Fall has barely begun and the Lakes Area community is already preparing for next year’s battle against the invasive curlyleaf pondweed. The weed caused navigational issues on the lake this past season as it clogged boat motors and jammed dock lifts. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, local government entities, area protective agency representatives and the general public met Thursday to discuss a possible plan of action for next year. A mechanical harvester will likely be part of the plan again this year, with the possible addition of aquatic herbicides in certain areas.
DNR Fisheries Biologist Mike Hawkins said mechanically harvesting has the added benefit of removing the plant material — and the phosphorus it contains — from the water.