By now, most community members are well aware of the hydrilla (lake weed) issue that Lake Ferndale is experiencing and has been experiencing for a few years now. The Board has been in contact with both WV DNR and the Deep Creek Lake management team about how to battle this very tough, evasive water plant. The Board wants to remind the membership of the actions we have taken thus far and what we will continue to do. We also want to give the membership more information about this evasive plant so that everyone knows what we are dealing with.
If you have not noticed yet, we have begun a drawdown of the lake this past fall. We plan on drawing it down 3-4 feet (at the outfall structure), to help expose a good portion of these plants to the cold winter weather. Hydrilla is considered a tuber plant. It has tubers that are buried at it’s base under the sediment. Freezing temps have been known to kill these tubers which will eliminate the plant. We have also added sterile grass carp to the lake. Grass carp love hydrilla and though this will not kill the plant (they do not eat the tubers under the sediment) they help with keeping them cut short and manageable. FLLOA would also like to use Sonar Granular herbicide which has been a proven and effective herbicide for the extermination of hydrilla. This particular herbicide is safe to aquatic animals and humans and will kill the hydrilla. An 8 lb bucket is priced at roughly $350. It covers roughly 1/2 an acre of area.
Upon purhcase of this product, FLLOA plans on treating the beach and boat ramp areas so that the membership can enjoy swimming and getting their boats into the lake with no issue during the summer months.
Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, MD is experiencing a hydrilla issue as well. They have a program set to manage their issue. After further discussion with the Lake Manager of Deep Creek Lake he gave us some good tips about hydrilla to keep in mind.
1. Hydrilla has two ways to spread; fragmentation and tuber generation.
2. Mechanically removing hydrilla spreads the plant by fragmentation
3. Freezing temps can kill tubers, but it will not eradicate all hydrilla from the lake since the lake is not completely drained out and exposed.
4. Sonar granular herbicide is very effective in killing hydrilla and safe to aquatic animals and to humans. It is very expensive and sometimes several treatments a year is needed to keep up with new growth.
Due to the fact that our current budget does not support the purchase of this herbicide, FLLOA has created this “Lake Ferndale Hydrilla Management" GoFundMe page in which the membership can donate towards purchasing the required and proven effective herbicides. If you would like to donate, please do so on this GoFundMe page.
The picture above shows exposed hydrilla at the back end of the lake after drawdown.