Least wanted: Aquatic invasive species in Michigan inland lakes

Upcoming McNALMS Conference addresses aquatic invasive species and other topics.

Michigan’s inland lakes continue to be overrun by new aquatic invasive species (AIS). These aquatic hitch hikers travel from lake to lake on boat trailers, props, hulls and in live wells and bait buckets. Some catch a ride on the feathers of waterfowl and wading birds. Improper disposal of unwanted water garden and aquarium plants or animals can also result in AIS infestations. (Carolina fanwort, Cabomba caroliniana, pictured below in the foreground is just one example of AIS resulting from aquarium release.) Such infestations can impair recreation and out-compete native plants and animals in the lake.

Michigan inland lake infested with Cabomba caroliniana Carolina fanwort (in foreground).

Michigan inland lake infested with Cabomba caroliniana Carolina fanwort (in foreground).
Photo courtesy of Jane Herbert.

The Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society (McNALMS) will address AIS and nuisance native species at its upcoming third annual conference. The latest on this topic and other current lake research will be presented on September 21 at the Kettenun Center in Tustin, Mich. (near Cadillac).

Additionally, a pre-conference homeowner’s workshop and tour of a natural shoreline will be held the day prior, September 20. Hosted by Muskegon River Watershed Assembly and the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP), the sponsors will feature a reception for all conference and workshop participants.

The main conference on September 21 will feature talks on the state permits relating to aquatic invasive species, and the state’s plans for dealing with new invaders such as Hydrilla. Another talk will detail new techniques for assessing lakes from a landscape perspective. The afternoon sessions will address some key native and invasive problem species for inland lakes and provide updated research on these species including Canada Geese, Harmful Algal Blooms, Phragmites, Cabomba and the hybrid species of Eurasian Water Milfoil.

The pre-conference workshop on September 20 will introduce participants to the concept of natural shorelines and their benefit to inland lake ecosystems. The three-hour workshop will also highlight natural shoreline design concepts, using native plants and bioengineered erosion control, along with pointers from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on shoreline permits.

Registration includes a copy of the popular publication, “Natural Shoreline Landscapes on Michigan Inland Lakes: Guidebook for Property Owners,” along with a natural shoreline tour led by MSU Extension’s Jane Herbert, Senior Water Resource Educator and founding member of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP).

Lakefront property owners interested in attending the conference should note that lunch is included in the registration for both days. The advanced registration costs are $50 for the conference, $40 for the workshop, or $85 for both. Detailed information as well as registration and accommodation details are available at the McNALMS website.

The conference is sponsored by the Michigan Chapter, North American Lake Management Society with co-sponsors Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc., Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University, Wexford County Drain Commission and the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership. It is endorsed by the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership. For more information please contact Lois Wolfson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Mike Solomon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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