Our harvesting trial will begin next week and for all of you who signed up before the deadline here is the latest information as we now know it. Follow this link to the harvester map, our contractor will use to navigate the lake.
This project became far more popular than first anticipated. We originally had the harvester scheduled for one week because that's what was available. In the past week 180 homes signed up for this service so we've negotiated and expanded the timeline for the harvester to be on the lake. The return date for the second harvester visit has been a bit of a moving target.
Here are the most recent dates
July 25-29 Original Visit
August 15-19 Second Visit
August 22-?? Potential Extended Visit
This project is a trial and it is our first attempt at harvesting on the lake. It is our primary goal to learn a lot during this process. The results of this neighborhood funded project will play a key role in the long term management plan to restore the lake.
The harvester will begin on the west end of the lake where the Elodea is most concentrated. The harvester will work its way East as the project continues. The harvester is slow moving so we will be working areas rather than individuals. The goal is to minimize wasted time and maximize material removed from the lake.
I also would like to set some expectations for what will occur along your lakefront. The harvester will make several passes in the water way beyond your docks. This is intended to provide a channel of sorts allowing your boats to find clear water. The Elodea is severe in some locations and our ability to accomplish this goal is still to be determined. The harvester will then try to consume as many weeds as it can around your property. This harvester pulls weeds and often gets the root, it will leave bits behind but the mass will be gone. The harvester is 10’ wide and 27’ long so while maneuverable it cannot get into certain areas, including under docs or boats. Water depth is also a factor preventing operation all the way to the bank or shoreline. I am told that given the above you may wish to do some minor raking for a super clean look. It should be manageable both in the effort and amount of remaining material to remove.
The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association has made arrangements for a ECO Harvester located in Coos Bay to be transported to our lake on July 25th. The operator of this weed harvester has agreed to run his harvester for seven days. Lakefront homeowners can sign-up to have the harvester clear out the area in front of their homes. In return we would ask for a minimum $300 donation. Keep in mind at portion of your donation will be used to clear some of the most congested common areas of our lake. If you wish you can make a larger donation to help support this effort. This is a limited trial and it's short duration is a result of the availability of the harvesting equipment. This is not an attempt to clear the lake of weeds, it is a short duration trial to collect data on it operation.
Our contractor will be on the lake July 25-31 2022. We will attempt to clear some common areas and as many of the homeowners areas at time allows.
To put your property on the list to be harvester click the button below and complete the sign-up form. Once you after completing the form you are free to make your donation. Don't delay we close the list on July 20th.
The ECO Harvester coming to the lake later this month is the result of some serious hustling by certain members the DLNA. (Toot, Toot) We are super stoked and want to ensure you know what we are trying to accomplish.
There are three options that are realistic for the treatment of weeds in Devil's Lake. One is herbicides, the second is harvesting and third is restocking the lake with grass carp. The DLNA and the DLWID agree that grass carp is the best solution for lake in the long term. Both are working very hard to win approval for grass carp.
However, Carp entering this lake may initially be overwhelmed by the volume of weed. That's why a carefully designed plan to restock the lake would likely include some use of herbicides to knock the Elodea down, then perhaps using a harvester to cut, pull and remove large volumes of weed, and let the carp eat the rest. The hope is with this mix we can restore the balance in the lake where harvesting and herbicides are no longer required.
So, this harvester clearing the lake of some of the weeds gives us an opportunity to quantify the cost, time and capabilities of harvesting on the lake. This is not a cure. This information will be combined with what we learn from the four applications of Floritrol in the lake this year. All this information will be invaluable as we create a long-term plan to put us back to being a lake with just the right balance. Tragically, that is not the lake we have today. Together we can set it straight.
We have added a grassroots advocacy page to our website found at www.dlakeoregon.com/take_action. Visit this page to find descriptions of our positions, sample letters to send to decision makers and contact information for each. We ask all concerned members of the neighborhood to write a letter or two and send them out to let decision makers know how you feel about this problem. At this time we're trying to make it known that we have a big problem here and that we feel restocking grass carp is the solution. We'll have more specific requests for grassroots support as we move through the process. Check this page often for the latest request. For now visit the page, pick a letter and send it out. Should you write your own letter and think it turned out well, share it with us and we'll make it into a template for others to use.
Thank you in advance for your participation.
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District is returning to public meetings. During the pandemic the board meetings were open to the public via a Zoom connection. This coming Thursday the public will once again be able to participate in person. Given the estimated 150 attendees at the DLNA Weed Discussion last Tuesday, this news will be well received. Please note that this meeting will not be held at City Hall but will instead be in the Taft High School Auditorium. The meeting will also be available on Zoom but the District warns the quality of this link may be poor, it's simply a laptop in a large room. There will be time for public comment in the beginning for in-person meeting attendees only. Here are the details of the meeting.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And we have a great deal that needs to be said so please share your photos and videos with us. As the summer rolls on, capture some images that show how Devils Lake weeds impact your use of the lake. When you're out raking, cutting , skimming, and hauling Elodea, pause for a moment and take a few pictures to share with us. You'll find a collection of shared images displayed on our new gallery page. We will use these shared photos and videos in the creation of informational videos, slideshows and educational presentations. Your pictures will help inform those who have not recently been to Devils Lake to understand the magnitude of this problem.
Here are some simple ways you can share your photos and video with the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association. Note that by following these instructions you grant the DLNA permission to use the photograph, video, or other digital media in any and all of its publications, including web-based publications, without payment or other consideration. We do offer however our greatest appreciation and thanks.
