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Three Lakes Waterfront Association Experiments With Volunteer Scuba Hand Harvesting of Eurasian Water Milfoil

The Three Lakes Waterfront Association (TLWA) recently conducted a test on Virgin Lake to determine if volunteer scuba divers from the association could effectively hand harvest Eurasian Water Milfoil.  The experiment was conducted under the supervision of Stephanie Boismenue, the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Oneida County.

Stephanie provided instruction on plant identification (how to tell Eurasian Water Milfoil from the native northern milfoil) as well as mapping of the invasive area on the lake, and hand harvesting techniques.

Three volunteer divers from the TLWA spent several hours on the lake doing ID of the EWM plants, and went underwater to do the hand harvesting.  Based on this test, the TLWA is advancing plans to develop a Rapid Response Team of volunteer scuba divers that would be available to conduct hand harvesting if/when plants that have been identified as EWM are found.

In the past, the association has conducted chemical treatment of EWM, and has hired professional diving crews to do hand harvesting.  It is believe that this new volunteer approach will be faster than waiting on the commercial dive teams.  It also allows for selective harvesting of EWM allowing native non-targeted native plant communities to remain intact, minimizing the impact on the lakes eco system.

 

 

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Three Lakes Warwefront Association PO Box 145 Three Lakes WI 54562

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