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skibass

weed spray impact on fishing

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Hi all,

Just wondering what everyone's experiences are with fishing quality when those ugly orange signs go up all over the metro lakes?

I always seems to struggle (more than I usually do) following the spraying. This applies to bass, walleye and especially muskie fishing for me.

I plan on fishing the Metro Muskie Tourney in early June which unfortunately happens right after most lakes get doused with poison. I decided to call the DNR to see if the spraying could be postponed but the permit was already given to the lake association. I then called two people on the lake association hoping to postpone the spraying but didn't have much luck. They are waterskiiers and couldn't care less if it impacts fishing. Thoughts??

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I don't think it really effects fishing directly, are you saying you never have a bad day fishing when there are no orange signs visible. I think because you can see the orange signs, people get into the mind set that it is going to effect fishing, so it becomes a mental thing. The herbicides are EPA approved and do not affect fish directly. Things that can effect fish from these treatments are the possibility of a loss of habitat, or decrease in oxygen from mass die offs of weeds. Just my thoughts.

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Lake Associations are the root of all evil in this state.

I am curious to know why you believe that.

I live on Bald Eagle and have been involved in the lake association for about 15 years. The group has hired Steve McComas and he has studied the lake for over 20 years. For about 10-12 years the group has tried to control the curly leaf pondweed, which causes huge algae blooms starting in about mid-July. The Association spent about $20-30,000 a year on this, the money all coming from voluntary donations and a fundraiser. For the first 5 or 6 years the weed was harvested. That didn’t work out all that well and about 4 years ago chemical applications were used.

Two years ago the landowners around the lake agreed to form a taxing district to collect greater sums to more aggressively deal with the problems that are causing the lake to deteriorate. The money is collected with our property tax and the money and projects are managed by the Rice Creek Watershed District. If you look at Section 2.5.5 of the study noted below you will see that the Secchi Disc readings made a turnaround in 1993 and a dramatic improvement is seen from 2004-2008 after chemical treatment of the curly leaf pondweed was in place.

A Total Management Daily Load study has been completed and it shows that about 44% of the dissolved phosphorus in the lake comes from lake sediments, 33% from two ditches that enter the lake, 14% from adjacent homeowners, 6% from the atmosphere, and 3% from upstream lakes. You can see this information in Section 3 of the TMDL, which can be found here: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/view-document.html?gid=15575

So in my view the Bald Eagle Area Association, rather than being the root of evil, is in fact the one group that has stepped up to begin the cleanup of the lake, despite the fact that based on the study the homeowners have not been a major contributor of phosphorous.

TMDL studies are being done on many lakes across the state and can be found on the web. Please feel free to check them out and see if you come up with any facts to support your opinion about lake associations.

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I think the most ironic advertisement I've ever seen is Aquatic Kill. They show you two pictures. In one frame you have a few fish hanging out in the weeds. The next picture that you see is that the weeds are gone but the fish are still there in the exact same spot.

Fish are probably at the top of the list of the most sensitive creatures on this planet. Environment, barometric pressure, temperature, water clarity, ph, wind, depth, water traffic, etc.

I catch and release. I've fished Tonka for 24 years. I'll never fish a bay marked with orange signs that announce that it was poisoned.

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it's ridiculous that associations spend so much to control pondweed when it dies off after a few weeks anyway, and then spend so much trying to control milfoil which they'll never succeed at. nothing personal, Tom, I know there are lots of people on the associations that care about water quality and you're obviously one of them, but associations are dumping tons of chemicals in the water in a futile effort to prevent pondweed (which dies off after a few weeks) and milfoil (which is impossible) and for what? so people don't have a milfoil bed in front of their dock? what's the end goal? crystal clear water on bald eagle?

44% of phosphorus comes from lake sediment, where does lake sediment come from? all of the above, plus the huge batches of weeds that are chemically killed all at once. I never saw algee blooms on white bear like i have the last few years, ironically following weed treatment in big areas. hey, it's a shame all this junk is in our lakes, but what does anyone hope to accomplish by spending all this money to dump all the chemicals and screw up lakes for months out of each season just to kill weeds that are gonna grow back again next year? the whole thing is so ridiculous and ironic you'd think the federal government was behind it.

aside from the rant, as far as spraying directly affecting fishing, if your block gets leveled with a poison bomb you're gonna have to find a different place to live, so it's a bit counter intuitive to say that destroying large areas of habitat don't affect the fishing.

