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Archive for Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lake weeds cause argument on chemical control

Richard Sanders, district fisheries biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, talks about the growth of curly leaf pond weed at Lone Star Lake that has some residents, boaters and fishing enthusiasts annoyed. In years past Douglas County officials have allowed a herbicide be sprayed to kill the weed, which Sanders said can provide a nice habitat for fish. The County Commission will decide tonight whether to authorize spraying this year.

Richard Sanders, district fisheries biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, talks about the growth of curly leaf pond weed at Lone Star Lake that has some residents, boaters and fishing enthusiasts annoyed. In years past Douglas County officials have allowed a herbicide be sprayed to kill the weed, which Sanders said can provide a nice habitat for fish. The County Commission will decide tonight whether to authorize spraying this year.

May 13, 2009

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Weeds at Lone Star Lake

Richard Sanders, district fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, talks about curlyleaf pond weed at Lone Star Lake and the county's upcoming decision whether spray herbicide that will kill the weed. Enlarge video

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To spray or not to spray at Lone Star Lake.

That’s the question facing Douglas County Commissioners tonight.

For three years, the spring crop of curly leaf pond weed has been an issue at the lake southwest of Lawrence.

Lone Star Lake Association members who own cabins on the lake’s southwestern side have paid to have the county’s public works department spray a herbicide called Aquathol-K in shallow water around their boat docks.

Barbara Barnhill, the association’s president, said the spring weeds make it difficult on boat motors and could present a safety issue.

“We realize that there are conservationists who feel like we should not do anything, but it has not been going away,” Barnhill said.

In past years, environmentalists and some fishing enthusiasts have objected to spraying the lake because the weeds provide cover for spawn. Ned Kehde, an area fisherman, said that when the water warms up in the summer the weeds go away.

“I don’t see any reason for doing it,” Kehde said.

The previous County Commission had allowed the herbicide as long as the association picked up the bill of less than $1,000.

This year, cabin owners are asking commissioners to overrule a directive from county administration not to spray the herbicide. And Richard Sanders, a district fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, has recommended the county not apply Aquathol-K to see how the lake reacts after three years of treatment.

In a memo to commissioners, Keith Browning, the county public works director, said a recent federal court ruling was causing states to rethink the practice of applying aquatic herbicides.

In addition, the face of the three-member County Commission has changed. Jim Flory and Nancy Thellman won seats in the November election, and Mike Gaughan in April replaced Charles Jones, who resigned to concentrate more on his job at Kansas University.

The meeting begins at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.

Comments

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

Ned Kehde, an area fisherman, said that when the water warms up in the summer the weeds go away...


Bass love the cover, and weeds offer protection for the spawn season. I am with Kehde, weeds will go away (just about the same time as dandelions) Leave it alone.

gr 5 years, 8 months ago

Drain the lake, let it sit over the winter, and that should greatly diminish the weeds and any zebra mussels.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

gr-- where would I fish??? That would be torture to me.

chadku 5 years, 8 months ago

The weeds do go away in Mid June or so. I fish this lake a lot and while it is tough to fish in the spring they are right that it helps the fish for spawning. It happens like this every year.

They have been doing the spraying every year and tend to do it during the week so it effects as few fisherman as possible.

I understand that it is annoying for the owners out there as it really builds up around their docks, but if it is going to harm the lake and the fish I think we should not do it. I think Richard has a good idea in stopping it for 3 years to see what it does to the fishery.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 8 months ago

That curlyleaf pond weed loves Lone Star Lake. I haven't looked at the cabin arm lately but as of last week roughly half the length of the southeast (non-cabin) lake arm is clogged with pond weed.

But although this weed is extremely annoying to boaters trying to make their way through it, the fact remains that the weed provides outstanding habitat for not only baby fish but, more important, the aquatic insects that baby fish feed on constantly.

I'm with Mr. Sanders and Mr. Kehde: Since the weed is going to die off naturally once the lake water warms, why not skip the chemical treatment this year and see how things go?

The complainants in this matter are the lake's cabin owners, and most of their properties are outfitted with a private boat dock. This arrangement suggests that cabin owners at Lone Star not only love fishing, they love living right next to a good quality fishing lake. When you make that kind of financial commitment you want a strong fishery, not a mediocre fishery.

Okay then...by leaving the pond weed alone (not spraying it) the lake's aquatic insect population soars, which dramatically increases the amount of accessible fish food, which in turn helps all the lake's fish grow bigger faster. Result? A better fishing lake.

No spray + temporary navigation barrier = more fish, bigger fish year-round. That's not a bad tradeoff if your lifestyle revolves around good quality fishing.

UfoPilot 5 years, 8 months ago

Curlyleaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus L.) is a submersed herbaceous perennial plant. Oversummering as a turion or hardened bud, it can form a dense nuisance canopy on the surface in the spring and early summer, impeding recreation and increasing flood risk. When it senesces in mid-summer, it can cause oxygen depletion and encourage algal blooms from decompositional release of nutrients.

IT KILLS THE FISH...

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

hey Pilot, you need to use some smaller words........... The only thing I understood was that "it kills the fish" which I personally believe is BS.

Listen to Ned Kehde... the man knows about fishing.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Why risk contaminating the water?

The Kansas River is dead why kill lone star lake?

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