Treatment of Invasive Plants in Miner Lake

Much like lakes throughout Michigan and the midwest, Miner Lake has experienced the negative effects of invasive plants such as Eurasian Milfoil and Starry Stonewort. Left unchecked, these plants grow more dense and spread to cover additional acreage, choking out native vegetation and impacting normal lake use.

Eurasian Milfoil (Michigan.gov)
Starry Stonewort (Michigan.gov)

Background

Through the repeated renewal and funding of the Miner Lake Improvement Board, Miner Lake residents have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the health and monitoring of our lake. The Board is responsible for regular monitoring of water quality and thoughtful treatment of invasive aquatic plants.

Historically, the Board elected to treat Eurasian Milfoil through the use of weevils, which burrowed into the plant as a home for their larvae. This natural treatment delivered mixed results. Unfortunately, weevils are no longer available locally, and the State of Michigan has banned import of weevils from other states.

Absent any treatment, the amount of Eurasian Milfoil in Miner Lake has increased. In 2017, there were 29 acres, and by 2020, that had expanded to 42 acres.

The 2014 Improvement Project authorized the Miner Lake Improvement Board to pursue alternate treatment methods, including the use of professionally-applied, state-approved aquatic herbicides. The Board has purposely taken a cautious approach to herbicide treatments, but a fall 2020 treatment of Starry Stonewort was approved and demonstrated good results.

Treatment of Eurasian Milfoil was not done in 2020, largely because treatment needs to occur early in the growing season (late May to early June).

2021 Treatment Plan

For 2021, the decision has been made to treat for Eurasian Milfoil and Starry Stonewort.

In late May, ProgressiveAE will complete a mapping assessment to inform the treatment plan. The treatment will be performed by PLM and is estimated to occur in early June. It will address Eurasian Milfoil and Starry Stonewort anywhere it is noted in the treatment plan.

The approved treatments were selected for their proven track record, minimal usage restrictions, and overall cost. They include:

Copper Sulfate – treatment for Starry Stonewort
Tricloyr – treatment for Eurasian Milfoil. The granular form is the preferred option, but the decision between liquid or granular will be made based on the treatment plan.

The use restrictions are detailed above, but to clarify, they are:
Swimming is 1-day restriction
Watering of Turf (lawns) has no restriction
Watering of Ornamentals (plants and vegetables) are dependent on measured levels at 1ppb or less

Residents will receive notice by mail, and on the day of treatment, signs will be posted along the shoreline within 100 feet of treatment areas that indicate what products were used and specific water use restrictions that apply. The notice will likely look like the DRAFT notice below.

As noted, this decision was not taken lightly, but we are pleased to be in a position to conduct treatment this year. Managing these invasive plants will help swimmers, boaters, and anglers fully use and enjoy all areas of the lake.

We encourage residents to make note of presence of these plants early in the season so you can help inform us of their effectiveness throughout the summer season.

6 Responses

  1. Thank you for dealing with this problem. We appreciate all the efforts to keep our lake beautiful and usable.

    Reply
  2. Thank you, Miner Lake Board for all your hard work!

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  3. Wonderful. Much needed. Thanks for all your work

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  4. Thank you for your time spent on behalf of the Miner Lake families. I appreciate the information.

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  5. Thanks to you and the board for their diligence with lake issues. A very nice explanation of what will happen and why it is necessary.

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  6. I also appreciate the work of our president & lake board, but I do not agree with chemically treating the lake. I try to my keep my lakefront as natural as possible with no sea walls. I’m in the water every week in the summer, swimming, skiing, snorkeling or fishing. Please bring some Starry Stonewart to the next 2 meetings to show me.

    Reply