Hand-to-Stem Combat with Invasive Species

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy are currently undertaking a very hands-on project for invasive species control. The program also points to a question resource managers are currently asking – when it comes to Eurasian water milfoil, is the current chemical cure worse than the disease?

Invasives don't always move in and take over like this Eurasian water milfoil. In fact, they rarely get that abundant. Photo: Gretchen Hansen
A mat of Eurasian water milfoil. Photo: Gretchen Hansen

CFL grad student and WDNR scientist, Ali Mikulyuk, is part of a team exploring that issue. We’ll be examining it in depth soon on this blog. Until then, enjoy this excellent post from The Nature Conservancy’s “Cool Green Science” blog:

Scuba Divers Provide Non-Chemical Weed Control on Wisconsin Lake

By Matt Miller, senior science writer
A scuba diver pulls up a mat of Eurasian watermilfoil, a harmful aquatic invasive species. Photo: Jerry Ziegler/TNCWhen invasive Eurasian watermilfoil comes to a lake, conventional wisdom says you can kiss wildlife habitat and clean water goodbye.
Conservationists often must resort to using chemicals to control the aquatic weed. But those chemicals can imperil the very wildlife that weed control is supposed to protect.
At Lulu Lake in southcentral Wisconsin, though, scientists may have found the Eurasian watermilfoil’s worst enemies: scuba divers and snorkelers.
Hand picking by underwater crews, followed by restoration, may offer one of the most effective ways of controlling this aquatic nuisance. And it’s so simple, cost effective and non-toxic that lakeside home owners and other citizen groups can undertake weed removal projects.
Read the full article here…