It was a busy summer for aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Sawyer County. While a lot of work was accomplished around the county, not everything was positive. Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) was found in two new lakes this summer and hybrid milfoil (a cross between Eurasian watermilfoil and native Northern watermilfoil) was confirmed in Lake Hayward. The Round Lake POA confirmed treatment of 26 acres of the lake for invasive species over the summer.
Eurasian watermilfoil is feathery underwater foliage. It forms very dense mats of vegetation on the surface hindering fishing, wildlife, and boating and can rob oxygen from the water. Spring growth starts sooner than native aquatic plants and can shade out these beneficial plants. EWM is spread from lake to lake on boat trailers and water left in the motors and is very hard to eradicate. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/weeds /milfoil.html
Small populations of EWM were found in Tiger Cat Flowage and Lost Land Lake by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in July of 2013. Both lake associations rose to the task of surveying and removing the EWM. Continued monitoring of the lakes has not found any more EWM. Surveys will be continued in the spring to look for EWM to catch any new growth early. While no more EWM has been found in either lake, the chance of not finding any next year (i.e., eradicating the EWM completely) is not likely. However, both infestations were very new in the lake and that is usually the best scenario for any possible eradication. Time will tell!
There are a TWO things you can do to help prevent the introduction and establishment of EWM to your lake.
First, make sure all boats are clean whenever you are traveling between lakes or have guests that bring their own boats. If someone makes repairs on your boat, make sure that it is clean before you put the boat back in the water (especially make sure all water is out of the motor.)
Second, keep an intact shoreline buffer! Keep things native and wild to keep out Eurasian watermilfoil and purple loose- strife! This strip of native plants is recommended to be 35 feet wide from the water, not mowed, and left undisturbed except for an area to access the water. Manipulation of the shoreline and in-water areas leads to increased sedimentation, excess nutrients, and low competition-
This one may not seem as obvious as the others, but an intact and natural shoreline will help reduce the chance of an invasive species becoming established in the water and on the shoreline. An intact shoreline is a consistent strip of native plants that will make it harder for invasive species to find enough room to become established.
perfect areas for an invasive species to become established. The less impact you have on your shoreline and beach areas, the better. The Spider Chain of Lakes is a beautiful area full of native plants that support a wide variety of wildlife and fish.