2012 BLIA Fall Newsletter

BLUE LAKE IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION NEWS LETTER FALL 2012

Weevil – Update

Good news for the weevils this year, bad news for the Eurasian mil-foil ( non-native ) weed. In mid July, Enviroscience was back on the lake to do their 2012 survey of the weevils activity this past year. As most of you that have visually studied the lake have seen, it has improved in most areas ( primarily the ends ) with 40 to 50% less weeds from last year according to their scientist Sarah Lomske. Both myself and board member Sue Ellen Dolan accompanied her on the survey in late July. She was pleasantly surprised at the effect the weevils have had in the two and half summers they have been with us. I reminded her that last year they added almost twice as many as were contracted, ( free of charge ) due to the extra weevil they had propagated from Idaho where they came to us from. She stated that we were probably 1 to 2 years ahead of schedule and the need for any this year was unnecessary. We will get her final survey in a few weeks to give us an in depth overview of their progress. I will post her complete survey on our website at http://www.bluelakeimprovement.org/ when received.

For the future BLIA will monitor the ends of the lake and hopefully continue to see further eradication of the weeds. As the weevil in the next few years keep eating the mil-foil we will also see less weevil as their food source runs out. Nobody knows how long that will take. When and if the weevil decrease significantly we would have to buy more to keep the weeds in control. Our $17,600 grant through DEQ has run out and along with the gifting of another $9,000 from most residents we were able to accomplish our goal to start to help rid our lake of the Eurasian mil-foil. To all of you that contributed thank you very much, so far it has been a success.

With the decrease of the mil-foil we have seen an increase of more Curly-leaf pondweed ( non-native). They are not nearly as dense as the mil-foil and die down some in late summer. We will have to keep an eye on them and deal with them also. Remember though the weevil do not eat them. As the final survey will tell us their have been an increase of at least 4 to 5 other native ( good ) plants and one good algae that were present at the time of Sarah’s survey. They are lower lake bottom growing and so far have not caused the problems as the two non native weeds.

Lily Pad – Update

The biggest problem as again most of you have witnessed, is the emergence of the lay pads. We saw them increase last year as mil-foil decreased and now they are really becoming a nuisance at both ends and along Metro’s side of the lake. Most of you should have received by email my letter explaining the recent Recommended Practices for Blue Lake Homeowners who choose to use herbicides ( for weeds ) , this gives you an overview of what BLIA, Metro and DEQ are doing to cut back on the increased emergence of the pads. That letter is also on the website for your convenience to read or copy off. We would like to completely kill most of the pads in the east end, in front of the houses and in the center east end. The west end where there are no houses is where we would like to kill off at least one third of them as they grow west to east in the boat turn areas. There have already been some residents spray herbicide and kill off the pads in front of their houses, that is fine as long as you follow the recommended practices and please let me know where you have sprayed so we can let DEQ know for their records. Remember when spraying keep the herbicide on the pads as well as you can, as we do not want too much overspray in the lake that would harm our weevil. BLIA believes that herbicides do the best job on the lily pads, as cutting their tops off or trying to chop them off at the root just helps to multiply their growth. Completely pulling the root out is also good but is extremely hard to do especially in deeper parts of the lake. By spraying the pads we should be able to control them, as it is easy to see them above the water. Next mid July would be a good time to start spraying them as they are in full growth and the flowers are emerging. The BLIA Board members can assist you with any questions or help you may need and you can call me directly as I have done test areas of the spraying with good success.

Solar – bee Update

The fourth solar-bee which was added for the summers of 2011 and 2012 had proven to keep water clarity, ph and water temperature at good levels. Many residents agreed that the lake hadn’t looked this good for many years. There was more water foul activity, crawdads seen again and better clarity. In 2011 we had no closures due to toxic algal blooms. In early August of this summer our chlorophyll and algae levels increased to the point by September it had reached a algal toxicity level in a small area in the SW corner of the lake. Metro had to close the swim area for two weeks, the paddle boat concession remained open. The Department of Health Standards requires complete lake closure for any toxic algae count greater than 100,000 cells/ml. , even though the visible bloom may be isolated to a single area. BLIA was given a two summer trial which is now over and was expected to pay for the fourth unit by this October 31ST. Due to budget constraints Metro opted not to be involved with the fourth solar bee and had not budgeted for the fourth unit in 2012. BLIA voted to not retain the fourth unit unless further trial years were granted to tweak placements and tube intake levels as Solar-bee suggested to do, to help keep the lake clear all summer long, not just into early August. After telling Solar-bee of our wants, they have decided to pull the fourth unit out sometime in October. They will place the three units back to what they think will be the best positions and work with all of us in the future to try and make the three units work. The fourth unit did help our lake BLIA believes, but without further trials and Metro’s backing we have decided at this time to wait and see if the lake can maintain it’s health with the original three units. Again Solar-bee has agreed on good terms to service the units and work with Metro and BLIA to study the remaining three units ability to help our lake. We believe it was worth it to give the fourth unit a try, only time will tell if the three units will do as good a job as the four units had showed.

BLIA Communication- Update

Wildlife

One sign of a healthy lake is the abundance of wildlife. BLIA would like to document the unique birds and animals seen in and around Blue Lake. We will be compiling this list and posting it to the website. Please send your sightings to erik.teyema@gmail.com along with photos if you choose.

Grants

Karen Williams from DEQ ( weevil grant ) has obtained a grant for $30,000 from EPA through DEQ to study the nutrient load levels in Blue Lake. This study will hopefully help in the future to study algal blooms on the lake.

Website

Remember to view the website for all updated information of BLIA’s activity at www.bluelakeimprovement.org

BLIA Board
Jeff Townsend – President
David Winterholler – Vice President
Dennis Meyer – Treasurer
Erik Teyema – Secretary
Ernie Brawley, Sue Ellen, Gary McCoy, Dan Reynolds – Board Members

Special thanks to former board members Herman Winterholler, & David Trask for their service.

We would also like to acknowledge Joe Horton and Curt Knight for their continued dedication to BLIA.