The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) is taking steps to remove aquatic weeds from Devils Lake in Lincoln City, Oregon. The district has leased a mechanical harvester that will run for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the next three months.
The harvester will be targeting several species of aquatic weeds, including elodea, vallisneria, and eurasian watermilfoil. These weeds can form dense mats that can block boat traffic, impair water quality, and harm fish and wildlife.
Harvesting is a major part of the overall current plan to control aquatic weeds in Devils Lake. Additionally, the district recently placed 5,000 sterile grass carp in the lake. Grass carp are an invasive species that have been used successfully to control aquatic weeds in Devils Lake for the past thirty years.
DLWID is confident that these measures will help to reduce the abundance of aquatic weeds in Devils Lake. The district is committed to maintaining the lake's water quality and protecting its natural resources for future generations.
Harvesting is a major part of DLWID's comprehensive plan to restore Devils Lake's ecosystem. The mechanical harvester plays a crucial role in the removal of aquatic weeds. This method involves the use of specialized machinery designed to cut and collect the invasive plants, facilitating their removal from the lake. The harvester has been operating on the lake over the past month.
Let’s dive into some of the strategies and goals associated with aquatic weed removal using a mechanical harvester at Devils Lake.
1. Increased Waterway Accessibility:
By deploying a mechanical harvester, DLWID aims to improve waterway accessibility for various stakeholders. The removal of excessive aquatic weeds enhances boating and fishing experiences, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the lake's recreational offerings to the fullest.
2. Ecosystem Restoration:
Mechanical harvesting aids in the restoration of the natural balance within Devils Lake's ecosystem. By selectively removing invasive aquatic plants, the harvester helps mitigate the negative impacts caused by their overgrowth. This restoration process encourages the reestablishment of native aquatic vegetation, providing habitat and food sources for fish and other wildlife.
3. Nutrient Management:
Aquatic weeds often thrive in nutrient-rich environments. The mechanical harvester helps manage excess nutrients present in the lake by removing the invasive plants which decompose and contribute to the overall nutrient load. By reducing the available nutrients, the harvester curtails the growth of unwanted vegetation, promoting healthier conditions for native species to thrive.
4. Prevention of Harmful Algal Blooms:
The volume of aquatic weeds in a waterbody must be kept in balance playing a key role in the development of harmful algal blooms (HABs). These HABs can release toxins, negatively affecting water quality and endangering aquatic life. Mechanical harvesting plays a vital role in breaking the lifecycle of HABs by removing the aquatic weeds with the goal of creating a balanced ecosystem.
DLWID is confident that these measures will help to reduce the abundance of aquatic weeds in Devils Lake. The district has been at this for over thirty years and is committed to maintaining the lake's water quality and protecting its natural resources for future generations. We can't imagine what a harvester might look like on the lake in another thirty years so we asked our computer who came up with the image featured in this article.