I’m losing 2 seasons of my lake use; will this really work?

There are numerous examples in Wisconsin and elsewhere that show that Eurasian water milfoil can be substantially reduced for multiple years following an overwinter drawdown if the exposed lake bottom freezes. Preliminary laboratory testing with starry stonewort has shown that freezing, even for short periods of time, will kill the star shaped bulbils that allow for plant regrowth.

In addition, the exposure of lake bottom sediments to dry and freezing conditions can cause the organic sediment in the exposed lakebed to compact and oxidize; increasing the water depth following the drawdown. This oxidation can lead to increased release of phosphorus from exposed sediments initially after the lake is refilled, but less phosphorus release after the initial flush from refill.  

The extent of control of EWM and SSW and compaction of lake sediments will depend on the severity of the two winters and the amount of drawdown that is possible. Colder and dryer fall and winter weather will create conditions for better control of these invasive plants and organic sediments. Cracking sediment on the exposed lakebed is a sign that the lake bottom has dried enough to allow compaction of organic sediments and plant seed germination. The exposed sediments will be checked in winter to determine the depth of frost and freezing conditions.

Show All Answers

1. What is a lake drawdown?
2. Why would the City of Whitewater do a lake drawdown?
3. When will the drawdown begin and how fast will it go down?
4. Is there concern about how long it will take to fill back up?
5. What will happen to the fish and other wildlife in the lake?
6. What are our personal dredging options during the drawdown? Are there any exemptions? Can I remove any material without a permit?
7. Is there a list of contractors providing shoreline work?
8. Can we remove trash from the exposed bed? Can we remove material such as broken glass?
9. Can we use this opportunity to add pea gravel?
10. Can we remove large boulders/rocks?
11. Can I replace or repair my rip rap?
12. Can I put in new rip rap? If not, what are other options other than rip rap for shore stabilization? What if I need rip rap to protect from man-made waves (boat traffic)?
13. Will the starry stonewort be sent downstream during the drawdown?
14. Will I be able to walk on the lake bottom?
15. Will the boat launches be open this Fall, Winter, Spring?
16. Can I remove the plants from the bottom of the lake in front of my house?
17. What plants or algae will die during the freeze and which will come back next spring/summer?
18. This year there was all this green stuff floating on the water over the past few weeks, what is that and will it go away next year?
19. I’m losing 2 seasons of my lake use; will this really work?