2019 Aquatic Plant Committee News

APM Annual Meeting Presentation

Thank you all for attending the WWMD Annual Meeting. Attached here are the details for APM plans and budget for the upcoming year.

APM Eco-Harvester Research

September 8, 2019 – During the past several months, we continue to do research on a revolutionary new mechanical harvester called an Eco-Harvester manufactured in Wisconsin. I have referenced this in our monthly WWMD meetings and have received many questions on what this is, how it may benefit our waterway and its feasibility. To help answer some of these questions you can go to the following website: www.lakeweedharvester.com/eco-harvester which contains product description and videos of operation. Again, we are still in the research stage but hope to have that completed in the next few months with a report to the WWMD Board and riparian owners.

Navigational Treatment – August 27th

Our treatment provider, Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources, was out on the water on August 27th to treat navigational lanes. See below for the map showing the areas treated.

Mechanical Harvesting Update

August 17, 2019 – Our second mechanical harvesting was completed on August 15th. For our first harvesting, the week of July 4th, we completed cutting on both the east and west shores of Tichigan Lake, but ran out of hours to do a good job on the north end of the lake. This last cutting we concentrated on the north end, going from the end of Peterson Ct. north, around to the Golden Bay cove area and then the N. Tichigan Rd. area up to about the third buoy. The cutter also cleaned up some remaining algae and the green blobs floating below the surface. The signs from both harvestings indicate that it has been very successful.

Navigational Treatment – August 5th

Our treatment provider, Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources, was out on the water on August 5th to treat navigational lanes. See below for the map showing the areas treated.

Blue-Green Algae Testing Results

July 23, 2019 – A suspected blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom was found in late June on the northeast end of Tichigan Lake. A water sample was taken and sent for testing.

The test report confirms the presence of both cyanobacteria and toxins in the bloom.

The total level of blue-green algae in the sample was 86,684 cells per milliliter. This is close to the World Health Organization’s guideline value (100,000 cells/mL) for a moderate health alert in recreational water.

For more information about blue-green algae and staying safe, please see the article below.

Blue-Green Algae Information

June 30, 2019 – Along with summer weather comes an increased risk of blue-green algae blooms on our local waterways.

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as “pond scum.” Blue-green algae are most often blue-green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish-purple, or brown. Blue-green algae generally grow in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen.

It is possible for blue-green algae to cause illness. Blue-green algae are capable of producing several different toxins, including dermatotoxins, gastrointestinal toxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and neurotoxins. People may be exposed to these toxins through contact with the skin (e.g., when swimming), through inhalation (e.g., when motor boating or water skiing), or by swallowing contaminated water.

The WDNR recommends the following:

  • Do not swim in water that looks like pea soup, green or blue paint, or that has a scum layer or puffy blobs floating on the surface
  • Do not boat, water ski, etc. in water that has these characteristics (people can be exposed through inhalation)
  • Do not let children play with the scum layers, even from shore
  • Do not let pets or other animals swim in, or drink, waters experiencing blue-green algae blooms
  • Do not attempt to treat surface waters that are experiencing blue-green algae blooms with any herbicide or algaecide. Toxins are released into the water when blue-green algae cells die
  • Always shower after coming into contact with any surface water (whether or not a blue-green algae bloom appears to be present; surface waters may contain other species of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses)

For more information about blue-green algae, how it can make you ill, and how to protect yourself, go to the Wisconsin DNR website.

Navigational Treatment – June 5th and June 26th

Our treatment provider, Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources, was out on the water on June 5th and June 26th to treat navigational lanes. The maps showing the areas treated are shown below.

Green Water in Conservancy, Tichigan and Other Bays

May 7, 2019 – Towards the end of April, the water in many areas turned a green color. A sample collected in Conservancy Bay by Greg Horeth was given to Onterra to determine what the cause was. On initial inspection he suspected that it is a Planktonic Algae and he would have it tested to confirm. The results were received on May 7th and you can see them here.

2019 Aquatic Plant Management Plans

The APM Committee has several approaches this year to do the best we can to control aquatic plants.

1. Herbicidal treatments
The first step before we can do any treatments is to obtain a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). The application was completed earlier in the year and we received the approval last week. The permit is available in the links above. This permit allows us to treat for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), as well as to treat lanes that impair navigation to or from a pier head. Links to maps above show the areas we will treat for AIS and lanes for navigation. The AIS areas are only those marked on the map as ‘2018 Final Herbicide Application Areas’ This treatment will happen in mid-late May.
Navigational treatments will be done periodically throughout the season. We expect to do 4-5 treatments. NOTE – not all lanes will be treated every time, only areas where the growth impedes navigation. If new areas come up this year we will work with the WDNR to treat those as well.

2. Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH)
We are continuing our DASH program in 2019. Weeds are removed by hand and suctioned into a collection bag on the pontoon. It is labor intensive and expensive but works well in the shallow areas.The map above shows the areas that we have permitted. We will likely not be able to complete DASH in all these areas but will prioritize them based on conditions.

3. Weed Harvesting
We are exploring alternatives for weed harvesting in certain areas of Tichigan. Possible areas are shown in the map above. We are also looking at a new machine (Silver Mist) that ‘pulls’ the weeds and could possibly work both in Tichigan and in the shallower bays – More to come.

4. Water Quality Monitoring
Based on recommendations from the consulting company, Onterra, who is working on our Lake Management Plan, we are beginning a more extensive water quality monitoring program. We are currently determining the areas that will be monitored along the waterway.