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    Case Study: Managing Invasive Watermilfoil in Reservoir

    by: SOLitude Lake Management   |   Mar 10, 2020

    before and after treatment

    Written by Noel Browning, Aquatic Biologist

    A Central Colorado town about 25 miles north of Denver has experienced rapid population growth over the past decade. A large 30 surface acre drinking water storage reservoir serves the growing population of more than 25,000 people. The lake is classified as a “no contact” waterbody, which prohibits swimming, wading and boating, but is otherwise open to the public for recreation and fishing. This unique ecosystem of the lake and surrounding landscape is home to several species of warm-water fish, waterfowl, birds, amphibians, and other small mammals. This waterbody is an important asset for its drinking water supply as well as a venue for the outdoor recreation valued highly by locals.

    In 2019, SOLitude Lake Management was contacted regarding concerns of over abundant aquatic vegetation growth in the reservoir. During the initial site visit, the plant causing concerns within the resource was identified as watermilfoil. The client was mainly concerned with their infrastructure continually becoming clogged with the vegetation as well as the nuisance growth limiting fishing access for the public.

    before and after milfoil treatment

    When SOLitude first visited the site in July 2019, the watermilfoil was limited to an estimated 5-10 ft ring around the shoreline, as well as several <0.5-acre areas in the middle of the lake. At the time of the treatment in August, the milfoil had increased to an estimated 10-20 ft ring around the edge. With denser vegetation growth and additional growth in the middle of the resource, the invasive milfoil covered an estimated 30 percent of the reservoir. It was clear that this drinking water reservoir was in desperate need of watermilfoil control.

    milfoil map

    A new herbicide technology called ProcellaCOR® was chosen as the management solution for the invasive watermilfoil due to its selectivity, long-term effectiveness and Reduced Risk classification by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On August 13th, 2019, the watermilfoil control technology was applied by Certified Specialists who trained directly with the product manufacturer to implement ProcellaCOR treatment programs.

    Experts returned to the site on August 29th to monitor the success. To the client's delight, the undesirable vegetation was no longer rooted within the pond and any of the rapidly decomposing milfoil that was still present was concentrated to the shoreline. Within the middle of the reservoir, the watermilfoil invasive species was gone and the remaining vegetation was covering less than 5 percent of the resource.

    Ultimately, fishing access within the reservoir was restored and the vegetation clogging the pumps was no longer a concern to the town. By leveraging this new technology to more effectively target the unique growth mechanisms in the milfoil, the client is more likely to avoid the costs and downtime associated with re-application each year.

    Guide To Sustainable Pond Algaes & Aquatic Weed Control

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    noel browningNoel Browning is an Aquatic Biologist at SOLitude focused on serving clients in the Rocky Mountain Region. He brings diverse experience in managing valuable aquatic resources through creative and solution-based strategies based on sound scientific data. Noel is extremely knowledgeable in fish population management, nutrient remediation, bathymetry, and aquatic vegetation and algae management.While attending Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Noel found his passion in fishing. After graduating with a double major in Environmental Studies and Business Administration, his enthusiasm for fishing lead to employment with the Colorado Division of Wildlife working in sport fishery management, native species conservation, and gill lice research. Noel has been managing lakes in the private sector for several years by conducting fish population surveys, hauling fish, and solving water quality issues in lakes of all sizes. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Water Resource Management from California State Fresno.

    SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, shoreline erosion restoration, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil Steritech family of companies in North America.

    Topics: Aquatic Weeds and Algae, Invasive Species