Thursday, September 25, 2014

Curley Leaf Pond Weed and Testing

Curley Leaf Pondweed and Testing

Curley Leaf Pondweed

The results of the independent invasive species plant study are in. (because it's independent the DNR will not recognize it as viable) We have almost a monoculture of Curley Leaf Pondweed in the lake. How did this happen? According to the DNR native plants should have sprung up in mass after the lake was returned to level. Well, that didn't happen. Evidentially, all our native plant seeds were washed away with the drawdown, something Ted Johnson of the DNR has never seen before. We also have a shoreline invasion of Flowering Rush. The rush is not the primary concern at the moment. We need to address the CLP and that will have to be with some form of spraying. What we hope is that the grant for the spraying will also include remediation for the lack of native plants other than wait and see what floats down the river.

 We kind of had a feeling we would need to plant the lake. We even had a plan drawn up to seed the lake with native species. We are going to have to revisit these plans and seek a grant for the cost. I have included a map of the plan. As you can see we anticipate large beds of Water Lily. As it happens, these proposed beds are where the Flowering Rush have taken over. The advantage of Water Lily is that the leaves shade the bottom of the lake making it difficult for plants like Flowering Rush to be successful.

The good news on grants is that we qualify to receive them. I contacted Gary Hanson at the DNR to make sure all out I's were dotted and the T's were crossed. It seems the confusion came from the DNR's failure to update their records. I have been assured this has been taken care of but I will check again.

Now for the testing. Going to the DNR website for Lake Weyauwega
 ( ) you will find that the only document on the lake is a 1966 Bathymetric map. When I asked Ted Johnson, he reported there has never been any complete testing on the lake by the DNR. The DNR has used the reports paid for by the various lake associations, but these are not considered "official". The plant survey that was to be done by the DNR on the lake since it has been at level, has not been done - again. The upshot of this is that as far as grants go there is little data the DNR finds acceptable to back up the grant request. This could be problematic for the lake. We have taken action to correct this. So that we have testing the DNR will accept Jim Tolfa has volunteered to be the DNR trained civilian tester for the lake. The testing will begin in the Spring of 2015. Jim will be testing for clarity, O2 content, nitrates, phosphates and other components of the water in the lake. We hope we can get the website to reflect the new values.

I find it depressing that the DNR choses to make recommendations about lake management off the top of their head without any data. As our invasion of CLP demonstrates, each body of water is unique and one rule can't be applied to all bodies of water.

That's where we stand so far.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fish Fish Fish - We are repopulating Weyauwega Lake

Last year we had a great spawning season. This year we have augmented the fish population by stocking the following:
5,100 Northern
6,250 Largemouth Bass
2,352 Perch

Fishing this year is not recommended because the fish will still be establishing. Next year is when we anticipate seeing anglers on the lake.

Plant Survey Completed! It's all good news.

Weyauwega Lake is now in it's second year of being at level. Last year we dealt with the non-aquadic plants in the process of drowning in the deeper water. We also noticed flowering rush, an invasive species that greatly concerned us. To that end we began to develop a replanting plan to introduce desirable aquatics in sufficient number to outpace the invasive species. We needed further research and a plant survey before moving forward. We now have that survey. "

Lake Survey:

Lake Weyauwega Site Visit

On June 17th Ted Johnson and Eric Evensen with the Wisconsin DNR visited Lake Weyauwega to investigate reports of large Eurasian water milfoil beds.  Upon inspection no Eurasian water milfoil was found in the lake.  Algae covered coontail and common waterweed may have been mistaken for EWM.  However, two other invasive species were seen in large numbers; Curly leaf pondweed and Flowering rush.  Curly leaf pondweed was found throughout the lake and in most cases was topped out at the surface.  No turions were observed on the CLP.
Flowering rush colonized the exposed lake bed from mid-lake to the upper end during the recent drawdown and can still be found in large numbers on the upper end of the lake.  The main channel on the upper end of the lake is free of vegetation and easily navigable.  The channel was lined with uprooted, dying flowering rush.  The rest of the upper end is colonized by the flowering rush.  Most of the flowering rush is growing in 3.5 – 5.0 feet of water which is outside of its preferred habitat.  The Flowering rush was easily pulled from the lake bed and had a very shallow, small root system.  It is hard to determine how long the flowering rush will persist but the plants exhibit very evident signs of stress.

A full species list of plants observed:
1.     Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)
2.     Common waterweed (Elodea canadensis)
3.     Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)
4.     Curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
5.     Flat-stem pondweed (Potamogeton zosteriformis)
6.     Long-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus)
7.     Water stargrass (Heteranthera dubia)
8.     Small duckweed (Lemna minor)

9.     Large duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza)

This is all very good news for the lake. Before Weyauwega Lake was drained there were only three species found in the lake. We now have nine. We anticipate this will improve. We are moving forward with our plans to keep the lake healthy.