Oct 11, 2011 Notes
Save Black Lake Community Meeting
October 11, 2011
Save Black Lake President Deb Wallace opened the meeting by expressing our gratitude to the County and especially to Rich Doenges for his dedication and expedience with regard to our project. Deb introduced Harry Gibbons of Tetra Tech, who provided a review of his presentation from our last meeting. Harry reiterated that the native plants are essential to provide habitat. Further, Harry emphasized that we need to maintain a balance of plants to avoid the overproduction of cyano-bacteria. This is the bacteria which lead to the dreaded blue green algae bloom.
For review, there are three invasive non-native species present in our lake – eurasion milfoil, yellow iris and white water lily. There are two problematic native nuisance species – the water nymph and spatterdock (the yellow water lily). The goal is to provide a balanced ecosystem. We need to eradicate the non-native species. However, we need to control, but not eliminate, the native species. Otherwise, we will have excess algae production. Harry showed us an example of a lake with no aquatic weeds. The absence of plant life resulted in a blue green algae bloom that was 8 inches deep – Gross!
Harry went over the results of the 2011 survey with regard to the aforementioned plants. Harry stressed that we need to develop a long term plan to manage the weeds. He explained that there is a targeted manual milfoil removal operation, which is ongoing. We need to continue to manage the milfoil manually or it will take over.
Harry revisited the applicable tools available for controlling the nuisance and non-native weeds. There were manual, mechanical and chemical means reviewed. Again, our lake will require a multi-year effort. We should devise a plan to prevent the infiltration of new invasive species. We have to diligently monitor for them and swiftly eradicate them if and when they are detected.
Black Lake needs to participate in adaptive lake management. As a group, we will need to evaluate the methods for long term management of our vegetation issues. This should include long term surveys of aquatic life in our beautiful lake.
Harry reviewed the four aquatic weed management options covered in the previous meeting. The first one was to do nothing. Obviously the wrong choice. The second proposal was manual control such as barricading and hand pulling. This would be feasible for a small area. It would not be cost effective for a large lake like ours. The third option would include one year of herbicide application followed by manual controls. This approach is less likely to rapidly eradicate aggressive weeds. It may fall short in controlling the nymphs and will only be successful in smaller areas.
Plan four includes two years of herbicides followed by manual controls. The manual removal of the milfoil would continue. Homeowners could also use bottom barriers made of burlap. The second year would include another survey. The non-native plants would receive an additional dose of herbicide. There will be three chemicals used that will kill the milfoil and the other invasive non- native plants.
How much does it cost? This year, the cost was covered by our grant for the survey. Next year, we will need about 100k to implement the plan. The third year, we would need about 46k for another herbicide application. The fourth year, about 30k and the fifth year, 15k. This particular plan will be reduced each year as the weeds are controlled. The iris will need to be manually pulled in subsequent years because they will-seed.
You still need a sustained program that provides balance. The first application of herbicide will focus on the densest nymph concentration. Property owners may need to use manual controls in their area. If certain areas have larger growth areas, the herbicide will be directed toward those areas.
Once the plants are controlled and our lake is in balance, we need to address the blue green algae. There are too many nutrients in the lake so we need to reduce the nutrients. “STOP!” using products containing Phosphorous. One pound of phosphorous grows 10,000 pounds of wet algae. When the algae decays and sinks to the bottom of the lake, it recycles the phosphorous up to 40 times over. Use non phosphorous fertilizer folks!
We don’t know what role storm water may have in algae production. We are not sure what effect the septic systems have on the algae bloom. Once the weeds are controlled, we can study the causes for algae production and develop methods for control. Everyone present at the meeting endorsed option number four. We will apply to Dept of Ecology by end of October for the implementation grant to implement the weed management proposal. This plan also includes $3000 for bottom barriers to deal with weeds around docks and in shallow areas used for recreation.
There will be another meeting to address the formation of a lake management or special use district to manage a long term plan. Residents are concerned about assessments or taxes against their lots for any sort of long term management organization. The additional meetings will address these long term cost issues. We will be bringing in more information regarding the kind of organization we want to form.
Rich Doenges ‘explained that Long Lake and Lake Lawrence formed lake management districts, which taxed lakefront owners and those who lived in neighborhoods with lake access or a community beach.
Deb discussed the upcoming grant. The last grant we received was a thirty thousand dollar grant with a ten thousand dollar match. We will apply for the next grant, which is seventy five thousand with a twenty five thousand match. We need to raise the twenty five thousand by the beginning of July 2012. Many people have contributed to our efforts, but we have many more of our fine residents to reach with our plea for monies. We will soon be approved as a non- profit charitable organization so your generous donations will be tax deductible!
Respectfully submitted – Linda Tobin