Aquatic invasives still a concern
June 6, 2008
By TODD BECKMANN
SIREN Who's going to pay elevated prices for lake shore property and the taxes on that property just to watch the weeds grow?
That was the question Leon Moe posed to the Burnett County Board of Supervisors during May's monthly meeting.
Moe, a member of the Burnett County Lakes and Rivers Association, is president of the Round-Trade Lake Improvement Association.
"I have lived with Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) for four years," he said of living on Round Lake. "It's almost impossible to paddle my canoe through it appears almost thick enough to walk on."
He said the Department of Natural Resource (DNR) website describes that plant as being able to grow two-inches a day in optimal conditions.
"I am pleased with the recent ordinance regarding the transport of weeds on boats and trailers but I do not believe we can stop there," Leon Moe told the board.
"I don't think the DNR is being as aggressive as this plant is," Moe said.
"We have EWM on Ham Lake and our experience with the DNR has been the opposite of yours," supervisor Maury Miller explained.
"Almost 90 percent of the properties in our lake association have paid to have the lake treated," he continued. "We're in our fifth year of treatment and we're down to spot-treating."
He said a lot of responsibility does fall to the lake association.
Supervisor Mary Falk suggested Moe's lake association invite a member of Miller's association to discuss the treatment efforts being made on Ham Lake.
The expansion of EWM Moe has witnessed on Round Lake in the last two or three years makes him think in another three or four years there will be a huge canopy throughout a good portion of the lake.
"I think this problem will spread to other lakes and is likely to have a negative impact on the tourism revenue in the county," he continued.
"My guess is every lake in the county will have to deal with this in the next 10 years," he said.
That was unpleasant news for some.
"If our lakes become infected, we're in trouble," board chairman Phil Lindeman said.
Supervisor Don Chell asked Moe if the plant had spread to Little Trade Lake yet.
"Because Little Trade leads to Big Trade, and eventually it goes to the St. Croix River," he pointed out.
Moe said he has not heard of the plant spreading yet.
"It's here to stay and we need to address it," he concluded.
Later in the meeting, the supervisors passed a resolution supporting the prevention of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Burnett County.
"The intent of the resolution is to show the DNR and the state there is political support to opposing AIS," Miller explained. "This shows us as being on record as supporting the suppression of EWM."