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BRIEF HISTORY OF AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES (AIS) IN DUCK LAKE

Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) was first discovered in June 2005 by a biologist who was doing a survey of the lake. During that first year the following was accomplished: the Duck Lake Nuisance Aquatics Committee was formed by a few property owners. They in turn sent a letter to all property owners informing them about the problem and asking for donations toward an herbicide application, which was then done in the fall.

Since that time the following sequence has been done each year: A certified biologist does a lake survey in the spring and a certified applicator treats affected areas with an herbicide. A post-treatment survey is done to assess the results. Any plants found after the treatment are hand-pulled by scuba divers.

The Duck Lake Nuisance Aquatics Committee also developed the following tactics in its effort to keep EWM under control:

  • We divided the lake into 16 sections and property owners who volunteer are responsible for monitoring a particular section.
  • One property owner was trained to become a certified scuba diver so individual plants that are found after the treatment can be pulled before they multiply.
  • EWM plants are recorded with GPS and marked with a milfoil buoy to deter boat traffic in those areas.
  • On-water training sessions have been held to teach our property owners, as well as others in our township, how to locate and identify EWM.
  • We became involved with other groups concerned with invasive species: Invasive Species Control Coalition of Watersmeet (ISCCW) and the Western Upper Peninsula Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area (WUPCWPMA). The ISCCW is an exemplary organization of volunteers in Watersmeet Township and our valued partner in this fight against EWM. They have helped offset the costs of surveys and treatments and they have done many projects to increase public awareness.  In addition, they supply a biologist who helps survey our lake, and they periodically station an educator and boat washer at our public access.