Posted by John Ester
Jim Hamp is Crystal Lake's resident expert on aquatic invasive species, having conducted an aquatic plant survey there over the last several years.
Finding it difficult to find everything through the traditional manual method of rake tossing and retrieving, Jim hired Dennis Wiand of Zero Gravity Aerial Surveys to take a plant inventory from a  drone 310' above the lake. With this method Jim and his Crystal Lake colleagues have been able to pinpoint the location of both invasive and native aquatic species.
Heading the list of undesirable invasive species is Eurasian milfoil, which has gained a foothold along the east end of the lake. As a general proposition the best approach is to keep new plant and mussel varieties out of Crystal Lake entirely through boat washes and riparian education. With regard to the milfoil already on hand Jim reviewed the available alternatives and said that Crystal Lake will use the most popular method--the application of a herbicide--with Dennis assisting.
Jim noted that it is necessary for all of us living on inland lakes to be looking for new undesirable invasives, the most recent being starry stonewort, said to be the most aggressive aquatic invasive in North America.