Two local divers are scheduled to pull an aquatic invasive species from the bottom of Shadow Lake on Saturday, June 14.
The species, Eurasian Water Milfoil, was discovered on the east end of the lake about two weeks ago.
Paul Skawinski, an aquatic invasive species education specialist for Waupaca County, found it while on the lake with Carol Elvery, who is a member of the Friends of Mirror/Shadow Lakes.
“I asked Paul to go with me,” Elvery said. “All summer long, I look for it and wanted to make sure I knew how it looked.”
When Skawinski spotted the invasive on the east end of the lake, he told Elvery, “Bad news.”
Since then, Aaron Jenson, the city’s parks and recreation director, found two divers.
In addition, Skawinski was at South Park’s beach on Friday, June 6, to train the city’s lifeguards about the aquatic invasive species to watch for and how they can help get one of them out of the lake.
“We know you have some off time,” Jenson said to his lifeguard staff. “When you do, we want you to remove the Curly Leaf (Pondweed) on the lake.”
Jenson said during their off hours, those lifeguards wanting additional hours may have them to pull the weed.
Skawinski said there is a bunch of Curly Leaf Pondweed from the last buoy to the inlet by the fishing pier.
“The easiest and most effective way to do it is by hand,” he said of getting the weed out of the water.
There is also some Curly Leaf Pondweed in the channel between Mirror and Shadow lakes.
Elvery said the Friends of Mirror/Shadow Lakes generally works on pulling the weed out of the channel.
“Curly Leaf is a nuisance. We like to keep it under control,” she said.
She said this is the first time the city’s lifeguards are being offered additional hours, just to pull the weed.
Jenson said, “When they’re working as lifeguards, their first responsibility is being a lifeguard.”
That is the reason why hours are being offered to them, outside of their lifeguard shifts.
In regard to the Eurasian Water Milfoil found in Shadow Lake, Skawinski described it as “a nasty plant” and said, “We don’t want it here.”
That is because the plant can take over a body of water, interfering with swimming, fishing and boating, Elvery said.
She said it is expensive to treat is chemically.
This is the second time the species has been found in the lake. The last time was in 2011.
“What we know is boats bring it in,” Elvery said. “Because people come here to fish, we will get it again. Now, I know what to look for.”
Skawinski said there are between three and four dozen Eurasian Water Milfoil plants in the lake.
The best way to get it out of the lake is by pulling it out by hand, which is what the divers will do on June 14.
It will be important for them to avoid having any pieces break off of the plants, because he said the plants spreads by fragmentation.
Elvery said pulling the weed, rather than treating it chemcially, will save the city money and also save the lake for swimming, fishing and boating.