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HOW LONG CAN GENEVA LAKE TAKE IT?

Lake Geneva was recently voted the country’s “Best Small Town for Adventure” in the latest “10 Best” poll from USA Today. Lake Geneva, with its prime shoreline and wide-open spaces, is an outdoor enthusiast dream come true and, surprisingly, it’s not located on either of the country’s coasts, but rather inland in Southern Wisconsin. Fans of Lake Geneva, from all over America, voted the destination at the very top of the list, besting cities in New York, Wyoming, Utah, Florida and Michigan, among others. Just about everyone who lives around, visits or merely passes through the Geneva Lake Area absolutely loves it (well, possibly not a very few times in mid-winter).

The outdoor life is generally wonderful, the boating expansive and fun, the lake water itself so pure it is potable (according to last year’s water tests conducted by the GSR X-Files scientists and investigators). That Lake Geneva won the vote over all other places for being what it is still was surprising, simply because of the power and politics that it must take to win such a vote. Merit won out this time, over those forces that Lake Geneva does not have, or even come close to having. But what is the ‘fly in the ointment’ of receiving this ‘adventure’ designation?

Starry Stonewart is the fly. This invasive lake killing foreign plant has been found to be present in the waters of Trinke Lagoon, the small stretch of water carved out for Trinke resident boats years ago. So far, the species appears to be trapped inside the inlet but that will change as boat propellers stir the sediment because Trinke is so shallow. That sediment, with the Starry Stonewart, mixed, in has to reach out into the main lake body one season soon unless something is done. What can be done? A net can be temporarily laid down on the area where the wart has been discovered to be present. That’s not going to happen though, because the leaders of Trinke Estates are not going to allow that and neither the GLEA nor the DNR is going to do anything about that refusal. A special chemical is set to be released into the Trinke waters, although all the engineers and experts on the Starry Stonewart agree that it does not kill the invasive plant. It kills everything else, thereby feeding the pesky monster. A few floating signs are also going to be erected to inform the boaters inside Trinke to travel with no wakes. That ought to work. Vague plans to do the actual effective removal process of dredging the wart out and getting rid of it once and for all are set for sometime in the fall.

What a shame that this wart species might turn Geneva Lake into one of the other ‘dead’ lakes that are beginning to litter inland areas of Michigan and Minnesota (and a good number in Wisconsin, already). The enforcement officer of the Wisconsin DNR indicated that the plant is not that great a threat because it only rises up seven feet from the bottom of any body of water and eighty percent of Geneva Lake’s area is deeper than that. What that man said was true, last week, however, if thought is given to this being true, and if the species does wreak its destruction on the lake bottom, then the parts of the lake most populated and used will no longer be usable. The beaches, the best fishing holes and spots, the areas around all the piers, and so on, will be taken over by this dense great ‘zombie’ nightmare.

What an odd thing that this danger is being basically ignored while the City of Lake Geneva quietly accepts the USA Today honor and award for being so terrific. Selfish short-term interests are terribly difficult to overcome, especially when the selfish interests own a lot of property and have a lot of money.

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