The project of removing Curly Leaf Pondweed from Rice Lake will begin soon and your help is crucial.
Iron County is facing a serious threat to our lakes and rivers. An aggressive alien invasive species, Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP) is out of control on Rice Lake and is threatening other lakes including the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. The ice is off. The invasive plants are growing.
There is a very short window of time from when the invasive plants are big enough to be “pulled” and before their seeds are ripe and spreadable by disturbing the plants. Because of the short duration of successful removal of CLP, a large workforce is needed.
What is to be done?
CLP does not respond well to chemicals and mechanical removal just spreads the weed. The only effective remedy is to hand pull it. So, with a DNR three-year grant, that is what the Rice Lake Association and its supporters are going to do.
The majority of weed removal will be accomplished by ten boats, each with two crew members. The raker will be wielding a weed rake removing plants from the lake bed. Another crew person, the bagger, will maintain the boat’s position and bag the raked weeds. These are strenuous and dirty jobs hopefully done by volunteers. However, if we fall short of volunteers for this work we may have to supplement the effort with paid workers at the rate of $15 per hour for the duration of the project.
To support the weed pullers tractor operators, truck drivers and dump trailer operators, persons to unload weed bags, a nurse or EMT, people to feed the workers, and persons to accomplish the DNR-required boat steam cleaning before and after the project are needed.
A fleet of volunteers in canoes or kayaks will be assigned to search out and remove individual “pioneer” plants.
When will it start?
A pilot program was conducted in 2019. It started the second week in June, which unfortunately was too late as the plants were beginning to ripen. This year (2023) our target dates are May 31st - June 2nd, and June 5th-June 7th and June 9th-June 11th.
Donations to pay for equipment and meals for the workers would be greatly appreciated. Please go to GoFundMe, link is at the top of each page under the GoFundMe logo.
Will You Help?
If you can actively remove the weeds or perform support roles, or make a donation, please contact:
Rice Lake Association, Inc
President, Robert Kary
PO Box 134
Mercer, WI 54547
m | 217-369-3855