Brooks Lake Area Association begins treatment of Curly Leaf Pondweed
By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Acre by acre, the Brooks Lake Area Association is tackling Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP), an invasive plant that is threatening the heath and beauty of Brooks Lake.
With the help of the City of Cokato, the lake association was able to obtain a $2,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the first treatment of CLP, which took place May 25.
After obtaining the proper permits and grant funding, the association found Craig Mueller from Aquatic Solutions of MN, out of Buffalo, to assist and show how the association members can continue the treatment in the future.
From placing the buoys and signs, locating the exact area by GPS, and mixing and applying the Aquathol K chemical properly and safely, the association was able to treat 6.34 acres of infested area near the boat launch and park. This will only provide temporary relief.
The ultimate goal is to eradicate the lake of the invasive species.
Cokato Mayor Gordy Erickson supports the effort and would like to get the lake back to where it was years ago when there was a swimming beach.
“At least we are going in the right direction,” Erickson said. “It’s going to take some time, but we’ll get it cleaned.”
Next year, the association hopes to raise the money to treat the entire lake, and to be able to do so each year for the next five years, according to Manda Goldsberry, president of the Brooks Lake Area Association.
In order to effectively control CLP and deplete the seed bed, five consecutive years of treatment are needed to be effective, followed by spot treatments.
Total lake treatments of this size typically cost $12,000 a year, but since Mueller was willing to teach members how to do the treatment themselves, it will bring the overall cost down in the future, Goldsberry explained.
“After four years of collecting data and doing lake tests and vegetation surveys, it is very exciting to be in the action part of our plan and achieving real results,” said Goldsberry.
The association is in the preliminary phase of planning for its second treatment, set for April 2013.
The association is looking for volunteers to coordinate the project, to think about and help with fundraising efforts, as well as to help with grant-writing.
To support Brooks Lake improvement effort
For those who would like to financially support the effort to make crystal clear waters a reality on Brooks Lake, members of the lake association asks community members to consider making a donation.
Checks can be made out to Brooks Lake Area Association (memo: 2013 Lakewide Treatment) and mailed to BLAA, P.O Box 462, Cokato MN 55321. For further information on the association, check out its website at www.brookslake.info or visit them on Facebook.