Several agencies are teaming up to offer a public information meeting on controlling Eurasian watermilfoil in Fort Peck Lake. The meeting is Friday, May 24, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Fort Peck Interpretive Center.
Eurasian watermilfoil is an aquatic invasive plant that has recently been discovered growing in parts of the lake. Its delicate ferny strands grow in thick mats that choke out other aquatic vegetation and interfere with boating and swimming. It is usually introduced to a new lake by accident when tiny bits are brought from infested bodies of water on boats or trailers.
The Corps of Engineers will review results from treatment in 2012 and their plans for 2013. Speakers from the Valley County Weed District and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation will have information on grants.
A demonstration will be given on how to construct a benthic barrier using various types of designs and materials. “Benthic” describes something that happens at the bottom of a body of water. Benthic barriers are mats placed in fairly shallow water on the bottom of a lake to block sunlight and kill aquatic weeds.
The Friends of Fort Peck Lake are forming a volunteer program that focuses on aquatic invasive species education and control. They will talk about surveying, educating, providing assistance with turbidity barriers when used for herbicide applications, and building and installing benthic barriers.
For more information, contact Patricia Gilbert, Corps of Engineers, 526-3411, ext 4278, or Rick Stellflug, Valley County Weed Control, 263-9333.