MINERVA - Minerva Town officials were pleased this week, as efforts to combat Eurasian milfoil in Minerva Lake appear to be working.
Over the last three years, the town has contracted with Aquatic Invasive Management LLC to remove as much milfoil as possible. For two weeks in June, AIM sent divers to remove the harmful plant, and compared to past years the amount present has greatly decreased.
"This year, the same amount was removed in two weeks as was removed in four hours two years ago," Minerva Town Board member Dave LaBar said this week. "It seems that most of what is left is in the shallows and will require snorkeling -- which is less expensive."
According to a report by AIM, 54 bags equaling about 1215 pounds of milfoil was removed between June 8 and June 19.
This is less than one-third of the totals from previous years.
"I think we are moving into maintenance mode," LaBar said.
During the first two years, the more expensive "search and destroy" tactic was the norm.
This year, the town has budgeted roughly $27,000 for milfoil mitigation -- down from $47,000 a year ago.
"One area of concern is a beaver dam, which lets the water sit and brew creating a nutrient rich environment," LaBar said. "Maybe we should consider removing the dam."
Once removed, the milfoil is used as fertilizer at the local community garden operated by local non-profit, Planet Minerva.
"The cost of the project could be reduced by as much as half yet again," he said. "Everything sounds very positive."