By Ken Schwebke
Our fight with Eurasian water milfoil continues. This past late spring we completed a herbicide treatment of a three acre area near the boat landing. I’m sure a number of you saw the large red buoys stretched across the small bay just north of the landing.
Last winter Tim McGuire and I drove to Marinette County and visited with their county Water Resource Manager, Chuck Duckrey. His team had completed a milfoil treatment on Thunder Lake using a floating barrier that was used to encircle an area of milfoil and to contain the herbicide 2-4D.
We had heard of his trial test procedure and felt it was worth looking at as a method for us to use on Archibald Lake. He showed us the sections of barrier they had constructed using large sheets of reinforced poly plastic sheets, 1&¼ inch diameter styrofoam backer rod, lead core rope and ½ gallon plastic jugs filled with concrete. (pictures attached). This floating barrier which was 20 ft wide and 100 ft long and rolled onto spools which were attached end to end with spring clips and deployed from a pontoon boat. The barrier was placed in such a manner as to encircle the affected area and held in place using the concrete filled jugs. Once in place, the herbicide was distributed along the lake bottom using a flat bottom boat equipped with the premixed herbicide and tentacle-type hoses extending to the lake bottom. The herbicide was dispersed at a rate of 3ppm (parts per million). The barrier was left in place for three days to ensure the effectiveness of the herbicide. At the end of the three-day soak, the barrier was rolled back onto the spools.
Tim and I reported back to the ALA board. They authorized the construction of 16 barrier sections at a cost of roughly $6,500 to be used on Archibald Lake in one of the heaviest infested milfoil areas in the spring of 2020. At the end of May this year, the barrier was completed and proper permits were received from the WI. DNR. This project was well supported by the WDNR. While we did not receive any funding for the project from the DNR this past spring due to the lateness of applying for a funding grant, they were willing to include a request for the 2020 cost to be included in the 2021 grant application for the two areas we plan on treating in the spring of 2021.
Once we received the proper permits and the barrier assembly was completed, we proceeded with the deployment of the barrier and herbicide treatment in the bay just north of the boat landing. The barrier was left in place for three days and then removed. At the end of July, a survey of the bay was completed by an outside contractor and representatives from the WDNR who deemed the project a complete success.
Our intent for this coming spring is to treat two areas of the lake: One in the East lobe and one in the West. We have an area in the East lake on the northwest end of the Holt island closest to the two lakes connecting channel and a significant affected area in the large bay just south of the boat landing along the northwest shore line. We are applying for a state funding grant at the end of October and have received a funding grant from Oconto County already. Since we are able to reuse the barrier constructed this past winter, the material cost will be significantly less than the $6,500 expended previously. Our expenditure for the treatment this past spring was roughly $10,000 while our expenditure this coming spring should be around $4,000 with a significant amount of both the 2020 and 2021 cost covered by the grant monies.
I want to express my gratitude to those who gave up three Saturdays of their time this past winter helping with the building of the barriers in Tim McGuire’s shed: Tim McGuire, Mark Stumpf, Joe Harrison, Larry Schmechel and Larry Market. In addition, I want to thank those who helped deploy and retrieve the barrier this past spring: Mark Hesselink, Gary Miller, Paul Brusky, Karla Doyle and her family and Roger Spaude who took photos of the operation.