Notice: Treatment of Starry Stonewort
This article is to provide background/context for a written notice being mailed to Miner Lake residents (July 13, 2020)
The established Miner Lake Improvement Board project (approved fall 2014) authorized treatment of invasive aquatics plants such as Eurasian Milfoil or Starry Stonewort. Historically we have selected treatments options which avoided the use of chemical controls. However, the 2014 Improvement Board Project introduced authority to use those controls, if required.
In preparation for the 2020 season, the decision was made that if reviews of spring 2020 assessments indicated the need to treat, then the Improvement Board would authorize select treatments. Notice would be issued prior to any treatment occurring with additional information communicated to residents via the Miner Lake Property Owners Association. The Improvement Board applied for, and received, State of Michigan EGLE (Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) permits for aquatic nuisance control.
Ongoing restrictions related to COVID-19 have complicated many matters, including delaying the planned aquatic plant mappings. They were completed June 23, 2020 and presented to the Improvement Board on June 30. The report highlighted mappings of Eurasian Milfoil or Starry Stonewort and included the recommendation from Progressive AE to proceed with treatment of Starry Stonewort in July 2020 and prepare for treatment of Eurasian Milfoil in early spring 2021.
The Improvement Board asked many questions related to the recommendation(s) and the details to follow represent the basis for the decision made:
Historically we have used of weevils for control of Milfoil, but they have not been available for use within Michigan for several years. Additionally, weevils do not provide any Starry Stonewort control.
Alternative (non-herbicide) treatments have not been demonstrated to be effective or cost efficient. The options presented are only proven methods available.
Recommended treatments and treatment effect:
Starry Stonewort: Copper Sulfate to control the growth, and prevent it from rising to nuisance height (3-7 ft). There are no known treatments to eliminate it, but this treatment has demonstrated effective control. Copper Sulfate has been widely used for many years and there are no use restrictions, when applied professionally.
Copper based algaecides: NO WATER USE RESTRICTIONS. Copper is the active ingredient. Informational posting only. Common trade names for this product: Copper Sulfate, Cutrine (Plus,Ultra), Captain (XTR), K-Tea, Symmetry, SeClear G, F-30.
Eurasian Milfoil: Recommendation (in line with State of MI guidance) is to collect numerous samples of Milfoil from Miner Lake and conduct a “Plan Test.” This test occurs in a controlled lab setting takes several weeks to complete, but helps to identify the appropriate chemical treatment agent and effective minimum dosing. As such, we do not know what chemical treatment will be recommended for Miner Lake. Regardless, the available treatments for Milfoil are designed to eliminate the plant (rather than inhibit it) and typically result in ongoing control with limited or smaller recurrence in the following year.
Recommended timing and treatment area:
Starry Stonewort: Treatment second half of July 2020. Treated can occur throughout the year, dependant on how it is presenting. We plan a single treatment for 2020, but in many lakes it is applied twice to achieve desired effect.
The planned treatment area is limited to the areas identified to have Starry Stonewort (as of June 23, 2020 map). The treatment is formulated in a dry granular mix that falls through the water column to impact the Starry Stonewort.
Eurasian Milfoil: Best treated in early spring (late April/early May) prior to aggressive plant growth. Unfortunately the delays experienced in 2020 make treatment this year unadvisable due to the 6-8 week results window and potential for selected usage restrictions during peak season.
We plan to conduct detailed Milfoil mapping this season to more fully inform 2021 planning.
In 2014, the Improvement Board took special care to listen to the opinions of residents and the desire to only implement chemical controls as a last option. We believe that desire has been honored by our ongoing monitoring and exploration of treatment options, but at this time the plan detailed above represent the best known option to fulfill the commitments made to protect the use of Miner Lake.
I’m saddened by the fact we were not able to present these details in person, but assuming we are able to safely hold an association meeting later this summer, we intend to cover this topic.
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