East Grand Rapids begins herbicide treatment for new invasive species found in channel

This story was originally published on mlive.com

By Jan Holst

Originally Published on Septemer 30, 2016

The City of East Grand Rapids wasted little time beginning treatment for the newest invasive species — the European frog-bit — discovered in the channel between Reeds and Fisk lakes.

In late August, a routine inspection by the city’s water management team found the frog-bit, which resembles a water lily with a single white flower sprouting from the middle.

While city officials initially were told it was too late in the year to begin treatment, on Sept. 27, PLM Lake and Land Management, with whom the city contracts for water management, applied the first round of herbicide treatment in the channel.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality both approved the plan.

The city announced that the herbicide used is not harmful to humans or wildlife.

There was however a one-day swimming restriction and a three-day irrigation restriction within the treatment area — adjacent to the Reeds/Fisk channel only. In addition, postings were placed adjacent to treated areas.

European frog-bit was most likely unknowingly introduced into the lakes from someone dumping aquarium or water garden plants, according to Doug LaFave, assistant city manager.

“The city reminds citizens to not dispose of this type of vegetation and contents into our water systems because they are often non-native to our area,” he said. “The city also requests that concerned citizens do not try and harvest or manually remove any of the frog bit as this may further spread the species.”

East Grand Rapids officials will continue to work with public and private partners to monitor and treat the impacted area, according to LaFave.

Residents who have questions about the invasive species or the city’s control program can contact LaFave at 616-940-4817.

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