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Rogers Lake Could Benefit From The Cold Weather

The Rogers Lake Authority voted Tuesday to lower the lake's water level by 18 inches to expose the bottom of the lake and freeze off some of the problematic invasive weeds, authority member Brian Kyle said on Thursday.

Kyle, who conducted the meeting on Tuesday in the absence of authority chairman Fredrik Holth, said the drawdown began immediately and at no cost with the opening of a dam and that the authority will let the lake fill back up naturally.

He said the drawdown will help expose the weeds, called variable watermilfoil, to winter temperatures in order to freeze them. Authority secretary Liz Sunshine said that the authority has projected that come spring, the ice covering the weeds will shift and in the process pull the milfoil by its roots.

Four authority members voted to do the drawdown: Kyle, Robert Roach, Richard Smith and Holth. Holth was not present at the meeting for health reasons, but telephoned in to discuss and vote on the proposal.

Sunshine said the drawdown will also allow lakeside residents to individually pull or rake weeds in low-lying areas and maintain the edge of the lake abutting their properties. Sunshine said the authority discussed concerns about whether the drawdown would dry up shallow wells near the lake, but decided that 18 inches is a safe amount that will not affect the neighboring wells.

In the past, the lake was drawn down every four years, Sunshine said, but it has now been a decade since the action was taken, she said.

“Which could be a reason for the tremendous growth of the weeds,” said Sunshine.

The authority decided last month to expose and harvest the weeds rather than apply herbicides to an otherwise healthy lake. Sunshine said Thursday that the authority is awaiting bids from five companies to harvest the lake and that the authority is looking to harvest a 10-acre area of the lake twice next year, in July and August.

“I think we're really starting to make progress,” said Kyle.
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