BuzzHudson19c

Week Killer in Lakes

16 posts in this topic

I routinely fish a lake that gets weed killer dumped into it a few times a summer. The lake is cut into three by two dykes. "Third lake" is the largest and deepest and only gets treated once a summer. The others "second and first lake" are much more shallow and get weeded out very fast. 10 to 15 feet at their deepest they basically turn into one big mat and I love it. The frog fishing is some of the best around and five pound bass are common. When the town dumps the weed killer in, the clear weeded out water turns into a murky green stained mess. Now the town says it has no effect on the fish, but after they "treat" the water blue gill and pickerel belly up are a pretty common site. Many times they are dumping this stuff in during the spawn.

 

Does anyone have any experience with lakes where this is a common practice? Does it effect the bass, either their feeding habits or overall health?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They do the same thing to my home lake, except on an every other week basis.  Can't speak for whether it affects the over all health of the bass, but it does sometimes start a fish kill (mostly bluegill and cats) but not always.  It also sometimes messes the bass fishing up for 4-5 days, but not usually.  The biggest negative in my experience is that it destroys the deep weed edges of that would normally hold bass, and because of the ever dying back and then regrowing weeds it makes fishing a grass pattern unstable and unpredictable.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly, the more weeds, the better it is for the bass. Even though it can make the fishing tougher, you will end up with bigger, healthier bass most of the time. They have done this to some lakes around me in order to cut down on the hydrilla. It generally leaves a nasty green slime on the surface and makes the fishing bad for a while afterwards. 

 

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it since they are the one's that maintain the lake (whether good or bad in terms of fishing). Most public waters like they are maintained by people who care more about the aesthetics of the pond/lake, rather than the fishing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, fishballer06 said:

Even though it can make the fishing tougher, you will end up with bigger, healthier bass most of the time

 

It's funny you said that. It seems like the two sections of lake that get treated the most have the larger bass. I rarely catch anything less than 2lbs there. Survival of the fittest I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a few lakes around me that they've gone crazy killing as many weeds as possible. The affects on bass are mostly indirect I suspect but still very prominent. One shore spot I used to fish at night had a great weed edge that you could almost guarantee would produce fish....that weed edge is gone and it's a sandy flat now because of the weed killer....I haven't caught a bass there in a year and at this point I'll stop trying unless it's the spawn. 

 

The way I see it the less weeds the less cover, and the less cover could be a good thing in the short term because they fish may be more predictable. But long term bait fish have less places to hide, and can get eaten up. Short supply of food is obviously bad for the bass and I believe the population can hurt because of it. But like others say it becomes more of a competition for food and smaller bass won't be able to compete, so you may end up with larger fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think the NY DNR wouldn't allow any weed killer that would harm the fish, chemicals are closely regulated nation wide. In California we can't use any chemical weed killers in public waterways, must use mechanical harvesters to cut the weeds.

Copper sulfide, blue stone, is a algae controlling chemical used nearly everywhere.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I manage my lake for weeds, so I work closely with our hired aquatics co.

A man that lived on the lake did it for over 25 years until he caused a fish kill in 2011. Since then,we are now into our 3rd company.Knowing what I know now,there is no way our local man did it legally.When he treated,nearly every weed in the lake would die,which actually pleased some of the uppity lake owners.Then the water would get murky and stink.He would tell us not to fish or even take a boat out,then ended up killing all the big bass and bream.I wanted to wring his neck.

The point is,if it's being done right,no fish should die.I would also hesitate though before getting the gov.involved,which nearly always creates more problems than its worth.If you live on the lake and can get on the board or at least attend meetings and state your case, start there.Thats what I did at my lake .The fishermen need to be heard!.

As far as the health of the fish, the more weeds the better for them. And as long as spraying doesn't kill the fish, it's a necessary evil.

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, N Florida Mike said:

I manage my lake for weeds, so I work closely with our hired aquatics co.

A man that lived on the lake did it for over 25 years until he caused a fish kill in 2011. Since then,we are now into our 3rd company.Knowing what I know now,there is no way our local man did it legally.When he treated,nearly every weed in the lake would die,which actually pleased some of the uppity lake owners.Then the water would get murky and stink.He would tell us not to fish or even take a boat out,then ended up killing all the big bass and bream.I wanted to wring his neck.

The point is,if it's being done right,no fish should die.I would also hesitate though before getting the gov.involved,which nearly always creates more problems than its worth.If you live on the lake and can get on the board or at least attend meetings and state your case, start there.Thats what I did at my lake .The fishermen need to be heard!.

As far as the health of the fish, the more weeds the better for them. And as long as spraying doesn't kill the fish, it's a necessary evil.

 

