Frequently Asked Questions

What about swimming after an application?  Can we eat the fish?  What if my cat or dog drinks treated water?  etc . . . 
"Click" Aquatic Safety Sheet for answers to these types of questions.

I've heard that you need information regarding my drinking water well.  Why do you need it?
Based on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) rules, we only need to collect information on well depths and their proximity to the nearest waterbody's shoreline when proposing to use 2,4-D or endothall based granular herbicides.  We provide a Well Reply Slip Form for residents in areas where these products may be proposed for use.  In some circumstances, other products are used instead, based on information received from the residents.  We may use this product farther out from shore in that area if we do not have your well information.  We encourage everyone asked to return their well reply slip in a timely manor so treatment products choices can be made.

When will I see results after the treatment?
Usually, plants begin to show signs of weakness or die within 2 weeks.  Signs include discoloration, elongation or wilting.  Filamentous algae often turns pale yellow or whitish within 3 to 4 days.  Planktonic Algae disappears in 24 to 48 hours.  Dead plants with tough stems and sturdy root systems may remain standing until wind or waves break them up.

What happens to the dead plant material after the treatment?
Decaying plants and algae usually sink to the bottom after they die.  Occasionally, plants with weak stems may break loose and float temporarily.  Microscopic organisms in the water break down (decompose) plant materials leaving a fine residue of silt that settles to the bottom.

Will my water quality change after the treatment?
When large masses of vegetation decay, recycling of the plant materials occur.  Some nutrients end up in sediment while others enter the water column.  Some temporary decrease in dissolved oxygen levels may occur. 

How long will control last?
Many weed species can be controlled for an entire season with a properly timed, single treatment.  Herbicides do not kill seeds, and some do not get into root systems.  This can result in a re-growth of plants requiring touch-up later in the season.  Algae will generally require treatment approximately 3 to 6 weeks apart during the season because of their ability to reproduce rapidly.

Will I have fewer plants next year?
Once well established, nuisance plants will typically continue to be a problem each year.  Some reduction in weed beds may occur the following year if treatments were made before seed production.  Changes in dominant species or plant abundance is more likely to occur due to environmental factors such as water clarity, nutrient concentrations and weather factors.  Different types of herbicides may be required from year to year.

Do resistant plants or algae establish themselves?
There is some evidence that treating too often, year after year with the same chemicals, may result in the establishment of an unaffected species.  This may require changing chemicals, dosage rates, using a combination of chemicals, or employing a combination of techniques (aeration, nutrient reduction and inactivation, etc.). 

A friend of mine lives on a lake in Southern Michigan and says they launch a huge barge with paddle wheels that cut the weeds and it seems to make a mess of the lake with uncollected chopped weeds.  Is this type of cutting productive compared to spraying a lake?
You are referring to "Mechanical Harvesting" a lake.  Harvesting and cutting aquatic plants is a process that is an alternative to herbicide treatments when proper conditions exist.  Of course, if you have milfoil in a lake one would not recommend harvesting as milfoil will be fragmented and re-grow exponentially in a very short period of time.  A harvester can be effective in removing nuisance native vegetation in deeper areas of a lake where herbicides applications may not be permitted.  Yet they interfere with recreation.  Mechanical Harvesting is very labor intensive and costly to move from lake to lake.  Disposal sites to take collected vegetation may not be convenient or close to the job site. 

I've noticed that after ice-out in early spring and also sometimes when it's hot in the summer there is some dead fish close to shore.  Is this because we use "chemicals" in our lake or what?
There are many reasons why "fish kills" may occur from time to time in a waterbody.  Generally, it has to do with a combination environmental shifts in seasons, temperatures, or dissolved oxygen deficiencies.  Surprisingly, lighting strikes can be the culprit during the summer!  An overabundance of vegetation may also deplete oxygen.  Too much of a good thing may not be all that great!  When used properly, herbicides can maintain the necessary balance in preserving a healthier environment for a productive fishery.  "Click" the links below to review the articles related to "fish kills".

I see phragmites beginning to take over shoreline areas around my pond and lake front property.  What process is in place to deal with it?
" Click" Chemical Treatment of Phragmites  



Funding for Aquatic Plant Management Activities

How are projects generally funded ?
Almost all programs are funded by their own program participants.  Our company works with groups to help guide them in forming lake improvement boards, township boards, or even organizing lake associations from small riparian groups.

-  PUBLIC ACT 451 (Lake Improvement Board Act) is one option, requiring certain activities be performed prior to the start of lake management activities.   More Information

-  PUBLIC ACT 188 (Township Board Act) is a popular choice for townships to sponsor, set a special assessment district, and collect program funds.  More Information

-  LAKE ASSOCIATIONS, PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, ETC.
Many lake groups self-fund their own programs through their lake association special collections, specifically for management activities.  Individual  Permission Slips are necessary and available.

-  INDIVIDUAL OR SMALL GROUPS OF  HOMEOWNERS can contract with us to perform aquatic plant management services on a waterbody.  Individual Permission Slips are necessary and available.

"Helping to Restore Natures Balance"
Phone  (989) 345-7574
Fax  (989) 345-7573
Toll Free  (866) 993-7574
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Aquatic Nuisance Plant Control/Northern Division, 3930 Perry Holt Road, West Branch, MI  48661