This method is familiar to most, simply draft an email and attach your images. Address the email to [email protected]. Feel free to include a note that describes the images, such as “here is the pile of weeds we raked this weekend, took six hours”. Press send to share.
Add to our Google Photo Album:
We have created a Photo Album in Google Photos entitled “Elodea”. This is where all our shared photos will be stored. A simple way to share which works on both Apple and Android is to follow this link https://photos.app.goo.gl/WqAP7qc2XLDh7nFt8 or the button above which opens the album. Just click on the “add photos” icon which will open your photo manager app. Simply select the images and videos you want to share, and press done.
Share an Album:
Think you’ll be sharing a lot of images with us this summer? You can create your own Elodea photo album and share it with us. Once sharing is set for the album all you need to do is add new photos to it, and they will automatically be shared with DLNA. Here’s how. In your photo app select “create a shared album”, add a title, and select your initial pictures, then press the share icon or button and enter [email protected]. Ongoing just open the album and add photos, we’ll get them automatically.
Please remember to use caution when harvesting Elodea around your docks and your shoreline. Please make every effort to capture your clippings and place them on land or your doce to dry so you can haul them away. (See our video on the subject) It may seem pointless when wading through the weeds, but this is how Elodea propagates. Even the smallest piece can grow into another plant. Yes, boat traffic and wind can break the plants off, but one good harvest can create a large raft of clippings that float in the middle of the lake which can stop a boat or jet ski in its tracks. These rafts of weeds tend to drift to the lee shoreline where they rest and somebody else will have to pick them up. The images above represent one day's flow during the 4th of July weekend on Sandpoint. Should you pull your boat out of Devils Lake to take to another body of water please inspect both boat and trailer carefully for any bits of this terrible weed. We do not want Devils Lake to be responsible for spreading this plague throughout the state of Oregon.
Let's work together and spread the word not the weed!
We have a problem!
It was just one month ago that we posted an article on Elodea; the invasive plant that has invaded Devils Lake. At that time I had personally only experienced the weed as it grew along my shoreline. I was shocked, as this plant had consumed 70% of the bottom of the lake near my shoreline. Since that time I put my boat in and took a tour of the lake. Oh my!
For those of you who have not been on the lake this year, here is a summary from those initial observations. What I found was that the elodea extends much further into the lake than just along the shoreline. The Western portion of the lake from Regatta Park to the D River seems to be the highest concentration with plants just below the surface over the majority of that portion of the lake. I recommend not boating here, and if you're a jet ski operator, really don’t go there. The Brown Bear State Park boat ramp is so clogged with weeds it is nearly impossible to launch without fouling your prop. As you move East from that point you will find elodea growing along both shorelines up through Sandpoint and North to the marina. The small bay to the South of Sandpoint as well at the far end of the marina leg are similar to the East end, a real mess. The center of the lake from Sandpoint where the depth is 18 ft seems clear of elodea however it's so deep it may simply not be visible. The same is true of the upper bay of the lake. These clear areas however do contain large floating rafts of the weeds that must be avoided. Continuing along the shoreline on the East Devils Lake side you will find plants some forty feet from shore. The shoreline from Lake Point through Neotsu however, is some of the clearest in the lake. There is no denying; the extent of the growth is simply overwhelming.
And that's just the elodea. As the summer continues we know that the Vallisneria (eelgrass) will begin to grow. As of this week stands of eelgrass have reached about two feet. This plant, unlike elodea, dies off during the winter, so it had some catching up to do. By September the eelgrass will begin to flower which brings spiral extensions to the surface which become a navigational hazard.
This is all very bad news however as a community we stand a chance to put some measures in place that can improve the situation. Devil's lake Neighborhood Association is committed to helping in this community effort. Your involvement in this effort is the power behind the neighborhood association, so we need you more than ever. To that end we've added a few new pages to our website. You'll find a grassroots page where we will post sample letters and emails as well as contact information for key decision makers that should be contacted. We also have created a gallery page where we ask homeowners to help by sharing their images of your exposure to the weeds and of your efforts to combat this problem. A picture is worth a thousand words, so please share so we may educate these decision makers. More on how to do that in another article.
Please join in and help us with this effort by clicking the volunteer button to the right. If you have a special talent that can be put to use, (i.e. graphics or web designer, YouTube creator, good writer, good speaker, attorney, nice smile) please make us aware of it. In most years we only ask for donations for our annual fireworks display. Those funds are earmarked for that purpose and cannot be used generally. Unfortunately, because of that the balance of general funds is quite small. Consider making a donation to the general fund so we may widen our opportunities to address this issue.
As we move through the summer, I would ask you all to be patient with everybody in the community. This is frustrating and we often want to find someone to blame. In this case, I assure you everyone is on the same page and we are all invested in saving Devils Lake. Let’s blame Mother Nature and get ramped up for this effort, define our solutions and show our support.
It's our first public meeting in over two years! The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association is hosting this open discussion related to the explosive growth of weeds (Elodea and Vallisneria) in Devils Lake this season. We hope to begin shaping a strategy to help raise awareness with the owners of the lake, the State of Oregon. We also want to solicit ideas on how to best use our one and only resource at DLNA, that's you our friendly neighborhood residents.
801 SE Hwy 101 #201
Lincoln City, OR 97367
Google map and directions
They say everything that needs fixing has a YouTube video to help you. We created this short video to provide some guidance about harvesting Elodea around your property. This step by step overview should help in the successful hand harvesting of Elodea from a lake body. Care should be taken to ensure no loose fragments escape the work area. Just click the image above to play, feel free to share this link with others.