This year, the TLA set aggressive benchmarks for the organization in reducing EWM, increasing membership, raising funds and educating the community. Across all measures, the organization, its volunteers and donors, exceeded goals.
TLA Reduces Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) Infestation by 78 percent in 2010
New EWM infestations identified by TLA Sentinels
The Tomahawk Lake Association (TLA) reported that the total acreage of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) treated in the spring of 2010 was reduced by 78 percent, or roughly 62 acres.
While a successful result, a number of new EWM infestation sites have been discovered the Sentinel Lake Monitoring Group in June and July.
Eurasian Water Milfoil is an aquatic plant native to Europe and Asia that reproduces rapidly and has the potential to choke much of the shallow areas of a lake and adversely affect wildlife. It was first discovered on Tomahawk Lake in the fall of 2004 and, at the beginning of 2010, covered nearly 82 acres within the lake.
“We are encouraged by the significant reduction of acreage of EWM in 2010,” said Paul Shain, President, TLA, Inc. “However, we need to continue the fight every year – it will never be completely eradicated from our lake. As a community, we need to continue executing our strategy to maintain and increase the health and beauty of Tomahawk Lake. Without our network of generous donors, volunteers and members, results like this will be impossible to achieve.”
According to a survey taken in August, of the 260 sites chemically treated in May, only 57 sites contained EWM. Additionally, within the survey samples that did contain EWM, the EWM density – the number of plants per square foot of bottom area – fell dramatically.
The 61 treated areas ranged in size from 0.23 acres to 12.45 acres, and included a range of water depths from a few inches out to approximately 17 feet. This year, 45 new sites were added to the treatment plan compared to 2009 – a 21 percent increase in sites treated.
“The results are quite favorable, especially when one considers that the number of sites in the survey increased by 21 percent over 2009,” said Ned Greedy, TLA Executive Director.
Other data to note:
• In 2010, 57 of 260 points contained some EWM present in the rake samples taken. This represents a 78 percent reduction in EWM. In 2009, 140 of 215 points contained EWM in rake samples, which represented a 35 percent reduction in EWM.
• Within the 57 samples that contained EWM, the density of EWM plants was reduced compared to 2009.
Rake density 2010 2009
#1 rake (lowest rake density) 83% 67%
#2 rake (medium density) 12% 25%
#3 rake (highest density) 5% 8%
100 % 100 %
• All of the highest density rakes (#3) were found in only two polygons.
• Of the three areas targeted for treatment utilizing liquid 2,4-D, the numbers of infested sites were greatly reduced. Within the sites that retained EWM, the density was greatly reduced as well. These areas have been historically heavily infested locations. (Echo Bay, Kemps Bay & bays on south side of Windy Point.)
“While progress has been made during the summer of 2010, EWM is alive and well in Tomahawk Lake,” said Greedy. “Two new major areas of infestation have been noted by our Sentinels and HCS divers and – as always is the case with this type of weed – many smaller areas have popped up.”
In the early weeks of September, Greedy and team completed the post treatment survey to establish the treatment plan for 2011. The complete post treatment survey indicated there was minimal effect on the native species of the lake.
“While we should all be proud of the progress we made this year, achieving success with EWM is a new battle every year,” said Greedy. “In 2009, our treatments were not as successful. Variables such as water temperature were not on our side. To be sure, we will be faced with EWM next year and together as a community we must remain vigilant and disciplined about our efforts to fight this weed.”
Angel Giving Drive Exceeds Fundraising Goal
The great results in eradicating EWM were accomplished because donors helped TLA meet its 2010 fundraising challenge. As of October 20th, the Angel Giving campaign raised a total of $105,350, exceeding our goal of $100,000!
“Without funds, we can’t accomplish our core objectives of eradicating EWM,” said Paul Shain. “We are thrilled with this year’s success, and grateful to our donors.”
“For 2011, we plan to take a different approach with fundraising that will focus on getting all households in our lake community to contribute,” said Shain.
Membership Drive Exceeds ’09 Numbers; Falls Short of Goal
The TLA membership drive registered 235 members as of October 31, exceeding last year’s roster of 230 members but falling short of the 300 member goal.
“The power of the TLA is made by its members,” said Shain. “We look forward to working on another great campaign next year and will need everyone’s help recruiting new members.”