American Lotus in he Detroit River

American Lotus in he Detroit River

Posted in the Grosse Ile Forum

Chuck Surprenant

Jeffersonville, IN

#1 Oct 15, 2007
Greeting from Marion, IL
Residents and users of the Detroit River are correct in showing concern about the expanding patch of American Lotus. Experience here in southern Illinois on Crab Orchard Lake (7,000 acres) has shown the plant to be mysterious in its ability to dominant one portion of the lake for years, then inexplicably decline and appear in another part of the lake. For 20 years, American Lotus dominated Grassy Bay, in the south central part of the lake then it mysteriously died off. Currently, the plant is spreading rapidly in the upper location of the lake, growing from a small 1-acre patch to at least 1,000 acres in just a few years.
While American Lotus is pretty it is not without it problems. Boating is difficult in the stuff as others has noted and shade from the dense large floating leaves prevents other rooted aquatic plants from growing. Many of these other aquatic plant species are more beneficial to wildlife.
Other public areas such as Mingo NWR, in SW Missouri have found the plant to limit their ability to conduct water management programs such as moist soil managment for waterfowl.
You might contact folks at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Carterville, IL for more information.

Chuck Surprenant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Retired)

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