As many are aware, it was recently determined that Starry Stonewort, a potentially dangerous new invasive species, was present in Higgins Lake. In our fall newsletter we provided an explanation of what this invasive plant is, where it was found and what we were asking the DNR / DEQ to do to help control its spread. Many of our members took an active part in contacting various people to advise them of our situation and ask them to assist our lake. On November 20th a very important meeting was held with the DNR in which they unveiled their plan to deal with this threat. The HLPOA was encouraged that, to their credit, the DNR is intending to take steps to eliminate the Starry Stonewort cultures in their park launch areas and monitor and assess their success in doing so. The locations of concern that the DNR will be addressing are the navigational channels at the South Park, the North Park, the West Launch and the South Park Lagoon.
The following is the DNR Parks and Recreation Div (PRD) work plan for 2019:
The proposed dredging will be done in order to remove the plant and sediment from the locations where the dredging will take place. In addition, the DNR intends to continue sharing information with the HLPOA about efforts being made by the DNR at the boating access sites.
This is an important first step. The elimination of Starry Stonewort at the introduction sites still leaves us with other areas of the lake to control. We are working with the Higgins Lake Foundation to determine how best to harvest the plant, potentially with the DASH boat that they operate on Higgins Lake for just this purpose. Other systems available to control this plant are also being considered.