Stakeholder Group Presents Curly Leaf Pond Weed Management Plan At Public Meeting

Fri 9-29-2017

           (Spirit Lake)-- Members of a stakeholder's group outlined a proposed plan at a public meeting last (Thurs.) evening to manage curly leaf pond weed, which is threatening to get a chokehold on the Iowa Great Lakes. The proposal for 2018 would cover about 60 acres. 20 of that would be treated with an aquatic herbicide: 10 acres in the north bay area of East Lake Okoboji, with the other 10 in Lower Gar. Another 40 acres would be mechanically harvested. It comes with an estimated cost of $40,000.

The use of a chemical is causing concern from some like this woman who spoke at last (Thurs.) night's meeting...Curly leaf meeting01 

"Aquathol K has been used in many lakes in Iowa but not in a drinking water source lake so that's my first concern is that we have this chain of connecting lakes and why do we need to be the first to try it in a drinking source lake?"

Representatives of the DNR that were on hand last (Thurs.) night said the chemical has been approved for use in such lake, and that it would be applied miles from any water intake. Bill Maas, who's the Mayor of Orleans and a member of the East Lake Okoboji Improvement Corporation, said he's much more concerned about reports of lakeshore property owners taking matters in their own hands. He says he's heard various reports of people putting chemical into the lakes on their own...something that's illegal...Curly leaf meeting02 

"I was happy to hear about some penalties involved, but enforcing those violations are a little difficult if you don't get help from someone, you know, someone's got to stand up and take pictures or do something."

Mike Hawkins, a fisheries biologist with the DNR who's also a member of the stakeholder group, responded to calls by some to make the treatments more widespread...Curly leaf meeting03 

"When we get into the canals and other places, I think this was mentioned, a slippery slope. Where does this end? Where do we draw the line if doing these types of things every year? That's a discussion we're going to have to continue to have."

Members of the stakeholders group said they'll review input from last (Thurs.) night's meeting adding they would still consider making some adjustments to the management plan.