The Columbia Township Board voted unanimously last night to take the next step in continuing Clark Lake’s weed program.  The program defends the lake from the attack of invasive species.  Depending on a final vote next month, the program could be reestablished for another seven years. 

The weed battle began in 2014 when residents noticed the ever-growing problem.  One resident described it as “an Amazon jingle lurking just below the surface.”  When passing over some areas, props could be fouled, and would need to be cleared, sometimes repeatedly.  Residents noticed large mounds floating from one area of the lake to another.  

When samples were analyzed, the verdict came back.  Clark Lake was under attack by hybrid Eurasian water milfoil.  A small cutting can multiply exponentially.  Alarmed residents formed the Invasive Species Committee.  Their research found that lakes that didn’t take action paid a price.  Weeds diminished boating, fishing, destroyed natural habitat, and property values decreased in some situations.  Forming an SAD would allow full lake treatment and cover costs.  The committee found strong support among property owners.  Once the SAD was established, early efforts achieved moderate success.  The results of the 2019 full lake treatment was nothing short of spectacular.  Then, last summer, the invader began to reappear, perhaps not a surprise given the number of visiting boats that may have been in infected lakes.  

Over the last couple years, a new threat appeared—starry stonewort.  This is an algae that looks like a weed.  It can be very aggressive, as some nearby lakes discovered.  At Clark Lake, it has been treated at Eagle Point and in the area around the County Park.  

During the current 7 year program, the cost to each lakefront property owner was $64 a year.  The new SAD reduces the cost to $60.     

At last night’s meeting three Clark Lake residents spoke on the issue. 

The weed program was also a topic at the December meeting of the Township board.

To review the Township board’s actions last month regarding Clark Lake’s weeds, please click here.  

The story of how the program started and progressed along the way is recorded on this website.  You can access it by clicking here.