Dane County Invites Public Input on Draft Aquatic Plant Management Plans

December 06, 2006
Sue Jones, 224-3764
Land & Water Resources

Dane County and its consultant, Underwater Habitat Investigations, have prepared draft aquatic plant management plans for Lake Mendota, Lake Kegonsa, Lake Wingra, Indian Lake, Fish and Crystal Lakes, and Lower Mud Lake. These plans are available on the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds web site: www.danewaters.com (follow the links to Aquatic Plant Management Plan Preparation). Comments will be accepted through Tuesday December 19th at lakes@co.dane.wi.us or addressed to Sue Jones, Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds, Room 234, 1 Fen Oak Court, Madison, WI 53718.

Aquatic plant management plans provide an inventory of existing plants in a lake or stream, and describe how the vegetation, especially native plants, will be protected for their role as the foundation of healthy lake ecosystems, while controlling nuisance non-native species and providing access for recreational use of the waters. These plans are required by the DNR in order for Dane County’s permits to mechanically harvest aquatic vegetation to be reissued.

Also now available on the Lakes and Watersheds web site is the final report of the County Board of Supervisors’ Aquatic Plant Management Committee. This Committee met from February to October 2006 to review aquatic plant management options, and made several recommendations to the County Board and County Executive, including new initiatives. One is to evaluate early-season mechanical harvesting to aid in suppressing nuisance conditions by cutting when plant mass is less and stressed by over-winter conditions. Another is to support a research project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others to evaluate early-season use of herbicides for aquatic plant nuisance control and restoration of native plants.