Recently, the Board of Directors learned of another invasive plant species that has begun to develop in our Watkins Lake.  It is an aggressive, non-native variety of phragmites (phragmites australis) also known as common reed.  This plant takes up valuable shoreline and wetlands and affects the eco-system.

Phragmites reproduce through wind dispersal of its seeds or rerooting of its rhizomes (stem base).  Plants can reach 15 feet in height yet more than 80% of the yearly biomass is contained below ground in a dense mass of roots and rhizomes.

Effective control of phragmites hinges upon attacking the portion of the plant at the proper times within its life cycle.  In early fall, use of herbicide treatment is recommended as the primary control method.  Plants can be cut but all plant material needs to be bagged and removed to control re-establishment.

Three areas of our Lake were identified and chemically treated in hopes of controlling/eliminating its growth. (Affected homeowners were contacted and gave approval.)

Our appreciation and thanks goes to Dave Hansz for both bringing this problem to our attention and also handling the initial treatment process.

Detailed information about phragmites can be found on the following websites:

www.nohlc.org [Learning Opportunities, then Invasives] and www.michigan.gov/deq [at Search, type phragmites].