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Water Management Associations
Wisconsin Seeing Herbicide Resistant Milfoil
The ongoing battle against aquatic weeds is getting tougher as most invasive species are developing an herbicide-resistant strain and ongoing drought changes the landscape of lakes.

Without artificial control methods, the lake weeds would make Camp Lake and Paddock Lake, among others difficult to navigate as Eurasian watermilfoil spreads in thick mats across the water’s surface. Vern Wolf Lake in Bong State Recreation Area was drained by the state to eradicate milfoil, back has come back with a vengeance the past few years.

In Paddock Lake, a two-man crew cuts weeds with a mechanical weed harvester five days a week throughout the summer to keep the weeds in check. The village hauled 280 truckloads – an estimated 2.2 million pounds of weeds – away to be composted. Herbicides are used in combination with the aquatic plant harvester, but according to Craig Helker, an aquatic plant management specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; the hybrid milfoil is more resistant to 2,4-D, or dicholorophenoxyacetic acid and takes higher concentrations to affect the plant.

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Larger Weed Harvester Expected to Improve Quality of Weed Removal - The town’s seven-foot-wide aquatic weed harvester — used to remove the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil from the lake — was purchased used in 2014 for $60,000. Since then, it has removed hundreds of metric tons of milfoil from the lake.

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