Early results in a long-term study show herbicides having an edge over cutting to control nuisance plants on Lake Monona.
The Turville Bay research project will be up for discussion April 12 at a public information meeting beginning at 7 p.m. at the Lyman Anderson Center, http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1+Fen+Oak+Court,+Madison,+WI&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.081881,52.470703&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1+Fen+Oak+Ct,+Madison,+Dane,+Wisconsin+53718&z=16"> 1 Fen Oak Court on Madison's far east side.
Researchers set up six five-acre sites on Turville Bay in Lake Monona's southwest corner two years ago -- to see which of the two basic methods of control, herbicides or cutting, would control Eurasian water milfoil better.
Two sites were treated with 2,4-D, a granular herbicide; two sites got mechanical harvesting; and two sites were left alone for comparison's sake.
The study showed that in the second year in 2009, chemical treatment tended to decrease the frequency of Eurasian water milfoil, but there was no difference between the plots using mechanical harvesting and the plots left untreated.
The study will go on for three more years.
Sue Jones, Dane County's watershed management coordinator, said herbicide treatments could possibly take place in the test plots before the April 12 meeting.
Jones said anyone wanting more information about the chemical application in Turville Bay can contact her at 224-3764.
Eurasian water milfoil is found throughout the Yahara chain of lakes (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa and Wingra), with the plant having a dramatic effect on the lakes, including decreased aesthetic value, impeded recreational use in shallow areas and impacts to the fishery, according to the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watershed.
The research project is a joint venture of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.