More than 250 tons removed from lake
By Ben Rodgers
Weeds harvested on Iola Lake totalled more than 250 tons this season, the Iola Lake District learned at its Tuesday, Aug. 26 meeting.
The district paid for 160 total hours of weed removal, done in two 80 hour sessions.
During the July cutting roughly 158 tons were removed. During the August cutting roughly 105 tons were removed.
“Pretty much we’re done with management activities on the lake,” said John Bertelson, district chairman, after the meeting. “The whole process starts again March of net year.
The cuttings took place on 45 acres of the roughly 200 acre body on of, as per the DNR cutting permit.
Schmidt’s Aquatic of Weyauwega was paid a total of $28,000 for the two cutting sessions this year.
The amount of weeds cut was similar to last year, which indicates the problem isn’t going away.
“What we’re doing now isn’t working for the lake anywhere,” Bertelson said. “There’s just too many weeds cutting off recreational use for it.”
Other bodies of water with the same characteristics of Iola Lake have similar problems.
“It’s a mill pond impoundment, not a natural lake,” Bertelson said. “Because of its shallow nature and the amount of nutrients that get into it, these type of impoundments are notorious for weed growth.”
The district will decide at its October meeting on a proposal to cut the hours of cutting for Schmidt’s Aquatic down to 80 total, with the remaining $14,000 to be used for an alternative method.
“What we’re doing now its not enough to make the lake usable for people who want to use it,” Bertelson said.
Clifford Schmidt recommended the district consider a band spray of a 50-100 foot swath down the center of the channel as nuisance control, as Elodea has been at nuisance levels for the last two years.
The band spray would total 10 to 12 acres.
The district also learned the results of the goose roundup. Bertelson reported that 12 adults and 57 juveniles were taken.
At least 34 were inaccessible on the north end of the lake.
The 69 geese removed this year compares to 44 in 2016 and 73 in 2015.
Bertelson said that the district needs to do more egg oiling. He also said the $2,702 cost was higher than he expected.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture prefers alternatives to roundups, but when communities have an out-of-control population a roundup is allowed.
Right now geese tend to congregate at Legion Park and at the mill property.
“If they weren’t making such a mess in those public areas I don’t think people would care about them,” Bertelson said.