 I managed a golf course for about 20 years, I also kept the weed growth down in the water hazards, There are chemicals that can do a good job and kill no fish. The biggest thing is follow the directions to the letter. You may need a pesticide license depending on the state you are in and the chemicals you use. I let mine expire in June of 2012.  If you don't know what you are doing get a professional, you will not regret it.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They do that in some of the lakes here a couple times a year. It messes the fishing up for a week or so and the water quality gets really bad for a while too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been going to a chain of lakes in Wisconsin annually for over 20 years.  28 lakes joined by canals and streams, some no wake, some set up for water sports, some inaccessible (with my boat).  I have pulled a boat up there from Virginia and fished all of them every year.  Fishing was GREAT because it was a chain of lakes lightly pressured with pontoon boats outnumbering fishing boats 10 to 1.  Then the powers that be decided to start managing the grass in the lakes.  Fishing tanked.  In order for me to get back on some quality fish, I had to go deep and change tactics.  Were they still there?  Yes.  Now going forward, I see a rebound in the fishing somewhat because it's too expensive for them to keep treating and the grass has re-established itself.  It's also been about 4 years so the biggest problem with killing off the grass (fry predation and low survival rates) is showing signs of improvement.  I'll be back up there in August and will report back! ;)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read both good and bad things about copper sulfide.  Depending on the body of water I've seen the bite negatively affected for days to weeks.  But the most consistent observation: as soon as they treat the water the super easy/fun fishing days are over for awhile.   Yes they are still there but you have to work harder for them.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am the outdoor reporter for our local newspaper(s), and I have talked with our Department of Natural Resources people at great length about chemically treating invasive weeds in lakes.  They are actually backing off on issuing permits for chemical treatments.  There is a great deal of research going on in the state now to see what the actual affects are on the lowest parts of the food chain.  It is already understood that native plants are affected, and more research is being done on the effects on both plants and zooplankton, small fish, etc. It is an interesting debate to be sure.  Invasive species are causing a good deal of problems in quite a few lakes.  But how to treat them is being scrutinized now by the DNR - they are recommending monitoring over treating chemically.  If certain invasives such as Eurasian watermilfoil are not causing a big problem in the lake, the recommendation is to leave them alone.

11 hours ago, TOXIC said:

I have been going to a chain of lakes in Wisconsin annually for over 20 years.  28 lakes joined by canals and streams, some no wake, some set up for water sports, some inaccessible (with my boat).  I have pulled a boat up there from Virginia and fished all of them every year.  Fishing was GREAT because it was a chain of lakes lightly pressured with pontoon boats outnumbering fishing boats 10 to 1.  Then the powers that be decided to start managing the grass in the lakes.  Fishing tanked.  In order for me to get back on some quality fish, I had to go deep and change tactics.  Were they still there?  Yes.  Now going forward, I see a rebound in the fishing somewhat because it's too expensive for them to keep treating and the grass has re-established itself.  It's also been about 4 years so the biggest problem with killing off the grass (fry predation and low survival rates) is showing signs of improvement.  I'll be back up there in August and will report back! ;)

I know the chain you are talking about. It's part of my coverage area for the newspaper.  Their waterfront association is looking at a few different things to deal with the problem patches of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) over chemically treating.  Not only is it expensive to treat, but DNR funding is dwindling and more and more lake associations, districts, and town lakes committees are looking for their piece of the pie.  In addition to that, the DNR is recommending a "wait and see" approach to invasive management, which may again change the aquatic plant management in lakes in the Northwoods. Some research is being done on 2-4D, which is the most common chemical used here to treat EWM.  It seems to have some negative effects that, until now, have been largely ignored.  But the research is still ongoing.  It will be interesting to see their final report.  I will be following it for the newspaper, to be sure.  

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I replied to your IM.  Many times, eradicating an "invasive" like EWM also hurts the fishing because although it is a an invasive, it gives shelter to fry and improves water clarity.  I'm sorry but the DNR has a pretty sad record of controlling any of the invasives like Zebra Mussels but it is a daunting task at best.  Look forward to talking to you when I get up to Waupaca.  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live and fish on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.  At one time our lakes were the epicenter for this issue. In the eighties the Harris Chain started to have a problem with hydrilla.  Lake owners were complaining, navigation started to be affected and water managers worried that the hydrilla would top out the lakes.  This had occurred in other Florida lakes requiring expensive treatment or draw downs.  Hydrilla is a serious problem in Florida as it never gets cold enough in the winter to keep it under control.

 

In addition, hydrilla was declared invasive species enemy #1 by the State and all means was authorized to eradicate it.   In the late eighties and nineties our lakes were assaulted with huge over treatments of Sonar.   This chemical is very effective.   Unfortunately, at the time treatment levels had yet to be worked out and the long term effects of this chemical  was not known.   The affect of these treatments was devastating.  Most of the plants in the lake died along with the hydrilla. Acres of pads and reeds disappeared and the water turned green.  Our great fishing lakes turned into a killing field.  After a disastrous national tournament on the Harris Chain, B.A.S.S. devoted an entire issue to Florida and it's water problems.  They even went so far as to eliminate Florida from their tournament schedule.  Throughout the nineties you could not spend a day fishing the Harris Chain without seeing dead fish.   Even the alligators who ate the dead fish started to die.

 

Nearly 20 years after the onslaught, the Harris Chain and our fishing have recovered nicely.  Lake managers are learning to manage the hydrilla in our lakes without creating devastating consequences.  Natural water fluctuations were allowed to occur and locals helped replant native grasses.  Chemical weed control is still used, but proper application and long term effects are better known.  I have been fishing the Harris Chain for over 40 years and have never seen the fishing better than it is right now.

 

Fish kills should not be a consequence of treating aquatic weeds.   If this happens, the treatment was not done correctly.  State officials need to make sure treatment personal are properly trained, treatments are managed and offenders are policed if necessary.   Fish kills sometimes occur naturally, but they should never occur because someone wants weed free water.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fed kills the weeds on the Tennessee river and it doesn't directly kill fish but it ruins the habitat for sure. When they leave the grass alone people weigh in 5 fish limits over 40 lbs. when they kill it, that weight drops by more than half 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dosing with Weed Killer covers up something in the ecosystem that is supposed to happen.  Now you have less cover, lower forage base, and nutrients still there not getting used.  That will usually manifest itself other ways like in algae blooms.  Weed killer is a suppression technique, not a fix for anything.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    bass fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing reels

    fishing reels



    fishing reels

    Fishing Tips

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fishing
    fish for bass
    fish