Letter: Weed war disrupts cycle of life


To the editor of THE EAGLE:

The choices that are currently being made in the war against weeds are becoming more detrimental every year. Lake after lake is exposed to a poison that kills more than just weeds.

The chemical Diquat has supposedly been tested to not harm the fish and wildlife that live in and use our bodies of water. However, the warning to not use water for 10 days after application makes one wonder.

The treatment is distributed in early summer before weed growth has started. Unfortunately, this is the same time as the young fish fry are still occupying the shallows around the shores.

There is a chain of life in every body of water that should not be broken. Many people are unaware or simply don't care about this important fact of life. Weeds offer cover to micro-organisms, which in turn offers food and cover to the young fry, which in turn offers food for the large fish, which then spawn and the cycle continues. Without some weeds the chain is broken. Ducks and geese eat weeds, herons eat small fish and it's disheartening to see them ingesting chemically laden, half-dead food.

In the old days, before various lake associations gained so much power, there were weed harvesters operating on just about every lake in the area. They cropped the tops of the weeds only, leaving the necessary cover and food for wildlife, and at the same time kept the shores relatively open for homeowners. Jobs were provided to operate and maintain the machines. The amount of money spent on this had to be less than the $20,000 to $30,000-plus spent yearly on chemicals.

How come our Fisheries & Wildlife Division doesn't add its input on these matters? I can't believe any fisheries biologists would condone the use of these chemicals. They are paid at least in part by us license holders and spend many years in college learning about the cycle of life.

Will we keep using these chemicals until all of our lakes look like my swimming pool? Going "green" is a big deal today, as it should be, but weeds are also green.




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