Do you have underwater gardens growing in the lake in front of your house? Usually the aquatic plants in these gardens are beneficial, but sometimes they contain species that threaten the well-being of the lake ecosystem and the enjoyable recreation of humans. We need your help to keep the harmful species out of Torch Lake.
Torch Lake Protection Alliance and Three Lakes Association (TLA) have combined forces and funds to eradicate Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM), an invasive aquatic plant that poses a potential threat to Torch Lake. This green plant
grows up toward the surface and has a feathery appearance. While not harmful to humans or animals, EWM forms large mats of floating vegetation that can shade out native aquatic plants and impede recreational activities such as swimming and boating. Some lakes have been completely covered by this invasive plant.
In 2020, six known sites in Torch Lake and the Clam River were treated with Renovate pellets, a herbicide that selectively targets EWM. The work was completed by PLM Land and Lake Management, a highly-respected company that has been treating EWM in the Chain of Lakes for years. Initial indications are that these treatments were effective in stopping plant growth.
This year, we have several additional efforts underway. First, a full aquatic plant survey of Torch Lake is planned (pending grant funding) to identify any new EWM locations and document native aquatic plant species. Secondly, volunteers from TLPA and TLA will continue to monitor the known EWM sites, in case of a resurgence. Lastly, our combined TLPA-TLA team will also be creating a long-term EWM monitoring plan for the whole of Torch Lake.
We are asking for your help in this effort to control EWM. If you see plants growing in the lake that resemble those in the photos in this article, please contact TLPA at TLPA@torchlake.com or TLA at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our volunteers will make arrangements to come check it out. Catching and treating EWM early protects the lake and is far more cost-effective than treating large, established patches.
Thanks in advance for your help in keeping our lakes free of invasive plant species for future generations.