The weed situation in Fairview Lake as of 7/10/10

Submitted by: Jim Graybill

As all of you have noticed we have a severe outbreak of weeds in Fairview Lake. You also noticed that the water is extremely clear.  The following is what I believe has happened and what we might expect.

Over the past several winters with the lake at 1 -2 foot of depth a filamentous algae has begun to grow on top of the bottom soils holding them in place during wind events.  This winter and spring the sunlight was stronger and storm water runoff was less than previous years.  When the lake was filled this carpet of algae mostly remained in place, holding the soil at the bottom resulting in a clear water column.  Sunlight could then reach the entire bottom of the lake and any rooted plants (macrophytes) began to grow.  This growth really didn’t begin until after the May and June rains.  The first macrophytes were reported to me about ten days before July 4th.  A few of us tried to clean up some of the plants a week before the boat parade, but we just didn’t have the resources to be very effective.  Frankly, we were overwhelmed by the number of plants out there.

The plants that we found were Elodea, Ceratophylum, and Curly leaf pondweed.  The first two are native and the curly leaf is found just about everywhere around here, but a non-native.  So far, we haven’t found Eurasian Milfoil.  Let’s hope we don’t find it here.  Milfoil and Curly leaf have caused most of the macrophyte problem in Blue Lake.  Most of the plants we found were covered by some of the filamentous algae which appears to be cutting down on the sunlight to the plants and hopefully will kill them even if we do nothing.  We have marked a few plants with white poles to follow up whether or not the algae will kill the plants on it own.  Let’s hope.

Now about the single cell algae that floats around:  In years past we’ve had very green water about the time of the boat parade on the 4th.  This year it was late.  A few days ago there was a blue-green algae (Anabaena) kind of rice looking floating through the water column.  The water was very clear and the Anabaena seemed to be exploding in number, but that has subsided in recent days and I hope it will continue to do so.  Now there is just lots of small algae.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is much we can do about the present situation.  Try to ovoid driving your boat through any of the plants, which is almost impossible because you can’t see most of them until they break the surface.  If you have plants around your dock, you can rake them up and put them on your lawn until they dry out and them add them to the recycle bin.  If they’re dry, they won’t weigh much or take up much room.

I just noticed while rereading the above that we did find another native plant, Najah.  Only a few of the curly leaf pond weed plants were found.

I hope this answers some of the questions you might have about the lake situation.

Jim Graybill,
Chair of Lake Mgt Committee

One Response to “The weed situation in Fairview Lake as of 7/10/10”

  1. avatar jmc625 Says:

    Is the water still OK to swim in?

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