WLOA  End of Season Harvesting Report 2018

Weed growth on the lake was down this summer. There were 105 loads of weeds removed from the lake this summer.  There were 62 loads harvested from Watkin Lake East and 43 loads taken from the West side. There were weeds growing in August that we did not cut due to Harvester breakdowns. Ten to twenty more loads could have been removed had the boat been in good repair. Lake clarity was poor for most of summer making cutting difficult.  Water clarity improved in September but we had repair issues which slowed down harvesting operations. The floater problem due to prop cuts was way down all summer even into September after some busy weekends. 

I have been researching the best way to refurbish our machine and have been In contact with Aquarius Systems. I have included a quote from them to do a major refit on our harvester. I have also talked with Oakland Harvester Co. who have six harvesters cutting in the area. They were able to give me some insight on how our boat looked. Their boats are on the water eight hours a day all summer and are taking a beating.  They have a full time mechanic on duty who stays busy. They recommended a rebuild on our boat.

Our Harvester was purchased from Aquarius Systems in 2003. Aquarius says that the useful life of a harvester is ten to fifteen years. Our harvester has a stainless-steel hull which is in very good shape and our machine is lightly used relative to boats that are in fleets and are moved lake to lake.  The problems that we are having is due to wear and tear on most of the major systems that are in heavy use day to day.

They include:

Hydraulics – Old motors and pumps need rebuilds and we never know where the next hose will leak.

Electrical system- Wires are worn and brittle. We have a short somewhere that is drawing down the battery.

The entire front conveyer frame and cutter bar unit needs repair. 

Hatz diesel engine is obsolete and is difficult to repair. 

Claudia By Storm Drain Project:

John Tucci called in early September and told me that he thinks that we should talk to the DEQ or Water Resources Commission to inquire about a permit for the storm drain project.  Originally, John did not think the DEQ needed to be involved.  But recently, he ran into an issue on another job and thinks we should see if we need a DEQ permit.  I am in contact with the DEQ and have sent them pictures and told them what we like to do. They have not gotten back to me yet.  If we get a permit he may not be able to start until late November or December. I’ve also made preliminary contact with the Oakland County WRC.   


Pat Deibel 

Harvesting Manager