Thursday, July 28, 2011

On Restoring the Health of a Wisconsin Lake

Rice Lake Chronotype
Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Dear Editor

I read with great interest your recent story on attempts to restore the health of Rice Lake; a most noble effort and long overdue.

The lake restoration plan seems to rely strongly on the removal of tons of aquatic vegetation without getting at the root cause of the profusion of aquatic vegetation - runoff from agricultural fields and residential lawns in the lake's watershed. This issue is not new. The lake was choked with aquatic vegetation in 1969 - the year I graduated from Rice Lake High School.

There is a simple but obvious reason all of those aquatic plants are growing in profusion. They are being fed by tremendous loads of fertilizers, from nitrogen sprayed on fields to cow manure spread on the fields to fertilizers applied to someone's rose garden on East Stout Street. Until nutrient enriched runoff is reduced or eliminated in the watershed, all the grants in the world and all the weed cutting machines in northern Wisconsin wont help make the lake "healthy."

Craig Faanes

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