DNR, lake associations fighting spread of invasive species - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DNR, lake associations fighting spread of invasive species

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Barron County (WQOW) - The DNR is writing a check for almost $3 million dollars to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species. Over 100 agencies and lake associations will receive a portion of that money.

We talked to one of the groups who is getting some of the money to find out what they'll be using it for.

The Red Cedar Lake is still mostly ice, but there is already an invasive plant growing underneath. A lake group hopes that grant money from the DNR will help it stop the growth of curly leaf pondweed before the rest of the lake is ice-free.

"The first treatment has to occur before the lake temperatures get to sixty degrees. Ideally we'll be doing it around the fifty degree temperature, so yes we will be tapping funds on this grant very shortly here this spring," said Larry Johnson, an invasive species specialist with the Red Cedar Lake Association.

Last month, the group was given close to $105,000 to help control the aquatic invasive species over a three year period.

"It dies off mid-June, maybe late June. As it dies off, it creates a lot of phosphorus in the lake, and that's what creates the green algae that you'll see floating over the 4th of July on a lot of lakes here in Wisconsin," Johnson explained.

In order to help keep the water clear, the group will use chemicals to kill off sections of heavy growth.

"We will be treating with a herbicide, and we will be treating about 18 acres on our roughly about 2,000 acre lake. It's a relatively small portion. It is where we have the densest population," said Johnson.

The hope is that treating a problem at one of the first stops will help keep waters clean for more to enjoy.

"As the water flows south, this phosphorous continues to add detrimental effects for landowners, lakeshore owners as you move south. If we all do our part as we're on the northern end of the watershed system, each doing our part helps all within that system," Johnson said.

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