April 21, 2011 Notes
Meeting Notes from April 21, 2011 (community meeting #2)
Save Black Lake Coalition (SBLC) can get a grant from Thurston County for $40,000 to develop a study of Black Lake noxious and invasive weeds (which is required before any additional money can be accessed to do something about the problem) – a matching amount of $10,000 is needed. We can count “in kind” contributions (labor hours).
The study would include:
- Mapping the weeds (where are they, what kind are they?)
- How do you eradicate them?
- A public involvement process would be outlined
In August, 2010 Ecology posted that Black Lake had a toxic algae bloom and swimming was banned. These Algae Blooms are caused when oxygen is consumed by decomposing plants. Lake residents said there didn’t used to be yearly toxic algae bloom – this is a new occurrence. Would the cleanup effort involve toxic algae blooms?
Older residents said you used to be able to see the bottom of the lake – people would find arrowheads.
One of the residents recommended a litter cleanup effort.
Doug Karman from the Long Lake Management District spoke. This group was formed in 1987 and learned a lot of lessons trying to clean up Long Lake. He said the state, county and city won’t clean up the lake – either the residents get together and do it or it won’t get done.
In 1983 they put aluminum sulfate treatment on Long Lake. This combines with phosphates and is heavy so it drops to the bottom of the lake. This made the lake clear but that created an environment where milfoil could grow. This clear water lasted about 7 years. In 1991 they got a $500,000 grant to treat the milfoil. His main message – whatever you do, work with the natural ecology of the lake. Using chemicals and messing with the ecology can create a toxic waste dump in your lake. Blue green algae is in the lake but it’s not always toxic. Copper sulfate kills it but creates a toxic waste dump in the lake. Aluminum sulfate reduces the algae.
The litoral zone – this is the area where the weeds grow. Black Lake has a smaller litoral zone than Long Lake ever had.
Their taxing structure – they collected $184,000 a year in taxes of lake residents (neighbors – people with property on the lake pay more, the public access places get dinged, too). They formed a management district. They do clean up and education. Long Lake is not open all year long for fishing. They check every boat for milfoil. They manage the money themselves.
Our lakes are on the eutrophic side of the cycle (moving toward wetlands) – lakes have a life cycle. They fill in with plants and organic matter. Problems are created from nitrogen (septic systems, people fertilizing their yards). Milfoil comes from boats and when people dump their aquariums into the lake.
Their management district borrowed $500,000 from the county and they paid it back by taxing themselves over a five-year-period.
A $235,000 fishing pier is planned for Black Lake. There is a machine that harvests plants from the lake – a guy on Long Lake bought two of them.
Notes submitted by Linda Tobin