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Spraying Curly Leaf Pond weed is a waste of time and money.

It contributes to more oxygen robbing decaying vegetation on the lake bottom.

Lake Associations think they own the lake and they want clear and clean water.

Weeds are icky apparently.

Lake Associations and Homeowners Associations are typically composed of people who have no real power in their day to day lives so they try to run a Homeowners/Lake Association to make up for short comings in their personal and professional lives.

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Spraying Curly Leaf Pond weed is a waste of time and money.

It contributes to more oxygen robbing decaying vegetation on the lake bottom.

Apparently the content of the TMDL study hasn't been reviewed yet. Since the spraying the the curly leaf has taken place the water quality has improved every year. The goal is to knock it down before the turions can reach maturity and reseed. Also knocking down the plant before it has reached full size limits the amount of phosphorus that is released when it dies.

I have provided facts for my opinion, perhaps you could provide us with some facts for yours.

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Get educated before you make assumptions, Curlyleaf Pondweed is a contributor to poor water quality. Since it has a uniqe life cycle (dyes off mid summer), when it dies it realeases excess Phosphorus into the water column, often giving way to nuisance algae blooms. It has been proved, that when coupled with other best management practices, and when combined with cleaning up other areas of the watershed, that water quality can be improved greatly. So control of curlyleaf pondweed does benefit the lake water quality.

Eurasian Watermilfoil control can be beneficial in certain situations. Lakes with good water clarity and other native aquatic plants can benefit from treatments. The goal in these situations is to reduce the Eurasian, with the hopes that the natives will overtake the area. While you may never be able to completely eradicate the milfoil, it can be reduced to smaller, less nuisance areas. Eurasian Watermilfoil control in other lakes with poor water quality the goal becomes to reduce the size of nuisance (matting) milfoil in areas that are used for recreation.

In my opinion, most Lake Associations (not all) have very good intentions on improving water quality and use-ability for their specific lake. They undertake and fund many water quality projects, fish stocking, lake clean ups and other projects that benefit everyone that uses the lake. I am not part of a lake association, I do not live on a lake, but I am a fisherman and I am an Aquatic Biologist.

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What I have seen on Forest lake is that the spraying initially impacts where the fish are as the weeds die back they move to isolated clumps and become slightly more concentrated. The advantage to the spraying is that the native weeds begin to grow and we are seeing a resurgence of cabbage and coontail in the sprayed areas later in the year along with some pretty decent fishing. We aren't seeing the huge floating mats of weeds that used to foul the lakes surface and the shorelines like we used to see which hindered not only fishing but swimming, skiing and boating. One of the interesting things is when the weeds were more prolific before spraying, after a busy weekend of boating traffic you'd see a huge increse in the amount of weeds floating and uprooted. I'm by no means an aquatic biologist but when weeds are being ripped up all over the lake, the sediment carrying all of those nutrients is stirred up and water quality definately takes a down turn. I am happy with the lake associations efforts. These are the same people that organize an end of winter cleanup on many lakes to pick up all the garbage left on the ice. If that is evil, call me guilty!

Tunrevir~

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all i know is that i have always lived out in the country on lakes that i dont think ever heard of an association lol, let alone control the lake weeds, and the water on those seems to be alot cleaner than those that everyone is worrying about. Its about more than just phosphorus, that is one of a three part feed for algea, the other are nitrites and nitrates(thank you years of running aquariums lol) all of these are absorbed by flora(algea, plants, weeds, ect) and when things die they release them as they decay. They key in any ecosystem is to have enough consumers of the waste to make up for the producers. From my exp that balance is best found by the enviroment on its own.

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Thats great if the small lakes you live near have good water quality and no major issues with invasives, there are many lakes that do not have an association and are just fine. But, overall, I would suggest if a lake has an association, there is a reason for it, whethere it is a popular fishing/recreation lake, has invasive species problems, or the lakeshore homeowners just decide to be proactive in caring for the lake. Every lake is different and has different needs.

Nitrites and nitrates are not the nutrients of worry in a lake system, for algae growth and aquatic plants it always comes down to Phosphorus and Nitrogen, with Phosphorus often being found in excess leading to increased algae and plant growth. A lake ecosystem is much different than an aquarium. A lot of pollution and excess nutrients are caused from humans, so unfortunately it takes humans to correct these mistakes.

