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Water Management Associations
Harvester Fleet Ready to Battle Weeds on Yahara Lake
Dane County's fleet of 13 weed harvesters is motoring up to cut and remove tons of aquatic plants in the Yahara chain of lakes this summer, a continuation of a program to try and reduce lake flooding and lower the amount of algae-producing phosphorus.

The 13 harvesters are two more than last year, and the lake weed management budget jumped 53% to $773,400, as the county tries to stay ahead of the growing weed problem.  With the increased budget, Dane County is deploying the aquatic weed harvesters as well as four dump trucks, four elevators and three barges, with three full-time and 24 part-time employees working on weed removal.

That weed removal alone took 691 loads, or 3,178 tons of material from the river corridor.  Shoreline weed removal was the bulk of the work, with 1,847 loads, or 8,496 tons, removed from the lakes.

The Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources estimated 4,851 pounds of phosphorus were taken out of the lakes, so if one pound can produce 500 pounds of algae, that's almost 20,000 pounds of algae not growing and fouling up the shorelines.

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