Joe Rush, our biologist and lake manager, was in attendance for input on plans for lake remediation. All were in agreement we don't want to see our lake go through another year like this one and plans are moving forward to bring forth a proposal to put to the manager and board for budgeting purposes.
It appears the consensus is to use and alum treatment to handle the immediate problem then continue the process with burns, plantings, killing non-native species of plants, further investigation of the Solar Bees, wells, and other possibilities. This is simply my take on the discussion and not a definitive plan at this point.
The vast majority of the meeting was discussion of the lake issue as would be expected. Friendship Park is the main area for the burn and plantings. I did not know the plantings will be of a type that will spread into the lake itself. This is a good thing for phosphorus control. Every option discussed other then an alum treatment will take time to have an effect.
One thing is undeniable, Joe Rush and the rest of those involved in the process have spent a lot of time investigating the issue and they continue to do so. We are in good hands and I have no doubt a solid plan will develop.
Joe has sent in more lake samples for testing and when results are positive the lake will re-open. He indicates he expects no problem with ice fishing this year. I had asked the question a couple weeks ago about the residual effects of the toxin in fish flesh. The Illinois EPA head toxicologist has indicated the toxin in fish flesh takes about two weeks to dissipate, meaning if we have acceptable water quality we can expect fish two weeks later to have the same concentrations as the time of the test.
Just as a point of reference, we have 290 million gallons of water in our lake at normal pool so think about how much water wells would have to put into the lake to have any real affect. As Joe said, we can't jump the gun with wells then not need them after they are installed.
There has to be a cost/reward equation. We can't just start throwing money at a problem without having a solid basis in probable outcome. I'll keep you informed as things progress.