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But, overall, I would suggest if a lake has an association, there is a reason for it

putting up gates at ramps, bringing talk lawsuits against the DNR, transferring zebra infested boatlifts, fighting stocking efforts, dumping chemicals in lakes......did I miss anything?

as far as i've seen, the only lakes that turn green following the pondweed season are the ones that are doused with chemicals.

i know there are a lot of good things associations do for some lakes but lately i'm not a big fan. i think the idea that invasives like milfoil or zebras or pondweed can be controlled once introduced a little bit ignorant but it's their money to spend.

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I have had first hand experience with weed control on White Bear Lake.

In 2009 White Bear Lake Homeowners Association complained that the milfoil was a nusiance on White Bear Lake.

My observations from fishing on the lake at least once per week were that milfoil was not a problem as it wasn't matting (laying on top) and was 1 ft. or more below the surface in all areas except for maybe a couple acres.

My guess is these people find millfoil a nusance for large boats, sail boats-yachts with keels that are 4 ft. below the surface of the water and some lakeshore homeowners find weeds to be dirty.

The White Bear Lake Conservation District with the help of the White Bear Lake Homeowners Association treated not just a couple of acres of millfoil but 150 acres of the milfoil with Triclopyr.

I am a member of a dock association on White Bear Lake and observed the following after the treatment.

1)A strong Ammonia smell in the air

2) Tags that said you may swim in the water but don't drink it. ??

3) Massive amounts of Millfoil with coontail wrapped in it washed up on the shore.

4) Fishing in areas that once yeilded 7 and 9 lb. walleyes were now yielding nothing.

5) The areas treated had no weeds of any kind in them the rest of the year or in the winter.

Here is the input that was sought by the White Bear Lake Conservation District for theire Lake Vegetation Plan-Copy paste below-

"following (Appendix 1):

All five WBLCD member communities (Town Board or City Council)

- WBL Homeowners’ Association

- Black Bear Yacht Racing Association

- White Bear Yacht Club

DRAFT

DRAFT

- Dock operators in Commercial Bay

- Online fora for Fishing and Canoe/Kayak interests

- White Bear Press

The letter explained that (1) the WBLCD is preparing a long-term plan to respond to ongoing concerns with nuisance plants, especially Eurasian watermilfoil and (2) a public stakeholders meeting would be held on 5 January 2012.

Public announcements of the upcoming meeting, including an expanded article, also appeared in the White Bear Press issues of 28 December 2011 and 4 January 2012.

An outline of the draft plan (Appendices 2a &2b) was presented at the public meeting on 5 January 2012. Twelve individuals attended and there were four committee members present. Presenters distributed a handout of the proposed Plan’s key elements and expanded on those elements in live presentation. Rapport between presenters and audience was positive. Audience questions followed (Appendix 3). The audience was very supportive of the proposal as presented."

I think it seems apparent from the above that fishing and the interest of the people of the State of Minnesota has taken a back seat to the Home owners associations, yacht clubs and commercial dock operators.

I believe the millfoil treatments are wrong for the following reasons.

1) There is no real millfoil problem on White Bear Lake

2)The narrow self-interest of Yacht clubs, Homeowners Associations and commercial operators has trumped that of fishing and the people of the state of Minnesota.

3)The herbicide used may not be without other effects (fish toxicity at high levels-breast cancer) as can be seen in this linkhttp://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/triclopyr

4) If you treat 150 acres of weeds and no more grow in it's place is that really healthy for a fishery?

5) If you kill 150 acres of tall growing weeds doesn't that add a whole lot of organic matter to the lake. If curlyleaf is bad when it dies off why isn't millfoil bad when it dies off when you treat it?

Fishing wise my experience is that millfoil was is a great weed to fish when you know how to fish it. I would say in my experience it holds as many fish as the worshiped "cabbage" and more on it's edge.

Sorry if I went off a little but to answer the question about weed spray impact- Yes, fishing stinks in those areas treated. It stinks for a long time as I have observed it being poor all the way through winter.

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Thats great if the small lakes you live near have good water quality and no major issues with invasives, there are many lakes that do not have an association and are just fine. But, overall, I would suggest if a lake has an association, there is a reason for it, whethere it is a popular fishing/recreation lake, has invasive species problems, or the lakeshore homeowners just decide to be proactive in caring for the lake. Every lake is different and has different needs.

