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Friends of Vancouver Lake announces treatment date for Eurasian milfoil weed

July 6th, 2020

Vancouver, WA – Friends of Vancouver Lake (FoVL) has announced that treatment of the Eurasian watermilfoil weed infestation in Vancouver Lake and the flushing channel has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 7. The planned treatment is expected to take 1-3 days and will not affect Lake users nor limit activities. Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) is a class B noxious weed in Washington that requires mandatory control. EWM forms dense mats underneath the surface of the water and left untreated, quickly alters the ecosystem of water bodies threatening lake users, animals, and native species of plants and aquatic life.

The presence of EWM was first identified in spring 2018 by regular Lake users – primarily members of the Vancouver Lake Rowing Club and the Vancouver Lake Sailing Club who became alarmed as they noted widespread infestation and expansion into rowing, sailing, and swimming areas. These citizens determined that without effective treatment, EWM would cover the Lake by 2021.

Friends of Vancouver Lake (FoVL) formed in late 2018, after finding no current or planned efforts to control EWM by local government agencies. The group joined with representatives of local rowing and sailing clubs to immediately begin working with local agencies, SW WA legislators, and the state Department of Ecology to apply for a permit to treat EWM as a private group.

Through dogged determination and the support of many allies, FoVL and the rowing club ultimately gained the Ecology permit to use newly-approved ProcellaCOR to treat the Lake’s EWM and contracted with Bellingham-based AquaTechnex LLC to complete the treatment. FoVL also began extensive fundraising efforts gaining support from 100s of Clark County citizens and significant donations from the Firstenburg Foundation and the Ed and Dollie Lynch Foundation as well as contributions from Clark County and the Port of Vancouver USA. Treatment costs are estimated at $150,000 to $200,000 this year. Cost variables include acreage affected and water depth at the time of treatment.

EWM spreads through fragmentation and exists in many bodies of water throughout the state. Fragmentation occurs by fish movements in shallow water, by swimmers or animals that become entangled in the weed, and by contact with boats, paddles, oars. Absent effective treatment and management, EWM returns annually and in greater numbers. FoVL, the Department of Ecology, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Clark County weed control will monitor effectiveness of the treatment and continue to survey the Lake for signs of new growth which must be addressed. Future management and treatment will occur through the County’s newly-minted Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan (IAVMP). FoVL participated extensively in development of the plan and will continue to support observation and treatment as part of its commitment to restoration of the Lake.

For all inquiries, please contact FoVL Co-Chair Larry Cassidy at 1-360-798-1249 and fcassidy@cassidyjr.com or co-chair Kathy Gillespie at 360-901-6538 and kathy.e.gillespie@comcast.net

 

 

Friends of Vancouver Lake announces date change for treatment for Eurasian milfoil weed

August 5, 2019 // For immediate release

Vancouver, WA – Treatment of the Eurasian milfoil weed infestation in Vancouver Lake has been delayed until late summer or next spring because the weed plant has stopped growing and cannot absorb the herbicide rendering the planned August treatment less effective. However, a late summer growth spurt of the weed plant would allow for proper absorption and effective treatment this year. If such a growth spurt occurs, Friends of Vancouver Lake (FoVL) say funds and application permit are in place for immediate treatment.

Larry Cassidy, chair of FoVL, said aquatic biologist Terry McNabb advised the group to wait for vigorous weed plant growth before treating in order to maximize treatment effectiveness and improve lake conditions. McNabb is the designated applicator with AquaTechnex LLC, the company responsible for the application. Monday, after evaluating available data and lake conditions, the FoVL Board agreed to the delay.

McNabb said treating the plants at the right time is key for the future health of the Vancouver Lake.

“The ultimate target of the herbicide is the root crowns of the milfoil. The leaves and stems in the water column however, are not growing. These are the critical uptake sites for the herbicide. It is probable that an application when the plants are in this condition would result in little or no translocation to the root zone. This would also result in marginal to limited control,” McNabb said.

FoVL will continue to monitor lake and plant conditions to determine the optimal time to treat the milfoil weed for maximum effectiveness.

“From the beginning, we have focused on successful treatment of the Eurasian Milfoil weed infestation immediately threatening the lake,” Cassidy said. “Throughout the complicated process of securing funding and permission to treat over the last eight months, we have always known that lake and plant conditions were variables affecting the treatment date. We will wait for the plant’s growth spurt – perhaps in late summer – to apply the herbicide for maximum effectiveness.”

FoVL has notified all partner agencies of the delay and will continue to keep the public updated as treatment plans develop.

For all inquiries, please contact FoVL Chair Larry Cassidy at fcassidy@cassidyjr.com