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Invasive Species

A healthy lake is part of the legacy we leave behind for all who will live here. Lake health maintenance steps have been undertaken by your board for years and successfully so. Each spring an extensive lake-wide survey of weed population is undertaken to determine if there are threats, and if so, to what extent. During the course of the year, lake water is monitored regularly and the results sent to Michigan State University for compilation. See the section on lake-water monitoring for details of the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP).

Lake management consultants who deal with lakes all over the state advise that Magician Lake would rank in the top 5-10% in terms of cleanliness and overall health. The largest threat in recent years has been Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM). Since 2010, excellent progress has been made in controlling EWM. This was reduced in Silver Creek Township from over 120 acres to just a few now. In Keeler Township, there is no township effort to control this, but individual residents have taken it on themselves to treat their areas with the same kind of success. 

Two new invasive weeds have appeared in lakes in our area (and many places in the US). They are as aggressive as Eurasian Water Milfoil if they get established. These are Curlyleaf Pondweed and Starry Stonewort.  It is believed they came to the US through the St. Lawrence Seaway in the bilge water of ships. When the bilges were cleaned, new contaminants arrived and spread throughout the east and Midwest in inland lakes from boats going from one lake to another. These two weeds have been the subject of meetings and conferences across Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and others and with the DNR of each state. One is widespread nationwide.

In the May 2015 lake survey, these two weeds were found in Magician Lake. They can be as big a problem as Eurasian Water Milfoil, if allowed to get established. Starry Stonewort is a slimy algae and can form a thick mat over two feet thick. It blocks out the good weeds from sunshine and destroys fish feeding areas. Curlyleaf Pondweed decomposes in the summer and if enough of it – it can cause low oxygen and the die-off will cause nutrients to be released which can trigger algal blooms. It can get dense as well. This info is from DNR websites, which you can find links to in our Resources tab.

Fortunately, Magician Lake has a professional lake management consultant who identified the problem early and as there was very little of each weed, the potential problem was treated in 2015. Treatment took place early June 2015. The problem with invasive weeds is that they can’t be completely eradicated – only controlled to keep it at a very low level. But what this means is that there are very low levels of localized treatment, too.

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