(Spirit Lake)– Curly leaf pondweed will be the topic of a public informational meeting tomorrow (Thurs.) evening at the Sami Bedell Center for the Performing Arts in Spirit Lake.

Terry Wilts of the East Okoboji Lakes Improvement Corporation says a team made up of leaders from the county, cities, lake associations, drinking water utilities, Lakeside Lab and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will have representatives at the meeting, along with local elected officials.

“It’s finally to the point now where we’ve got a DNR plan and a recommendation made by the stakeholder group that I’ve been a part of now for the last couple of months and it has come to a recommendation time and we’re going to properly vet that in front of the public at this meeting.”
Wilts says that plan includes a proposal to atleast double the number of acres harvested mechanically this year by bringing in a larger commercial harvesting system which would be used in addition to the one used this year. Another component of the plan includes treating two 10 acre test areas with an approved aquatic herbicide, something that’s drawing some controversy.”

“The paths that are cut by mechanical harvesting and the recommendation that this group has been ready to put forward including an herbicide treatment will be discussed at length at this. Mike Hawkins will give his presentation at the start of this. Mike Hawkins is our local Fisheries Biologist from the DNR. He will start out this public meeting and we will have time for questions and answers and also for public comment.”

Wilts says the work would be funded by local contributions to the East Okoboji Lakes Improvement Corporation and the DNR’s Marine Fuel Tax Fund.

The meeting Thursday, September 28 begins at 6:30 pm at the Sami Bedell Center for the Performing Arts at Spirit Lake High School.