GENEVA LAKE’S STARRY STONEWORT
WAITS PATIENTLY FOR EVERYONE TO DO NOTHING
The annual meeting of the Geneva Lake Association was held last Saturday at the Lake Geneva Country Club. White cloth tablecloths. Free coffee and pastries. Several students were honored with scholarships, almost all going on into careers in environmental science. None of the students (wisely) stayed for the rest of the lengthy meeting. No video was allowed, as has become the custom for wealthy get-togethers around the lake. Mr. Goggins, the association president demanded that. It would have been nice if he has said please, but that word is not part of his normal lexicon.
The hours drifted by, only Dick Malmin, living on the lake itself, complained about the fact that everyone was talking about how great they felt about the lake and how much they loved it unless it came to spending any money or doing anything about the infestation. Someone mentioned the DNR map just issued failed to note that the original infestation of Starry Stonewort was found in Trinke Lagoon.
Now, it’s out in the lake after Trinke refused to do one thing to dredge and stop it. Trinke boat owners got to keep their lagoon but did choose not to drive their boats over the invested area for ten days while some chemical was laid down to supposedly stop the advance of the voracious plants. Now, the plants are out in the lake itself. Trinke remains blameless because the “Streblo” people living there love the lake so very, very much. To dredge or not to dredge out in the lake waters themselves is the new question.
Last week a special meeting was held by the GLEA (Geneva Lake Environmental Agency). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and act on the future management strategies for dealing with the Starry Stonewort, the newest and most threatening aquatic plants now found in Geneva Lake. Ted Peters (GLEA director) presented what is known about this invasive species and the locations on where it is known to be. The Trinke Lagoon was the first area it was spotted, but as time has passed with zilch being done, it has now been found in the lake, not just that lagoon. With these findings, the long term starry stonewort management may need to be reassessed. This week a diver is scheduled to take an underwater camera and conduct a survey of the invasive species to get a better understanding of the situation and confirm the exact location and denseness of the starry stonewort so an action plan can be implemented. The original investigation, conducted when the plant was first spotted concluded that it was only in the lagoon in a low-level amount, but it is now in more than one location, and the spreading needs to be considered as a higher-level threat.
Ted Peters stated that he has done a lot of research on this species and spoke with other experts on the issue and does not feel the original plan to dredge the Trinke Lagoon is a viable option anymore since the starry stonewort has been found (shockingly) out in the lake. The cost of dredging is three hundred-thousand dollars and Peters along with Keith, the man that would be doing the job, does not believe the return on the investment would be justified. Containment and control of the starry stonewort may be possible with chemical treatments or benthic barriers. No decision on dredging was made at the meeting. A decision on the dredging of Trinke Lagoon alone was not made either.
A decision to congratulate everyone on how great the meetings have been and how everyone so loves the lake was made at each meeting. That included the Geneva Lake Association meeting held on Saturday. The next do nothing self-congratulation meeting of the GLEA is scheduled for Thursday, August 15th at 6:30 p.m.at George Williams College in Lowery Hall.
Come to the meeting. You won’t be called upon to make any decision at all. The only brave man who spoke up at the meeting, to indicate what has really “not been happening,” was Dick Malmin. The communities around the lake owe this man for his bravery and his intensive investigation of the facts.