Through the combined efforts of East Okoboji Lakes Improvement Corporation, the city of Orleans, and Mike Hawkins of the DNR, a strategy for addressing curlyleaf pondweed will be implemented in two areas of East Lake in May of 2017.
At their March board meeting, EOLIC finalized details for a contract with Mark Petersen of Underwater Solutions to remove curlyleaf pondweed from north of the Narrows to the State Fish Hatchery. Fifteen-foot navigation lanes will be removed with Petersenís recently acquired harvester. The harvester can reach a depth of five feet.
If this experiment proves effective, the EOLIC board hopes to secure funding to expand the extraction to other areas of East Lake plagued by curlyleaf pondweed. DNR biologist Mike Hawkins has been instrumental in arranging a Water Recreation Access Cost-share (WRAC) grant enabling the City of Orleans and EOLIC to pursue this venture.
Additional board action taken by the EOLIC board was to pledge $1,000 to Dickinson County Emergency Management to assist in the purchase of a thermal camera. The camera would be used with a newly acquired drone used for search and rescue. The camera would enable the drone to be used in darkness. The Emergency Management committee is seeking additional pledges to make the camera purchase.
East Okoboji Lakes Improvement Corporation meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month from March through November at the Orleans City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.
EOLIC Board Member