Houghton Lake Proposes More Weed Treatment, Anglers Concerned

A homeowner on Houghton Lake and active angler recently contacted MUCC about a proposal being considered by the Houghton Lake Improvement Board (HLIB) to treat the lake with a systemic herbicide called fluridone (trade name Sonar) to control Eurasian milfoil. According to the HLIB website, this treatment was last done in 2002 and additional spot spraying, biological, and mechanical weed control has been conducted since that time. This has considerably reduced not only the milfoil, but wild rice and other native plants as well.
"Excessive vegetation control could have negative effects on fish populations and fisheries" due to a reduction in cover for prey fish and the risk of overharvest of fish by anglers who find it easier to catch fish after significant weed control efforts, which "could cause fish community imbalance and poorer angling in the long run" (Schneider 2000). Studies suggest that for optimal fish habitat, lakes should not reduce weed coverage to less than 25-36 percent of the total lake area, but anglers have suggested that Houghton Lake still remains below an ideal level.
The Houghton Lake Improvement Board meets next on Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. The meeting is tentatively scheduled to be at Markey Township hall at 4974 E. Houghton Lake Drive, Houghton Lake, MI 48629.
If you are an angler or homeowner on Houghton Lake, you should contact members of the Houghton Lake Improvement Board and express your concerns about the future of fishing and tourism on Houghton Lake: (989) 329-9937
Houghton Lake Improvement Board
Jim Deamud, Chairman Denton Township: 989-366-8032 Dave Russo Roscommon County Board of Commissioners Tom Rose Lake Township Brett Yardley Roscommon Township Bob Gandolfi, Secretary/Treasurer Riparian Representative: 989-329-5002 Norm Fullmer Markey Township Trustee Sheridan Cole Roscommon County Drain Commissioner

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