LD/FL Herbicide Application

Since most of you have received the notice of herbicide application this weekend, you must know that we are finally going to be able to use herbicide to help control the growth of milfoil in our lakes. We have been trying to  control the weed for years, and have been relatively successful, but last year, even with an enlarged budget and crew, we couldn't keep up. The state Agency Of Natural Resources finally told us it was time to add herbicide to our toolbox. A third party private firm will do the application on June 15 or 16, weather permitting. 

The herbicide that will be used is called Renovate. It has been used to kill milfoil for decades all around the country, and has had no side effects. It is not a poison per se. It is a synthetic copy of a natural hormone of the plant. It just confuses the plant"s growth cycle and kills it. It has no effect on any other plants or animals in our lakes. We are expecting good results in the limited areas we are permitted to use it. The mechanical harvesters will still be working as usual, but on a more limited basis.

This brings me to my next point. People have asked me, sometimes seriously, sometimes tongue in cheek, that  if we can't control the milfoil, should they use chemicals themselves around their docks? The simple answer is an emphatic NO. Not because it's illegal, or they needn't comply with overly strict regulations, but because it will simply grow more milfoil.

 When a wide spectrum herbicide is used, it indiscriminately kills everything and denudes the lake bottom. The milfoil, being the most aggressive plant, will seek this opportunity to colonize the entire area. It takes much less energy to grow in virgin soil than to compete with the native plants already there.

To report milfoil, you can call Sue Mackey at 802-352-6617, and she will forward the message to the crews, or go to the boat launch by Waterhouse's and pick up a yellow buoy. Drop the buoy by the milfoil. Tell the greeter your address, and he/she will forward it to the crew. Also, please post your street address on the lake side so the crews can find you.

Jim Meyersburg, Chair, Aquatic Invasive Species Committee