Less invasive milfoil to treat this summer

Red areas on the map show heavy growth spots that will be treated. 

WHITE BEAR LAKE — Survey results are in. It took five hours and a 14-foot, DNR-approved rake to check the lake for Eurasian watermilfoil. The June 13 survey precedes chemical treatment managed by the White Bear Lake Conservation District to kill the invasive weed. 

Results reported at the district meeting June 18 by Mike Parenteau, chair of the lake quality committee, reveal 56.4 acres require treatment. The cost will be under budget at $32,000, which leaves money left over to treat another invasive plant this fall: Phragmites australis. 

Treatment should be scheduled late this month or early July using Depth Charge, liquid triclopyr and 2,4-D. The same chemicals were used last year to treat 70 acres.

Milfoil was found at an average depth of 8 to 11 feet so it's getting deeper, Parenteau noted. “We found new places close to the old places; it moves around.” The lake homeowner represents the city on the district board of directors. He's accompanied aquatics expert Steve McComas of Blue Water Science on the survey crew for years. Another invasive they'll watch next year is curly pondweed. A patch was identified in Commercial Bay but it's too late in the season to treat.

In his monthly lake quality report, Parenteau reported elevation at 925.12 feet, or about the same as last month. Lake level is 1.5 feet higher than last year. Water temperature is still chilly at 70 degrees.


In other business at the June 18 monthly meeting, the board:

• Approved swim buoys next to the Manitou Island Association private beach. 

   Resident Harvey Mills explained to the board that the association owns 300 feet of lakeshore on the north side and would like a designated swim area. Mills learned how to swim there about 70 years ago and he wants to teach his grandchildren there. Mills said they can co-exist with boaters but the association would like a 50x60 foot area roped off with buoys for safe swimming. 

  District counsel Alan Kantrud said a designated swimming area is appropriate; the board agreed. 

• Approved a new fee schedule. Prices, unchanged since about 2010, will increase a minimal amount. Commercial dock fees will be $75, a $15 increase, and four-slip docks will be $60. Prices are effective in 2020.  

• Heard that two of the four No Wake buoys have been placed near Matoska Park. The remaining buoys will be placed this week. 

• Heard that signs for the anti-plastic campaign are ready for pickup. One has already been installed at Bellaire Beach. 

• Approved assessment rates for the five communities around the lake. They are less than last year. 

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