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Author Topic: Weed Kills in this part of the state  (Read 1776 times)

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Weed Kills in this part of the state
« on: July 26, 2013, 06:44:43 AM »

I was wondering how many of you have seen a up swing in weed kills on lake in your area? this year as I went out fishing I have noticed that more and more lakes are getting weed kills on them in and around the Kalamazoo area. as a matter of fact one lake I fished last week end has had two weed kills this summer already. I know they say it does not hurt the fish but it has to have some effect when the fish get a funny look to them. I contacted the DNR and they said that the EPA or some group like them give out the permits for it so they cannot stop it. I think it will have long term effect if not on fishing in general then on the way visitors look at our waters.

 What do you think week kills will do in the long run?


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Re: Weed Kills in this part of the state
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 07:39:43 AM »

Actually sportsman have rights too.  Not as many as the riparians seem to have, but we do have rights. 

Communities that want to do a weed kill have to submit to the DNR for approval.  The DNR is so undermanned and overwhelmed in this area that they often are forced by law to approve the permits without much back ground knowledge. 

If sportsman keep on top of things they can mail in their input as well.  Thus giving the DNR some background.  The DNR tries to balance the use of our resources for all who use them.  Without our input they are not aware of our concerns. 

For example;  if there's a significant weed bed on a lake that sits out away from the homes more than 300' and is important to the fish and therefore the fishermen, we need to let them know.  They will often exclude such a weed bed from the application permit. 

What I've noticed on many inland lakes that the invasive species of plants have taken over in both the absence of, and the competition with native species.  I was on Lobdell yesterday and most of the lake is covered with this thick carpet of junk weed.  Hard to find good weeds in shallow water.

I quit fishing Woodland a couple of years ago.  The last time I was there it was the same thing.
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Re: Weed Kills in this part of the state
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 10:08:31 AM »

Lake Associations have more power than one would think. They follow other associations foot steps in a circle. What works for one should work for another?

Lets say a guy I know from the DNR said: they did not approve of the sonar treatment( which is the harshest of all treatments). The biologists do not have enough data for long term effect.

I am ok with spot treating milfoil because once it is in a lake, it will never go away. It can only be kept under control.

Crooked Lk Delton was done with Sonar this spring and has been spot treated since. Now the curly pond weed has taken over the lake which is native.

Our wonderful resources are extremely fragile. One would hope that we have not altered our echo system to the point of no return.



Re: Weed Kills in this part of the state
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 04:58:49 PM »

Fiker that junk weed you are referring to is officially called starry stonewort and it is invasive. As far as I know they can't kill it with chemicals but can knock it down. Once that stuff is established you can pretty much forget about having any sort of standing weeds in the area.

Seems like it doesn't take long for that stuff to take hold once the existing rooted vegetation is wiped out. It's actually an algae so I believe it can spread by fragmentation, making it pretty easy to get to all corners of the lake. It's pretty amazing to see what it is doing to places like Kent lake where it is really starting to take over.

Pretty much makes a lot of fish habitat worthless, not good for small fish to hide in, and doesn't provide big fish with an ambush point to get an easy meal. Seems like a few of the lakes that have a lot of it have a ton of small fish, and I wonder if part of that is because they have to work harder to eat.


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Re: Weed Kills in this part of the state
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 12:35:40 AM »

Thanks for the additional good information. I always believe having the correct information is way better than misinformation.

I believe in the cases they actually need a permit (which was drastically reduced years ago) they apply to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) not the MDNR. I think the MDNR can be involved in some cases but not sure how much or how often anymore? I'd have to check up on it.

Three big challenges. Well four I guess is more accurate:
1. Anglers not getting involved most of the time is something we could do something about. We've talked about that a little in various threads in the past.
2. Some aquatic plant killers (I think they call themselves 'lake managers' or 'weed control' things like that) are aware they make more money if the sell the lake association more poison. They can also make more money if they USE more poison than they actually have permission to do. I'm not saying they all do that, but some definitely do (anglers could help by being there on days they treat and 'watching' them to see if they stick to the areas they are limited to).
3. Riparians can do quite a bit of aquatic plant killing without ever getting a permit. Maybe we should befriend more of them and get to know each other?
4. There is almost never a 'recovery' plan. The weed killers come in and kill the aquatic plants, sometimes killing all the good plants too or pretty much everything, or worse, more good plants than 'bad' plants. But almost never does someone come in and follow up with planting native plants or doing something to help the native plants come back so the 'bad' plants don't fill things in again. It's not that simple but there are times when extra effort and money might have some chance to bring back the native plants so we don't end up with another mud puddle. Usually, I ask what about the recovery plan and I'm told 98% of the time that the native plants will just come back on their own... I have seen that happen. But I've seen a lot more mud puddles...

I've had some really fun 'discussions' with 'lake managers' before who tell me they've done their job. They got the money and poured, spread or shot out the poison. They're done. Someone else will have to do the 'recovery' part." I sometimes let my nerd, Irish, redhead part get the best of me and ask them, "then shouldn't your title really just be 'plant killer' not 'lake manager...?'

For some reason, the discussions rarely stay civil after that point, or go much farther... (more examples of why I could never be a politician ;D)

I guess the real issue before 1-4 above is that it is just way too easy to kill weeds (aquatic plants aka sometimes fish habitat) and way too hard to actually manage a lake as a lake, with a complete ecosystem full of living creatures with varied needs.

So, lets start with a few easy suggestions we all can do better at (myself definitely included):
1) don't launch your boat into a lake while your trailer has obvious weed and algae gunk hanging all over it. We can all take a few minutes after we pull out of the lake to pull off the stuff we can see and throw it away (not on the boat ramp or near the shore). I've been getting better at this and not just on my own boat. Same goes for the gunk that gets on your deck after a day of weed whacking - don't leave it to blow, fall or be thrown into the next body of water you launch at.

2) talk to other people you run into about it. Show then that you do it to make a difference. Don't boss people around, tell them they have to do it, or promise it will fix everything. Just point out that it can't hurt to have everyone try to do a little more. To help out. Make a difference. Just don't let too many people slide on the 'nothing can be done' excuse. We all hear that one, or versions of it way too much already. Just my opinion anyway.

3) well, you're already doing this one - you visit when you can and take the time to read and share about this important stuff. I selfishly figure that already proves you care above the curve average. I hope you don't mind that I fell that way? :)

Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.
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