While the amount of invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil has drastically fallen, the Eagle River Chain of Lakes has also employed a technique called Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting to get rid of the plants.
Association President Dave Tidmarsh says using chemicals, they've reduced the invasive milfoil to what he term maintenance mode.
He says once the invasive milfoil is located a diver goes into the water and the plants are sucked up into the boat....
"....the reason for that is once the plant stem has been broken, it can then populate many more plants. It's a very expensive process and can be done in very small areas. So we're down to very few acres of the weed, we're trying this. The results in off of Voyageur and we're going to try Scattering Rice seem to be promising, but is effective only in small areas because of the expense....."
Tidmarsh says over 10 years the amount of Eurasian Water Milfoil has dropped from 270 acres to about 12 acres in the 10-lake chain. He says hand-harvesting works in small areas. He says every year volunteers to a survey to see if the plants are invasive or not. There is milfoil that is natural to the region and is not a problem, but the invasive Eurasian Milfoil is marked on a GPS unit. He says a professional company then does more research on the spots found with invasives and puts together a treatment plan.
He says the DASH team from Suamico is now part of the process. The rapidly growing invasive milfoil can grow to the point where is can clog a waterway and change the ecosystem.