Aquatic Plant Research > Invasives > Management and Control > Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) Control > Large Scale Management > EWM Fluridone
Aquatic Plant Research
DNR Science Services researchers have studied the lake-wide use of the herbicide fluridone to determine its ability to control Eurasian watermilfoil and impacts to the native plant community and water quality.
DNR Science Services researchers collaborated with the Dane County Board in order to supply information on aquatic plant management during the creation of their Aquatic Plant Management Committee.
Wisconsin lake managers requested DNR Science Services investigate the target and non-target effects of whole-lake fluridone treatments for Eurasian watermilfoil. Researchers analyzed and summarized results from four treated lakes in Wisconsin, and found that fluridone can be very effective at controlling Eurasian watermilfoil over the short-term (1-4 years). However, the treatments also reduced several native plant species for a similar time period. Water clarity reductions also occurred in 3 of the 4 lakes studied. This work demonstrated both positive and negative outcomes from whole-lake usage of fluridone and helped managers evaluate the pros and cons of a whole-lake manipulation to control Eurasian watermilfoil. The journal article describing these findings won the Best Paper of the Year Award for Lake and Reservoir Management in 2007.
When we make a decision to manage biological communities in a lake, we need to understand the risks and opportunities that go along with the many possible management options. Science can support an informed discussion about lake management, including setting reasonable expectations for nuisance relief, invasive species control, and anticipated effects on other aspects of a lake ecosystem. An informed discussion is necessary to balance user needs, restoration goals, and the risks of collateral damage. When weighing the possibility of conducting whole-lake herbicide treatments to control invasive species, DNR Science Services delved into the results of treatments conducted in Wisconsin and our neighboring states. To communicate our findings to consumers and decision makers, we wrote an article for Lake Tides that covers the ins and outs of aquatic herbicide treatments with an emphasis on whole-lake applications.