The 2018 AIS pre-treatment survey shows that COLA's aggressive AIS strategy has worked well. The fight to eliminate invasive plants will never be completed, but thanks to Steve Umland, COLA’s AIS coordinator, what was once an annual pitched battle is now a mere skirmish. Curly leaf pondweed (CLP) fouled much of Musky Bay and many other parts of LCO 10 years ago. Steve, his many volunteers and AIS “spotters,” supported by several WDNR AIS grants have helped reduce CLP infestations from a high of 90+ acres to less than 10 acres this year. Many of the remaining CLP patches can now be pulled by hand.
Unfortunately, small patches of Eurasian watermilfoil have recently been spotted in big and little LCO. Eurasian watermilfoil has been termed “CLP on steroids,” so Steve’s job will not become any easier. At this point, these patches are being pulled by hand, but COLA needs more property owners to watch for new infestations.