2022 INVASIVE SPECIES REPORT FOR RICE LAKE

 

Weed Pull 2022 started on May 31st after several months of planning. This intensive pulling effort continued through June 10th(we did take the weekend off). The community effort to accomplish this task was amazing. Volunteers from a number of lakes on the Turtle River chain came to help. There is no way this project would have happened without them and Rice Lake Association owes them a huge debt of gratitude. Not to be forgotten was the Rice Lake family that provided a fabulous meal every day. After the difficulty of the task at hand that noon time lunch was a treat and so were the many friends we made those 10 days of the pull.


We learned a great deal about the Curly Leaf Pondweed(CLP) population on Rice Lake over this two week period. The first surprise was the huge amount of loose CLP that had accumulated on waters edge around the North bay. Rather than pull these weeds, we spent a lot of time gathering it. We believe it had broke loose from last years population during heavy winds after “ice off”. When we inspected those areas in the middle of the bay at about 8ft. the CLP was gone. Further surveying this summer will confirm if this is fact. The post pull activities of several lake front owners have helped keep CLP at bay and we believe this will be one of the keys to containment over the years. 


Another area where we pulled last summer was the channel leading to the bay in front of Arrowhead Resort. Again, the CLP was not present. In talking with plant biologists, they think we disturbed the root  base(rhizomes) by the rake action last year and prevented it’s regrowth. Some very good news for the
method used.


The Loon nesting area continues to be a bright spot. Due to the placement of Benthic Barriers there is no CLP present.


Over the two week period, over 1000 bags of CLP were gathered. This was an estimated 35,000 lbs. It’s at the Hadley Brush pile if you need some compost! The last 3 years efforts have shown that we may have found a way to contain this “noxious weed”. Notice we did not say eliminate it. Containing it has always been the realistic goal. The concern is “ can we keep this up”. It’s a yearly endeavor and we will continue to search for other more effective methods. A committee will need to research and plan for the long term.
Involvement by Lake residents is essential in this planning to prevent losing any ground gained since the start of this project. Other lakes with this invasive species have found other ways to deal with this issue. Most notable is herbicides. This method has some controversy associated with it but it does deserve
discussion as an alternative method. Science is changing and therefore the hope that improvements will provide a more viable option to the labor intensive methods used during the last several years. The challenge of finding people physically able to do this task is real.


In summation, we are encouraged by our efforts to this point. The bright spots we have mentioned are cause for hope. We have been warned that we will never get rid of CLP but we may be able to contain it in the east bay where it is shallow and sees less boat traffic. The majority of the the pulling this year was
done in that bay and we await the scientific survey results from our consultant White Water Associates.

 

Finally, our sincere thanks to everyone involved. Whether financially or physically, your help has made the difference and we won’t forget it. Please remain part of out team as we look to the challenges of the coming years


The Rice Lake Association