All Things Considered… “What shall we do about the Squash Lake Eurasian Water- Milfoil?”

Karen Isebrands Brown,
Chair of the Squash Lake Water Quality and Habitat Committee

As with any recommendation from an expert…..it is up to the individual ( SLA) to decide if the recommendation is right for them. The consultant, Onterra, has recommended that in early Spring of 2010 that 200 lbs/acre of granular 2,4-D herbicide be applied to 3.1 acres of Squash Lake and 150 lbs./ acre to less than 4 acres. This would be applied to the sites that have Eurasian Milfoil (EMF).

Here are some things to think about before we follow their recommendation to apply over 1,000 pounds of 2,4- D ( Note the actual name of it is 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyactic acid, dimethylamine salt 46.8%)

It would be applied in early Spring when the fish are spawning and the frogs and trilling toads are laying their eggs. Question: Could this cause mutations or taint the fish and then enter the food chain of the loons, cranes, eagles and anyone who eats the fish? Remember DDT and the near extinction of the bald eagle? *2,4-D also kills native plants: yellow and white water lilies, bladderwort, spatterdock, water shield, water chestnut and coontail. Question: Should we be “tinkering” with the delicate balance of Squash Lake’s aquatic plant ecosystem that is responsible for maintaining our pristine lake’s, clear water quality.

No one knows how long the EMF has been lurking in our lake. It could have been there for years. Perhaps we are just now discovering it because the water level is down several feet.

All things considered : Squash Lake is a healthy lake because of the diversity in the aquatic plant ecosystem. That has maintained a high level of water quality since it’s beginning. Rather than leap to a knee-jerk reaction and put over 1.000 pounds of 2,4- Dichlorphenoxyactic acid, dimethylamine salt 46.8% into our pristine lake, let’s decide to be prudent and cautious. Let’s monitor the sites that have been plotted for one year and see if the EMF is actually spreading. Once we dump over 1,000 pounds of 2,4-Dichlorphenoxyactic acid, dimethylamine salt 46.8%, we cannot take it out. It is ours to swim in.

Let’s think about this decision long and hard. We are the stewards of this beautiful lake. Please email your thoughts on this topic to kisebrow@charter.net Karen Isebrands Brown, Chair of the Squash Lake Water Quality and Habitat Committee. Thank you for taking time to consider this matter.