In 2012 we experimented with a small trial of weed cutting. The results were inconclusive because, we believe, the trial was too small. In 2014 a larger weed cutting trial was done in Buena Lake. The permit we received restricted the area we could harvest to a ‘Water Ski’ loop in Buena Lake as well as navigational lanes around the perimeter.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) restricts harvesting in areas where the water is shallow. Also, we are limited to cutting to one foot above the bottom of the lake. If the area being harvested only has three feet of water, we can only cut the top two feet off. Also, once the depth gets to be less than three feet we cannot harvest.
Results of the harvesting done the week of June 23rd show mixed success. In the four days of harvesting, using two harvesters, over 50 truckloads of weeds were removed. Areas with more depth have held up reasonably well, but the shallower areas are poor. Based on these results, and feedback from Riparian owners, we do not plan to repeat this approach in the future. We will be expanding the use of Hydraulic Weed Removal instead.