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Milfoil Management

 

  It grows super fast and we know this for a fact. An advisory panel was formed and is working with several Universities and agencies. The University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Grand Valley State University and Michigan Tech. are among those helping in the study with Milfoil. Not to mention, the DNR, DEQ, and the Army Corp. of Engineers. The local support consists of the Watershed Council, Township Board and the Islands Wildlife Association.

Through a DEQ survey in 2003, it was noticed that 16% of the water was affected with the milfoil plants. By 2006, it was restricting boating and fishing.

In 2007, we planted about 15,000 aquatic weevils and decreased the milfoil by 85% in the area where the weevils were planted. The mechanical harvester had been used through Flotation Docking.

Since 2011, we planted more weevils through money we received from a grant with the EPA for a three year project. Currently, about 1500 acres are affected with the milfoil. Several ways have been determined to fight this weed.

First the use of the harvester. This is effective but timing is important to cut them and multiple cuttings need to be done. Dragging and getting the roots is also very effective, but this should stay in navigational channels only.

Second is the weevils and this project will continue, however, the weevils do not do well in heavy boat traffic areas.

Third would be the use of a fungus called mycoleptodiscus terrestris. We are planning on treating a one acre test area.

Fourth and final would be the use of herbicides. No one knows what the best method would be to rid our waters of milfoil.

The Watershed Council is currently working on the biological aspects of the problem. Pure Water is looking at the use of herbicides and the Islands Wildlife Association is looking into the mechanical methods. After experiments are tried during the 2014 season, a project plan will be established. Permits need to be applied for and then sites would be determined where this would be used and/or tested. The outcome hopefully will be to stop the spread of milfoil, reduce the affected areas and finally manage them better.

We can all help in this area. Try to avoid the milfoil beds and floating mats. Rake it up and pull it out. The use of mats can snuff out the growth. Stay up with current issues by checking the Watershed Council website:  lescheneauxwatershed.org.


A survey was mailed out to Clark Township residents concerning milfoil and the results of the survey are posted on this page.

 Survey Result Download
This file is in .PDF format for viewing, printing or download.