Hobart officials outline plan for Lake George weed cleanup

2013-08-14T22:15:00Z 2013-09-06T15:19:04Z Hobart officials outline plan for Lake George weed cleanupDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | A recent boat ride on Lake George convinced Mayor Brian Snedecor that action needs to be taken quickly to tame an overgrowth of weeds.

Snedecor said he was invited to go on the boat ride with City Councilmen David Vinzant and P. Lino Maggio and had his eyes opened.

"It enlightened me of the problems," Snedecor said.

Snedecor, at a meeting packed with some 50 lakeside residents, said the city already has contacted Clarke, an Illinois-based mosquito control and aquatics company, to come up with an action plan.

Clarke previously has done work for the city.

"We have already started the process and hope to hear back from the Department of Natural Resources to do what we need to get done," Snedecor said.

George Balis, a Midwest regional manager for Clarke, said his company has done a preliminary lake study that includes an aquatics vegetation survey.

The survey indicated Lake George has an overgrowth of duckweed, coontail, water shield, spatterdock and Eurasian water milfoil.

Balis suggested the weeds could be controlled through herbicide management.

"All would be based on DNR approval. They (DNR officials) are reviewing the request now," Balis said.

Balis said the treatment won't have any effect on fish, ducks and wildlife in the lake.

"The idea is not to make it into a swimming pool, but more user friendly and allow fish to survive," Balis said.

Residents peppered Balis and Snedecor with a number of questions, including whether fish caught after the treatment could be safely eaten and what is causing the overabundance of weeds.

Balis said the treatment will affect only the vegetation and the fish can be eaten.

It's difficult to determine the cause of the weeds, Balis said.

"A lake year after year will not be the same," Balis said.

Resident Shane Hric, who has lived on Lakeview Drive for two years, said the weeds are definitely rampant near his home.

"Could I volunteer to start the process at my house? You can set up headquarters there," Hric said.

Lynn Stephens, who lives on Cardinal Court, said the lake off her home is also choked with weeds.

"The geese and swans don't want to come back," Stephens said.

Snedecor said the cost for the work being done by Clarke is in the $40,000 to $50,000 range, depending on a number of factors including what the DNR allows.

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