Illinois Pondweed in Lake June
Posted in the Sebring Forum
#1 Jul 14, 2013
Just blew out the motor on my boat on Lake June full of Illinois Pondweed. This stuff is ALL OVER THE LAKE including the middle of the lake. Spoke to the "Lake People" they do not care..Stop your boat and check the prop make sure your not the next one to have motor problems. Also heard a kid got tangled up in the weed while tubing and parents had to jump in and help get her out!!!
#2 Aug 7, 2013
FINALLY, ON THE JOURNAL PAGE 3 SOMEONE IS PAYING ATTENTION. MEETING BISHOP PARK AUGUST 28, 10:00 AM.
We were on Lake June last week and got cought in this weeD, it' stopped our engine cold. My husband went into the lake to try to get the weed off the prop and all of a sudden he was so cought up in it himself he almost drowned. Luckily we had a knife in the boat and he was able to get himself loose by cutting the weed that was entwining his leg. OMG, he could have died this weekend. WAKE UP PEOPLE USE EXTREME !!!!!!!!!! CAUTION WHEN ON LAKE JUNE. Something must be done before someone dies out there. Hopefully they will address this out there and not continue to close their eyes to the situation that will eventually destroy this lake. Lake Placid is known for it's lakes and if they die, we all lose the values of our homes. We DO NOT NEED another Lake IstaPUKA. It's so sad that at a meeting a few months ago about this issue, we were told that this weed was native,no danger and NOW???????? not so much. We told them at the meeting our concerns and were blown off. We have lived in Lake Placid for 7 years and have seen this weed multiply beyond our imagination. It is even now, in the center of the lake. Again, CAUTION AND ESPECIALLY WATCH YOUR CHILDREN IF THEY ARE TUBING.
#3 Aug 7, 2013
Marni Thanks about giving us all the information about the meeting on August 28 2013. If any resident cares about ANY of the lakes in the area they better speak up now!!!! and, go to the meeting!!!!This weed may destroy the only thing we have going in this area, tourism...without the tourist coming to Highlands county in both the summer and winter I can see our taxes going up as we will no longer have someone to help us pay for our schools, etc. let alone house values going lower than they are now!!!!!!!!!!
#4 Aug 12, 2013
The issue is not the plant -- the issue is what causes it to grow. Any aquatic plant needs 3 things to grow -- warm water, sunlight and fertilizer (nitrogen). The lake provides the first two - the nitrogen fertilizer is runoff from the lake residents and nearby homes. It comes from people who use too much and who use the wrong type of fertilizer.
The taxpayers shouldn't have to pay the price for careless homeowners. This isn't a government problem it's one the residents brought on themselves.
A secondary problem is the way in which runoff s handled. On Lake June I don't see any efforts by homeowners to allow storm water to perc rather than run off into the lake. Same with Catfish Creek and nearby communities.
Using a pesticide to kill pond weed is counterproductive -- the pondweed is helping hold down the water temperature and blocking the sunlight from other vegetation. Kill the pondweed and you get muck on the bottom from the decaying plants, warmer water, more sunlight. Everything you need to grow aquatic plants is there, and something worse will come back. There are some really obnoxious types of algae that will really ruin the shoreline.
Homeowners already have the authority to work on their own shoreline. Some who have the broader view don't want to remove this excellent fish habitat and don't like the "aquarium" look of a pesticided lake bottom.
Until the community and the Highlands County Lakes Association institutes information programs, SWFWMD enforces swale and runoff rules and homeowners start following rules that all lake shore residents should obey, nothing good is going to happen.
This is an issue that individual residents can take care of -- and it's better to have them do so because it will be an incentive to have them take the lead in improving the flow of water and fertilizers into their lake.
#5 Aug 12, 2013
You might look at Lake Istokpoga as an example of good lake management. The residents interact with the county, FWC supports activities there, the Friends of Istokpoga provides citizen support, shoreline residents hire management companies to keep their shoreline appropriately, county airboats patrol the lake for exotic plants and there is an active yearly plan. There is a citizen's committee that provides advice to the County Commissioners, and it was the subject of 3 months of programming on the Outdoor Channel. It is one of the finest bass fishing lakes in the U.S., if not the world, and undoubtedly Highlands County's finest asset. Lake June could do well to follow the example of Lake Istokpoga's successes in problem solving.
