulling being done at the same time. This work is covered by a WDNR Rapid Response grant. Attached here is the grant application.

Archived Aquatic Plant Management Committee News

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015 and 2015 Update
2014

The committee will continue to explore new approaches and adjust how we implement the current techniques. We are always open to input and feedback, if you have heard of other tactics, please feel free to let us know.