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Aquatic Weed Harvesters to Manage Eurasian Watermilfoil
In Minneapolis, the park district’s mechanical harvester has been mowing Eurasian watermilfoil in the Chain of Lakes since before Memorial Day. It began several weeks earlier than usual, said Deb Pilger, director of environmental operations, due to the warm and early-starting spring that caused a healthy crop of invasive aquatic weed growth.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District also launched its two aquatic plant harvesters to cut and harvest the milfoil that is already flowering on the surface. The curly leaf pondweed, another aquatic invasive with the ability to grow under winter ice, has died off in the water unusually early this year, releasing phosphorus, which has caused the algae to bloom.

 
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Persistent High Lake Levels Set Stage for Big Flood - Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Madison area. When Lake Monona crested, officials began harvesting the aquatic vegetation in an effort to increase the water flow out of the chain of lakes. Staff used ten mechanical weed harvesters to remove over 270 loads of aquatic plants. That doubled the flow of water leaving the chain of lakes, so more water is leaving the Yahara chain than what’s entering, allowing lake levels to stabilize.


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