Public invited to Sept. 11 meeting on aquatic plant control in Lake Ballinger

Aquatic plants in Lake Ballinger. (Photo courtesy City of Edmonds)

A draft strategy for controlling aquatic plant beds in Lake Balllinger, which borders both Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, will be discussed at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center, 23000 Lakeview Drive, Mountlake Terrace.

According to the meeting announcement, in recent years, Lake Ballinger residents and users have reported that they can no longer enjoy activities such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing due to the thick aquatic plant beds that cover most of the nearshore area of the lake. The overly dense aquatic plant growth also greatly impairs habitat and water quality for fish and other aquatic species.

An aquatic plant survey completed in June 2018 found that the non-native invasive species Eurasian watermilfoil (Class B Noxious Weed in Snohomish County) and Fragrant Water Lily (Class C Noxious Weed in Washington State) dominate the aquatic vegetation community in Lake Ballinger. Native aquatic plants species are being shaded out by the dense stands of non-native invasive plants.

To address the problem, a citizen steering committee has established management goals and recommended a control strategy involving cutting/raking, burlap bottom barriers, and small amounts of aquatic herbicide applied to 25 percent of the lake from May through July 2019.

The public is invited to attend and share comments and concerns, which will be integrated into the final plan, meeting organizers said.

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