Nitrites and nitrates are not the nutrients of worry in a lake system, for algae growth and aquatic plants it always comes down to Phosphorus and Nitrogen, with Phosphorus often being found in excess leading to increased algae and plant growth. A lake ecosystem is much different than an aquarium. A lot of pollution and excess nutrients are caused from humans, so unfortunately it takes humans to correct these mistakes.

Lake Associations are there to promote whatever the interests are of the people that belong to them. To think otherwise is to deny the obvious. In some cases it may be fishing and water quality in others it may be a clean lakescape and/or easy boating everywhere.

Quote from above-" A lot of pollution and excess nutrients are caused from humans, so unfortunately it takes humans to correct these mistakes"end of quote........ or make them worse

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What I have seen on Forest lake is that the spraying initially impacts where the fish are as the weeds die back they move to isolated clumps and become slightly more concentrated. The advantage to the spraying is that the native weeds begin to grow and we are seeing a resurgence of cabbage and coontail in the sprayed areas later in the year along with some pretty decent fishing. We aren't seeing the huge floating mats of weeds that used to foul the lakes surface and the shorelines like we used to see which hindered not only fishing but swimming, skiing and boating. One of the interesting things is when the weeds were more prolific before spraying, after a busy weekend of boating traffic you'd see a huge increse in the amount of weeds floating and uprooted. I'm by no means an aquatic biologist but when weeds are being ripped up all over the lake, the sediment carrying all of those nutrients is stirred up and water quality definately takes a down turn. I am happy with the lake associations efforts. These are the same people that organize an end of winter cleanup on many lakes to pick up all the garbage left on the ice. If that is evil, call me guilty!

Tunrevir~

My observations on White Bear are that millfoil not cabbage comes back the next spring. The milfoil is treated again leaving another weed barren area for 9 months. Maybe there is something different in the lake morphology on FL than WBL?

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I am curious to know why you believe that.

I live on Bald Eagle and have been involved in the lake association for about 15 years. The group has hired Steve McComas and he has studied the lake for over 20 years. For about 10-12 years the group has tried to control the curly leaf pondweed, which causes huge algae blooms starting in about mid-July. The Association spent about $20-30,000 a year on this, the money all coming from voluntary donations and a fundraiser. For the first 5 or 6 years the weed was harvested. That didn’t work out all that well and about 4 years ago chemical applications were used.

Two years ago the landowners around the lake agreed to form a taxing district to collect greater sums to more aggressively deal with the problems that are causing the lake to deteriorate. The money is collected with our property tax and the money and projects are managed by the Rice Creek Watershed District. If you look at Section 2.5.5 of the study noted below you will see that the Secchi Disc readings made a turnaround in 1993 and a dramatic improvement is seen from 2004-2008 after chemical treatment of the curly leaf pondweed was in place.

A Total Management Daily Load study has been completed and it shows that about 44% of the dissolved phosphorus in the lake comes from lake sediments, 33% from two ditches that enter the lake, 14% from adjacent homeowners, 6% from the atmosphere, and 3% from upstream lakes. You can see this information in Section 3 of the TMDL, which can be found here: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/view-document.html?gid=15575

So in my view the Bald Eagle Area Association, rather than being the root of evil, is in fact the one group that has stepped up to begin the cleanup of the lake, despite the fact that based on the study the homeowners have not been a major contributor of phosphorous.

TMDL studies are being done on many lakes across the state and can be found on the web. Please feel free to check them out and see if you come up with any facts to support your opinion about lake associations.

Again- Lake Associations, So called Conservation Districts, Lake consulting or engineering companies are there to promote whatever the interests are of the people that belong to them. To think otherwise is to deny the obvious.

Tom, Stating that water clairity has improved since treating the pondweed is "off a little" The best Sechi disk readings were in the 90's before any treatments. To try to associate a slight, very recent and probably insignificant ( I would have to run the numbers to see what the p values are) increase in water clairty after treatment is spurious and misleading. Phosphorus and rainfall-runoff are my guess the main culprits. Not weed treatments?

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I think you've ALL gone too far without explaining "good water quality".

What is it?

What does it mean to you?

Clear water?

Good fishing water?

Everyone has different opinions on this and this is where you get the argument.

Clear water doesn't mean clean water.

Good fishing doesn't mean a healthy lake or clean lake water.

Ask yourself these questions and you'll find that each side will have a different answer.

