Aquatic Plant Research > Invasives > Management and Control > Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) Control > Small Scale > Mechanical Control
Aquatic Plant Research
DNR Science Services researchers are studying the use of mechanical plant removal on small-scale treatment areas to determine its ability to control Eurasian watermilfoil and impacts to the native plant community.
Dane County residents and lake managers were interested in early season management options for control of Eurasian watermilfoil. DNR Science Services partnered with Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission and the US Army Corps of Engineers to compare the use of early season 2,4-D herbicide treatments and early season deep mechanical harvesting on Eurasian watermilfoil and native plants. Five-acre replicated experimental and reference plots were established in Turville Bay and tracked over several years. Both methods were useful to seasonally reduce Eurasian watermilfoil, but also reduced coontail, a common native plant. Management did not adversely affect other less frequently occurring native species. Both methods required continued use to maintain control. The results of this study provide additional information managers can use to guide aquatic plant management decisions.
Dane County staff organized public meetings to solicit public input on aquatic plant management in the Yahara lakes and provide Turville Bay project results during the course of a study designed to assess the efficacy and effects of early season harvesting vs herbicide treatments. DNR Science Services presented study results at four public meetings (March 12, 2009, April 12, 2010, March 30, 2011 and November 18, 2013) and one final presentation to the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission (January 9, 2014). Public involvement throughout the research project provided the input needed to ensure researchers were considering the relevant questions and concerns of citizens. By providing research updates, the public was able to actively engage in the research process from start to finish.
Dane County staff requested a fact sheet that summarized the results of the Turville Bay project designed to evaluate both early season harvesting and herbicide use on Eurasian watermilfoil control and native plant restoration. DNR Science Services created a fact sheet highlighting the project and preliminary results. Consolidating project results into a brief and easily understandable product helped to provide a clear summary to the public.