#6 Aug 12, 2013
I get it you like to fish and do not care about anyone except yourself...Please go fish Lake Istopoka and Okechobee. I want people to fish Lake June and guess what before this weed took over there was a LOT of fish in the lake. Do you not get it ... this lake is to be used by all not just for people who like to fish WE ALL PAY TAXES!!!!! and should be able to use the lake..the way we want. Stop just thinking of yourself!!!!!!!If people who go from lake to lake would take the time to clean their boats when they go from lake to lake the weeds would not transfer from lake to lake...Illinois pondweed was only in a small part of the lake a few years age and now has spread all over the lake. I have seen fisherman (women) give people wakeboarding etc. dirty looks As I said this lake belongs to all of the people not just a select selfish few!!!!
#7 Aug 12, 2013
I must agree with SOME of what you have said. Yes we must ALL take part in caring for our lakes. Fertilizer runoff has always been an issue and continues to be one in all lakes with homes surrounding them. However, Lake June did not have Illinois Pondweed up until two years ago and that started in a VERY small area. It was reported and nothing was done to control it then. Since, over 1/3 of the lake is infested and it will continue to grow until depth levels prevent the growth. Unfortunately that means 2/3 of this lake will be covered.
Of course it makes for good fishing but the reality is that fisherman are at the point they can not use their trolling motors because they are getting so caught up in it. More importantly this is and has always been a MULTI RECREATIONAL lake. The majority of users are boaters, skiers, swimmers, tubers etc. This weed is creating havoc on jet ski's and blowing motors. Kids are getting caught up in this and it will not be long until there is a fatality on the lake. When given a choice between aquarium bottom or the death of a child, I will choose the clear sandy bottom any day. This is why Lake Istopoka and Okeechobee are for fishing. They have the type of aquatic plants that have made for great fishing and fabulous tournaments.
We do not need another lake to serve that purpose.
Now lets get to the cause of this problem. Yes we have warm water, we have sunlight, we have fertilizer, but we have always had those and no Illinois pondweed. Think of the orange groves that surround the lake. They have always used fertilizer and the runoff has always gone into the lake, but there has NEVER been a build up of such an obnoxious weed as this. The cause is fisherman and other boaters bringing it in from other lakes. If indeed the weeds eradication would create another issue due to the decaying weeds sitting on the lake bottom, than perhaps they should use a combination of herbicides and grass carp to control the weed and therefore control the decay as there would be very little.
If we are to use money to educate people, THAT would and should be the smartest use of money for education.
As far as Lake June, as a TAX PAYER, I will fight to the end to protect this lake as the MULTI USE lake it has always been and not the fishing lake that a very few would like to turn it into.
I would also suggest you look at this link. Resident of Osceola had this weed take over their lake as well. It seems to be a huge problem in Orlando. We MUST control this now.
#8 Aug 14, 2013
Some of the bloggers appear to have missed the point --
1. Shoreline maintenance is a homeowner's responsibility and a free permit is available to clear a path up to 50' wide all the way out to open water. All you have to do is do it -- just like lakeshore homeowners on all the other lakes in the area do. There's nothing special about Lake June compared to Lake Placid or Lake Istokpoga or Lake Blue are any other.
2. The government / community interaction and cooperation in maintaining Lake Istokpoga ought to be an example of how to get things accomplished, between the Friends organization, the management committee and the Soil and Water Conservation service. They have a track record of getting things done, rather than just running around complaining.
3. Using a pesticide to kill off large masses of the present growth ought to be a non-starter. It's a native plant, it's been in the lake for as long as I've been around, and it's helped preserve the quality and health of the lake. It's an expenditure that would only create long-term harm for the lake and be a misuse of taxpayer money.
As a taxpayer I think it's ridiculous for homeowners with very expensive houses to try and get someone else to pay for their responsibility, so that they can go water-skiing.
Using tax money to remove a native aquatic plant would be misuse of our limited tax resources.
#9 Aug 16, 2013
You are missing the point. Even if homeowners clear out their property, it only lasts for maybe 3 months at a cost of $600 to $1500.00 that is unmanageable by most. Even if homeowners do that WHO is going to clear out the rest of the lake so recreational users can safely use the lake? It is covering a vast majority NOT just the shoreline. Of course no one WANTS to have to use herbicides but if this was addressed 2 yrs ago when first reported we would not be having this discussion. Tons of taxpayer dollars are used for Istopoka and other lakes in Florida, why not LAKE JUNE? For your information, I do NOT live on the Lake but I do love what was once a clean, clear MULTI PURPOSE lake.
#10 Jan 20, 2014
For your lake front, the best and easiest, natural solution is a LakeMat Pro. It sets on your lake bottom, preventing sunlight from reaching lake weeds. It's very simple, no sunlight means no photosynthesis, which means no weeds. No chemicals, no cutting, pulling or raking.
If you also have a soft, mucky lake bottom, there's the MuckMat Pro. It controls your weeds and lets you walk right over the muck with sinking.
You can check out both at LakeMat.com
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