Too Much of a Good Thing
different herbicide than what is necessary to treat the plants below. The application of herbicides has its challenges, too. We have typically applied herbicide by boat, but the area that can be covered is limited. Aerial application is an option, but the location and potential negative effects to the cypress must be considered. However, this probably will be our next step.
Given these trade-offs in attempt to get the biggest bang for our buck, we have focused most of our control efforts in the southern half of Pool 1 near the boat ramps, fishing piers and bank line. We use EPA-approved herbicides, which means there are no concerns about fish consumption, to target our main problem plants.
Submergent Vegetation Control
The bottom line is that submerged plants are hard to control. Since fanwort is currently the most dominant species, we have focused on treating this species every other year. We use fluridone, which is slowly absorbed by the plant over a 45-day period. To maintain effective concentration of the chemical, we apply this twice during the summer in the southwest corner of Pool 1. By applying it here the levees and trees minimize the amount of wind fetch and mixing of the water. This prevents dilution of the herbicide and gets a better kill. This treatment generally knocks the fanwort back across 150 acres the first year, and during second year it starts to creep back into the treated area. We get two years of control on the fanwort because of this lag effect. A new herbicide was just approved by the EPA this year. We’ve got our hands on some and will be experimenting with it next year.
Floating, Leaved Plant Control
In the past we have tried annually to keep the floating leaved plants off of the bank lines and created boat lanes by spraying herbicide on our floating leaved plants. The aquatic version of Roundup, which uses glyphosate, is used for this effort. This herbicide kills the plant tissue it comes in contact with, so you typically see quicker results than what we see with the fluridone.
The expansion of lotus throughout the pool is a growing concern. Over the last month we have been spraying herbicide by boat to knock back a wider portion of the lotus that has popped up on the southern end of the lake. By working on the lotus in the same area where we’ve knocked back the underlying fanwort, we should start to see a broader area of open water for easy fishing. We also may do an aerial application to get a better handle on the lotus across a wider area.
No Silver Bullet Approaches to Natural Resource Management
One of the challenges in managing a conservation area is that the plant and animal communities never sit still. There is always a group of species on the rise while others are on the fall. Management is the art of trying to tweak the system in a way to get a reliable response to benefit public use of these variable resources. For every one of our actions there is a response. Some of these can be anticipated while others cannot. No doubt nature will always have a new challenge for us tomorrow.
Pool 1 and the plants that call it home are definitely a challenge to manage and fish through. However, this very habitat is why folks have filled their coolers with fish over the last 60 years. Hopefully, this post has been helpful in describing how we’ve gotten “too much of a good thing” in Pool 1 and what we are doing to manage it so the public can have access to the awesome resource below.
If you have any other questions please contact us at the Duck Creek Office or our fisheries biologist, Paul Cieslewicz, at the Regional Office (573-290-5858 x240, firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks again for your interest and dedication to the area. Good luck fishing.