WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Eurasian Milfoil Removal

Lake Wissota is looking somewhat yellowish-green these days, and that color isn't exactly a sign of life.

It's just the opposite.

Just below the murky surface of the lake, DNR biologists are looking for the source of the problem, Eurasian Water Milfoil.

It's relative newcomer to the lake, that's why there hadn't been a plant study on the lake in about 15 years.

"By the looks of the roots, it's only been here for a year-I would say two years at the most," said Aquatic Botanist Michele Skakang.

It didn't just show up on its own either. Typically, the plant attaches itself to a trailer and wherever the owner goes-that's where it shows up next. Experts say that's exactly what happened at Lake Wissota.

It doesn't die off for weeks if it's water-logged.

"It needs light penetration," said Regional Fisheries Biologist Mark Enderis.

"It will also reduce oxygen levels," Skakang said.

To stop all that, divers are trying to find the Eurasian Milfoil.

"I'm walking along until I see a cluster of it on the surface," Enderis said.

They'll follow it down to the roots and get it out of the water completely.

After all, the broken segments will spread the stuff everywhere.

"We do not want it to end up in the large lake," Skakang said.

So they'll spend a long day, slowing down it's progress, then come back some other time to check things out.

By spring, the department will plan to treat the lake with chemicals, and have Lake Association members keep tabs on it.

So a yellowish-green lake this summer, might be a little clearer for the next.


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