Aquatic plants play a vital role in maintaining water quality, providing nutritious food for wildlife, and serving as habitat important to interactions between fish and their prey. Lakes without macrophytes (large plants with visible leaves, stems, and root systems) would either be unproductive (very clear with low fish biomass) or over-productive (opaquely green with microscopic algae). Beds of native aquatic plants help to maintain the balanced ecosystem on which our fish species and other aquatic wildlife have come to depend.

Teal, Lost Land, and Ghost lakes harbor some of healthiest, most diverse aquatic plant communities in northern Wisconsin. But the 2013 appearance of an invasive species — Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil (HEWM) — in Lost Land Lake has placed aquatic plant management high on the agenda of the QLIA. A 2016 aquatic plant survey and concerted effort by our Aquatic Invasive Species Committee have resulted in an updated Aquatic Plant Management Plan which all QLIA members are encouraged to read.

Readers unfamiliar with the characteristics of HEWM who are concerned with its potential impacts on property values can view our Milfoil ID and Impacts page in order to become informed.

Initial response to the invasion of HEWM has included spot-treatment with Reward herbicide, which was viewed as a short-term chemical control strategy needed to prevent the rapid spread of HEWM until funds could be raised to initiate a long-term mechanical control strategy. Our fall 2018 fund-raiser was successful, raising $82,505 to purchase an Eco-Harvester aquatic plant puller, custom trailer, and other accessories in spring of 2019 — just in time to initiate early summer HEWM harvest operations.