Monday, June 26, 2006

More About Eurasian Milfoil.

From personal visual observation on Gray's Bay, the following preventive treatment program seems to be working to control Milfoil. - I can only watch and observe the results as the season progresses.
The author states the cost of current harvesting techniques, (squads of milfol harvesters) but does not realistically cover the cost of the chemical treatment program being studied, or more important, the impact these chemicals may have on the lake environment. - Just don't try this at home.

From the Minneapolis Star/Tribune / an article by Ben Steverman:

"Almost 20 years ago, Eurasian water milfoil first invaded the lake. Now, each year men on large floating harvesters spend the summer pulling mats of milfoil from 500 acres of the lake, just to keep navigation channels open. And the following year, the milfoil grows back.

This year, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District is testing what could be a permanent solution to the milfoil problem. On three bays of the lake, the LMCD is testing chemicals designed to kill off the plant.

But there is also a debate on the lake about how much the LMCD can and should be doing about future threats from invasive species, especially the zebra mussel."

"This spring, for the first time, the LMCD, along with the Lake Minnetonka Association, private lakeshore owners, and the Department of Natural Resources is testing chemicals to control milfoil on parts of Phelps Bay, Carmans Bay and Grays Bay.

Different chemical combinations are being tried on different bays. It's too early to tell whether the herbicides will be successful."

If one formula works, it could be tried on the entire lake, Skramstad said. Though the LMCD, funded by 14 lakefront cities, has a tight budget, Skramstad said he's confident the money needed -- which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars -- could be raised. It already costs about $100,000 a year to harvest the milfoil that grows back each year.

Osgood said it's unlikely milfoil could ever be eliminated from Lake Minnetonka. But, he said, "I think long-term, widespread control is possible."


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