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you ever been out on the water and noticed orange DNR signs? Maybe
you've been out near a favorite weedbed and seen orange DNR buoys. The
sign and buoys I am talking about are put out by the Department of
Natural Resources and they are letting you know the area has been
chemically treated. I have witnessed this unnatural process take place
more and more often lately and it seems to begin and end with
landowners who want all the aquatic vegetation killed in an area.
should this concern all sportsmen and not just anglers? The answer to
me is obvious: It is unnatural and damaging to our natural resource. I
always thought that aquatic vegetation was a natural resource that
provided habitat for the natural creatures that depend on them for
life. The way this "treatment" (killing) works is that an
lake association or lakeshore owner can request a permit from the DNR
stating why they want to "treat" an area. The reasons need
to be legitimate and can include providing access to the lake or
preventing weed choking that affects boating navigation.
chemical toxins sprayed into the water are so powerful that the person
applying them must wear gloves and a gas mask. I have been in areas
when this “treatment” is occurring and it will burn your eyes and
make breathing difficult—not to mention the horrible smell. The
moment the chemicals hit the water it turns milky white and will
immediately begin to eliminate the oxygen causing everything to die.
When the process is completed the DNR is required to post orange signs
that let us know the area is now unsafe to swim in or eat fish from
for ten days! Talk about some strong stuff! I usually have noticed
this procedure in May or June near the spawning shorelines and shallow
bays where milfoil and pondweed are present. It needs to be noted here
that many of these types of weeds will die off NATURALLY when the
water temperatures reach about 70 degrees. The worst thing about this
poisoning is that it usually happens where and when the fish are in
the middle of their spawning cycle. I have personally witnessed dozens
of times where an area absolutely teeming with life like crappie,
sunfish, and bass spawning beds and a "treatment" will
occur. In a period of 24 hours afterward the same area will become
completely lifeless. I'm talking not a single sunfish! All the eggs,
fry, and adult fish are gone. I'm hopeful the adult fish are able to
relocate after such a traumatic experience, but I know all those eggs
and fry are decimated, a whole spawning cycle wasted unnecessarily.
I'm sure there are also young of the year northern and walleyes that
are affected as well.
year one lake that was hit really hard by this “treatment” was
at the State Capitol, legislation is attempting to amend the
regulation of aquatic vegetation. H. F. No. 0893 and S. F. No. 0506
will drastically increase these unnatural “treatments”. This
legislation would remove control of our aquatic vegetation away from
our DNR to lakeshore owners. If a landowner would request a permit
that landowner must be granted one to mechanically or chemically treat
100 feet of shoreline by 150 feet lake ward to include reasons such as
esthetics. This would cause the “treating” of our lakes to
increase by estimate of 5-6 times the current rate, according to one
will admit that we do have to manage excessive aquatic weed growth on
some of our lakes, but this way too extreme! Aquatic vegetation,
including Eurasian Milfoil, is here to stay and we all need to learn
to live with it. Let mother nature take its course. I can think of
dozens of ways our DNR could use our tax money to improve our natural
resources. Isn't it ironic that aquatic vegetation actually improves
the quality of our lakes by making them clearer (weeds filter out
debris). cleaner, and improve fishing by providing habitat?
people from the DNR agree that too many chemicals are not good for our
lakes. I've talked to a lot of people about what can be done, so here
are a couple easy steps you can do:
1) Call your legislators! 2) Document what you see when this procedure happening. Take down the date, time, lake, area, name of company, whose name is on the permit etc...Take photos. 3) Call the DNR with your finding and tell them how you feel. 4) Do something!
God Bless and Good Fishing,