Milfoil in Lake Ballinger reduced dramatically after weed control, City of MLT says

Testing on Lake Ballinger. (Photo courtesy City of. Mountlake Terrace)

Results of this summer’s invasive weed control in Lake Ballinger indicate the amount of Eurasian watermilfoil in the lake has been reduced dramatically, according to the City of Mountlake Terrace.

Lake Ballinger was treated twice this summer, July 24 and Sept. 10, as part of a citizen-led effort to reduce the amount of invasive weeds, including Eurasian watermilfoil, fragrant water lily, and curly leaf pondweed.

Located between Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, Lake Ballinger is bordered by private homes, a City of Mountlake Terrace-owned park and the Nile Golf and Country Club. The majority of the lake is in located in Mountlake Terrace, so the City of Mountlake Terrace is taking the lead on the project, in partnership with the City of Edmonds.

The lake has in recent years become infested with invasive aquatic weeds, including Eurasian watermilfoil, fragrant water lilies, and curly leaf pondweed. The thick aquatic plant beds that cover most of the nearshore area have negatively impacted boating, swimming, and fishing in the lake, officials say. Invasive weeds have also reduced water quality.

Treatment was designed to improve water quality in the lake and reduce the risk of swimmers becoming entangled. In 2018, an invasive plant survey of the lake found 16.8 acres of the lake had Eurasian milfoil, while Fragrant water lily covered 13.3 acres, and Curly leaf pondweed was observed intermittently. After treatment, the fall 2019 invasive plant survey found no Eurasian milfoil or Curly leaf pondweed (even in areas that were densely infested in 2018), as well as a significant reduction in the acreage of Fragrant water lilies.

In addition, native aquatic plants were found in much greater numbers than in 2018.

City of Edmonds technical staff have contributed drone footage and computer mapping of the invasive plants before and after treatment. More Lake Ballinger invasive plant survey results will be presented by Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds staff on Oct. 15 at the Lake Ballinger Forum meeting, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Brackett Room, third floor of Edmonds City Hall, 121 5th Ave. N., Edmonds.

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