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City of Cadillac News Flash

Posted on: June 7, 2018

Lake Cadillac Briefing

The overall condition of Lake Cadillac this spring is quite clear as noted by several observers; however, isolated locations in the southeast region are experiencing filamentous algae sightings which often appear as a dense floating mat. In addition to the algae, decomposed lake bottom materials brought to the surface during spring turnover is mixing in with these algae mats as they are blown around by prevailing winds.  Though unsightly, this algae strain is not regarded as toxic and unrelated to the algal blooms that are typically seen later in the summer.

Treatment of the algae is presently not permitted. Algaecides (copper compound treatments) are harsh on the environment and can negatively impact fish populations and the lake’s ecosystem. With Lake Cadillac serving as headwaters to the Clam River and a blue-ribbon trout fishery, every conceivable precaution must be taken to avoid degradation of either waterway, and any treatment program would require review and permit by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Restorative Lake Science (RLS), the City’s lake consultant, will be on-site this month to take water samples and conduct the annual aquatic invasive plant survey. RLS has been made aware of the filamentous algae and will look for any remnants while retrieving their samples. 

Several new activities, in addition to those that have taken place previously, will be occurring this season in an effort to continue keeping Lake Cadillac beautiful. In no specific order, the following list of activities includes:  

  • Goose Round Up & Relocation – populations have been on the rise over the past couple years, which equates to larger nutrient loads in the lake and unpleasant conditions in our parks and on our walkways. Removal efforts are scheduled for late-June or early-July.

  • Shoreline Vegetation Experiment – targeted City-owned shoreline properties around the Lake will be left to grow naturally in an effort to reduce surface runoff and deter geese from accessing parks and walkways. If you see sections of tall grass along the shore, this is a controlled sample area. The City will continually monitor for effectiveness and aesthetics.

  • Water Quality Sampling (City) – new this year, the City will be utilizing the services of its own water lab and staff expertise to conduct water sampling in key areas. By conducting our own sampling, we greatly increase the volume of samples and contain costs, both of which are vital to our continued research.

  • Water Quality Sampling (Consultant) – this has been completed bi-annually for many years, but commencing in 2017, a greater focus was placed on water quality as it relates to algal blooms.

  • HAB Study – City staff will be participating for the second consecutive year in the Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) study through Oakland University. This program targets lakes throughout Michigan that have experienced blooms that may be associated with blue-green algae. Lake Cadillac is certainly not alone in its struggles with these nuisance algal blooms.

  • Lake Expo – RLS will be putting on an educational-based program in late summer/early fall.

  • Aquatic Invasive Plant Species Control – as customary, exotic plants such as milfoil and curly leaf pondweed will be surveyed and treated accordingly.
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