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This is definitely a complex issue. I would support curly-leaf treatment since these weeds already begin to die in June. Killing it earlier allows for other weeds that live longer to get a head-start growing. Curly-leaf die-offs are partially responsible for the disgusting condition of many metro lakes in the summer months.

However, I don't support the current approach to milfoil treatments. I believe milfoil treatment is much more common that curly-leaf treatment. Like others have said, this treatment results in a great deal of decaying organic matter released during prime algae-growing conditions. Also, the stands of milfoil treated are usually very dense, so once these weeds are gone plant habitat is barren. New plants don't have enough time to colonize these areas. Aquatic habitat is reduced along with plant root-systems that would discourage sediment from suspending in the water.

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If all that happens is the spraying, you are doing nothing more than killing the cover. In Milfoil lakes, the bare spots get recolonized over the course of the summer and are right back where they were by the end of the season. If you want native plants back, they have to be planted back; they just do not come back on their own otherwise. So extra steps need to be taken to restore and if more competitive strains of natives are used they can often hold their own against milfoil without spraying.

Herbicides most definitely change fish usage areas during a season and dramatically decrease cover areas that hold the prey species. They move out and then so do the predators. Furthermore sprayed areas that used to hold panfish in and around spawning get deserted, too, cutting down the forage available, both in terms of the adults and the spawns of the prey species.

In heavily settled lakes the really big problem is human caused pollution, especially lawn treatments and the occasional leaky sewer. Spraying those weeds that thrived on that over fertilization is treating a symptom, not the root of the problem and doing it poorly.

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In heavily settled lakes the really big problem is human caused pollution, especially lawn treatments and the occasional leaky sewer.
The facts don't seem to support this assertion.

Once again I refer you to the TMDL study for Bald Eagle.

http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/view-document.html?gid=15575

Look at Section 3 of the study and it gives data on where the phosphorus comes from. 44% from release from sediments when the lake is anoxic, 32% from two judicial ditches that enter the lake, 14% for lakeside lands, 6% from the atmosphere and 3% from upstream lakes.

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Quote:
2.5 WATER QUALITY

Water quality in Minnesota lakes is often evaluated using three associated parameters: total

phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and Secchi depth. Total phosphorus is typically the limiting nutrient

in Minnesota’s lakes meaning that algal growth will increase with increases in phosphorus.

However, there are cases where phosphorus is widely abundant and the lake becomes limited by

nitrogen or light availability. Chlorophyll-a is the primary pigment in aquatic algae and has been

shown to have a direct correlation with algal biomass. Since chlorophyll-a is a simple

measurement, it is often used to evaluate algal abundance rather than expensive cell counts.

Secchi depth is a physical measurement of water clarity by lowering a black and white disk until

it can no longer be seen from the surface. Higher Secchi depths indicate less light refracting

particulates in the water column and better water quality. Conversely, high total phosphorus and

chlorophyll-a concentrations point to poorer water quality and thus lower water clarity.

Measurements of these three parameters are interrelated and can be combined into an index that

describes water quality.

Why is water clarity always the most important factor of water quality???

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Maybe because it is any easy indicator of the chemistry of the water.

One of the most revealing things for me in the Bald Eagle TMDL is the discussion of what happens in the summer when the lake stratifies and there gets to be low oxygen in the lowest layer. The discussion of anoxia in Section 3.3.4. Simplistically the water chemistry changes and this allows the release of phosphorus into the entire water column. This represents 44% of the total phosphorus load in the lake.

Mr. McComas has indicated that there are two solutions. The most effective is to spread liquid alum across the bottom of the lake. This locks up the phosphorus for up to 20 years and he said that for a few years after the application the water will be gin clear. The second is to place iron filings across the lake bed. The iron molecules lock onto a phosphorus molecule and this lock up the phosphorus. I am not sure about this but one of the problems with this method is that it alters the pH of the water and there isn't enough information of what the result of doing this is. I believe they have tried this in one or two lakes in the past year or two.

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The way look at it is homeowners should quit fertlizeing their lawns its a waste of money when it rains it just washes down into the lake and it makes the weeds grow better in the lake. If they want their grass and other things to grow better just take water out of the lake its already got the things to make your grass grow. That's just the way I would do it if I was a lakeshore owner

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This appears to be a hopeless cause since few want to look at the facts. The study shows that 11% of the phosphorus in BE comes from adjacent developed land.

I'm through with this thread.

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