Alternative Solutions

Non-Pesticidal solutions to controlling Eurasian watermilfoil are provided here.

Alternative Treatment Introduction

The alternative proposed weed-control methods presented here were developed and tested by public university research institutions, including The University of Minnesota and The University of Wisconsin.

Natural, Sustainable, Healthy Solutions to Controlling Aquatic Plants

There are a number of safe and sustainable methods for managing aquatic plants. These methods have been successful in many lakes across the Northeast and Midwest. For example, chemical free management has been demonstrated in Upper Saranac Lake (a 5,250 acre lake) in the Adirondacks of New York. An article showing the scale of their initial weed problem, as well as the community's success in addressing and managing the weeds is available here:

Eurasian watermilfoil has been studied by many experts over the past several of decades. Many approaches to controlling milfoil have been tried. It must be understood that milfoil cannot be completely eradicated, because re-infestation is likely. The ultimate goal for Golden Lake is to find a sustainable biological method for controlling Eurasian watermilfoil, which is also the most financially feasible solution.

There are several methods used to control Eurasian milfoil. One of these methods is the milfoil weevil, which is an insect that feeds specifically on the milfoil. They must be present in adequate numbers to have an effect and preferably in areas that have low boat traffic. A preferred method that works well for milfoil control, and has a long-term effect is hand pulling by scuba diving teams. Check out this excellent site for a detailed description and tips on hand pulling:

A lake that works together as a community with a lake manager to spot new milfoil growth along with one or two divers that regularly pull milfoil before it gets out of hand is the ideal solution to keeping a healthy lake environment. There are several dive teams in the area that pull milfoil, according to information provided by the Wisconsin DNR.

Golden Lake residents should also seriously consider eliminating unnecessary lawn fertilizer near the lake. The nutrients in lawn care products wash into the lake, and are the prime cause of the acceleration of the milfoil weed growth. We must make a choice as to whether we want overly fertilized lawns or a healthy and sustainable lake environment and safe drinking water. A natural shoreline should be encouraged as a great buffer between our lawns and the lake. It is of prime importance to have a boat inspection at launches so that boats from other lakes do not carry milfoil fragments that could reinfest the lake.

Alternative Treatment Proposal

GLPS proposes that one or two residents volunteer to be lake managers in order to spot new milfoil growth.

GLPS proposes that dive teams be scheduled to pull weeds as needed on a regular basis, starting with the areas that have the most boat traffic. Nearby farms would aid in disposal of the milfoil, and compost would be offered to anyone interested in using it as an excellent fertilizer for their gardens. A plan will be devised for boats to collect the compost from the divers as they work, along with a truck to transfer the compost to a disposal site.

GLPS proposes that residents be encouraged to establish and maintain some natural shoreline areas. Milfoil weevils leave the lake in the fall to hibernate over winter in more natural shoreline areas.

GLPS proposes that an inaugural GLPS meeting be held for all interested area residents and visitors to discuss ideas regarding a holistic plan for the health and wellbeing of the lake and everyone who enjoys and uses it.

Alternative Treatment Benefits

This ecologically safe method would bring a long lasting, affordable, healthy, and sustainable solution to the Eurasian watermilfoil weed problem on Golden Lake.

Alternative Treatment Costs

Donations and volunteers will also be needed to get these projects accomplished. GLPS is currently estimating those costs. GLPS appreciates any donations to help support these efforts to encourage and sustain the health and wellbeing of Golden Lake. Participation and involvement by other Golden Lake residents is encouraged and likely to aid in the success of this mission.