Lake Users May Notice Late-Season Aquatic Plant

August 25, 2014
Contacts: Pete Jopke, Water Resource Planner (608) 224-3733 Erika Hotchkiss, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator (608) 224-3762
hotchkiss.erika@countyofdane.com
Land & Water Resources

Lake Users May Notice Late-Season Aquatic Plant

Dane County aquatic plant harvesting staff have observed very dense populations of wild celery (Vallisneria americana) on all area lakes, including the Yahara River.  These plant beds provide critical cover and food for newly hatched fish, and, as the entire plant is edible, waterfowl prefer it as a food choice.

 

Lake users may notice more wild celery through the late summer into early fall according to Pete Jopke, Water Resource Planner for Dane County Land and Water Resources Department.  Jopke notes that this beneficial native plant is found throughout the Yahara Chain of Lakes see link.  Leaves appear as long flat blades of grass (up to five feet in height) that have a central stripe.  During the late summer, male plants will release their flower heads as a method of reproduction.  As summer progresses into fall, the plant material will break free as it moves to new locations. In areas with prevalent populations, this can cause clusters of material to float at or near the surface. 

 

Since the plant is nearing its peak growing season, it can easily be fragmented when it is at or near the surface.  Boat props and wave action can contribute to plant fragmentation. Jopke notes that, as always, boaters are obligated to remove all plant material before leaving the landings to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. More information on water related issues can be seen on the Dane County Land and Water Resources website at: https://www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/.