Douglas County commissioners this evening will try to work on solving a pesky problem for cabin owners at Lone Star Lake.
The curly leaf pond weed at the lake has caused problems during springtime for some boaters and swimmers the last four years. But some fishermen don’t want herbicide to be sprayed on the weeds because they die anyway when the water warms up in July.
“There are a bunch of interests involved, and we have to look at all of them,” Commissioner Jim Flory said.
Commissioners are hoping to decide on a long-term policy on how to handle the weed. It typically causes problems for boaters and swimmers on docks in the southwestern arm of the lake, where several people own cabins.
“Certainly the year that they treated the cabin arm was a much better year for all of us who wanted to use our boats and fish,” said Jerry Morton, who owns a cabin at the lake.
Cabin owners in the past had paid for the county to spray herbicide, but in May commissioners decided not to treat the lake during the season to see how it reacted. That was based on a recommendation from Richard Sanders, a district fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Area fishermen and environmentalists have opposed spraying the herbicide because, they said, the weeds provide a nursery for fish during the spawning season.
Sanders said from the standpoint of managing the fishery at the lake he wouldn’t treat the weeds, but he said commissioners have more factors to consider with swimming and boating.
“We haven’t identified really what our goal really is there,” he said.
Sanders has also presented a memo to commissioners naming other possible options, including trying to remove the weed by hand around boat docks.
Morton said when the weed grows the thickest it catches lures and makes it difficult to fish.
“I consider this to be a nuisance, and it ruins a good part of the spring fishing season,” Morton said.
Flory said the county likely won’t reach a final decision on the issue at the 6:35 p.m. meeting at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.