Lake Association set to discuss proactive approach to invasive s - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Lake Association set to discuss proactive approach to invasive species


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Clear, clean and cold: Lake Wissota is a long way from the look and smell of other area lakes, namely, Lake Menomin.  The Lake Association, which works to protect the water quality, is holding its annual meeting Wednesday night and the group's proactive approach to invasive plants will take center stage.

"It's a great place for boating and swimming and water-skiing and fishing, all of those water activities," Ann Gordon the Lake Association President says.

Lake Wissota may be frozen now but with summer come wake-boards, bikinis and boats and with that, a few bad things.

"It's very busy out here, especially on weekends and holidays. For a number of years now, we've had Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) on the lake. Eurasian water milfoil tends to cover the surface of the water and make it difficult for boating," Gordon says.

For years, the Lake Association has been using the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program.

"We have volunteers at the Lafayette landing to check boats and trailers as they go in and out of the water to remind them to clean any aquatic plants off of their trailers before they go in the water and when they come out because that's how the EWM spreads, by taking it from lake to lake," Gordon says.

The big lake isn't at too high of a risk for the invasive plant.

"In the big lake, so much of it is very deep. You're not going to find milfoil beyond 15 feet; it's usually in about four feet of water," Gordon says.

Little Lake Wissota is where the concern lies.

"We have a neighborhood watch program and people in canoes and kayaks actually monitor our beds of milfoil, just so we can keep track of how they're doing. If it's growing really fast, we pull it," Gordon says.

Even though the invasive plants are under constant supervision, they still manage to creep into new corners of the lake. Last year, milfoil was found in Pine Harbor, where it had never been before.

The Lake Association's annual meeting is being held April 16th at the Lafayette Town Hall. That's near the Lake Wissota Gordy's County Market in Chippewa Falls. The meeting, which is open to everyone, starts at seven.

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