Contributed by Matt Verdirame… updated 6/13 3:45 p.m.
As we get into the heat of the summer we are all looking at the lake with high hopes for this season. Lake Savers has been here treating the lake three times so far and they will be here again next week to continue treatments with beneficial bacteria.
The lake looks good at this point and appears to be clearing nicely.
This may however bring on an increase in the appearance of filamentous algae that grows up from the bottom. We are keeping an eye on this situation and will treat for the condition if it begins to get out of hand. Spot treatment would entail the use of Pure O2 or copper sulfate. This filamentous algae is bothersome, but mostly benign. If you have this algae in your area, scooping it out with a rake and getting rid of it away from the lake (Garbage or Compost) will help remove some phosphorus from the lake.
We have had inquiries about the safety of the lake and the status of testing. We have had the lake tested twice so far. The latest tests for Microcystin were done on May 30th. The two samples collected resulted in 1.053 ug/L and 0.406 ug/L. You will recall from last summer, the benchmark for safe use of the lake is below 20 ug/L There are some pockets of algae and direct contact with the algae should avoided.
Some have been wondering what kind of plants would be useful for buffers and to put in the lake. For land buffers areas most native plants and grasses would be effective. Trees are very beneficial in buffer zones. Simply letting the grass grow longer in swales and near the lake even will help. For plants that go in the lake we must be more careful.
Anything that goes in the lake will probably grow quickly due to the abundant nutrients and can easily get out of control. Essentially we need to get the proper types of aquatic plantings into the lake and into the runs to the lake. Then at the end of the growing season, after these plants have taken up phosphorus we then must harvest these plants and compost them away from the lake.
It has been recommended that we use either cattails or pickerel weed. These plants are manageable. Pickerel weed and cattails will only survive in about one foot or less of water so if you put them in you cannot put them too deep without some type of container. Also, many areas in the main body of the lake may get too much wave action for the plants to stay put and prosper. It was tried and the plants did not do well!
We are keeping a close eye on the lake and will stay proactive in our approach.