Weeds are a problem on all inland lakes in Michigan and Maple Lake is no exception. However, some weed varieties are beneficial to the overall health of the lake and its fish and other aquatic life so we must be careful to avoid eradicating those while fighting the invasive varieties. Our efforts to fight weeds is a combination of attacks:
ed note: This section will grow and eventually becomes its own Weed Education page. Until then, let's get to know the newest invasive weed to Maple Lake and to all of Michigan, the Starry Stonewort.
Summary of article from "The Michigan Riparian" Summer 2015
Starry Stonewort - native to Europe and Asia
Due to the ability of Starry Stonewort to degrade critical shallow water habitat within inland lakes, the DEQ has classified Starry Stonewort as a highly invasive aquatic species.
Starry Stonewort is capable of rapidly producing dense aquatic meadows. Starry Stonewort frequently produces dense meadows near the shoreline in depths of less than one foot. Dense aquatic meadows are then completely void of native plants. In addition to their negative impact on native aquatic plants, meadows of Starry Stonewort often prevent fish from accessing spawning beds critical for them to reproduce resulting in a significant threat for recreational fishing. MLA Update: Maple Lake began using the clipper on June 29, 2015 to attack the Starry Stonewort and has had good results to date.
Weather conditions and budgetary concerns determine when and where treatments occur. Days preceding a target treatment date play a large factor in determining when a treatment can be applied to the lake. Has there been a rain in the preceding days is important to remember. Even though the weather is beautiful on the suggested treatment date, the water may be flowing faster than usual and any treatment applied will be quickly washed away.
"Treating the lake," doesn't mean the entire lake is treated at one time. The determination is based on heaviest weed infestation and budgetary constraints. People within those areas are notified following the treatment. Notices will also be placed on your property prio tot a treatment.
To date (May 2015), the bill for treatment is $15,084.75.
The Village of Paw Paw runs two weed extractor boats during the summer each year only in public areas. One harvests the weeds much like a hay baler and the other uses a suction tube to suck up the weeds.
The DEQ approved the 3-year draw down request to begin early October 2015 reaching full draw down depth of 4 feet by October 15, 2015 at a rate of 6 inches per day. It will begins to rise again early March, 2016 at the same rate reaching full volume by March 15, 2016. After the first draw down, the DEQ will review the success of the draw down. If they feel the draw down was indeed successful, subsequent draw downs will occur in 2016 and 2017.
Boat landing use will become difficult after October 1, 2015. Plan your end-of-season boat removals accordingly.
Keeping lake weeds under control is an on-going process which any gardener will tell you is a full time activity ... year-after-year! The Board Association actively monitors the health of the lake and is happy to discuss the various treatment options. If you have any questions about a particular weed or treatment plan, please attend a board meeting. Together, we can work to control the invasive weeds and maintain a healthy lake environment.
For a review of prior years activities, visit Maple Lake weed control archives.