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Aquatic Vegetation Treatment at North Platte Interstate Lake

Just got this news release and I want to spread it around.  Again, I know this is not a huge fishery and this will not affect a lot of anglers.  On the other hand, if this is one of your fishing holes, you will want to know:

Invasive aquatic plants to be treated at Iron Horse Park Lake

In 2022, Nebraska Game and Parks confirmed the presence of a hybrid variety of the invasive aquatic plant Eurasian watermilfoil in Iron Horse Park Lake at North Platte. This aquatic plant grows dense mats and can overtake a waterbody quickly.

Game and Parks staff plan to use an aquatic herbicide called ProcellaCOR, which is a reduced risk herbicide, to treat the hybrid Eurasian watermilfoil. ProcellaCOR has no restrictions for water recreation, fishing, or fish consumption. Staff plan to treat the western half of the lake on July 11 and the eastern half on July 25, weather permitting.

“While Zebra mussels often are the species most folks think about, invasive aquatic weeds can also have a large impact on our Nebraska waters” said Kristopher Stahr, Game and Parks’ aquatic invasive species program manager. “This treatment is a good reminder to always Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft to prevent anything from moving from one waterbody to another.” Visit stopaquatichitchhikers.org for more details on the Clean, Drain, Dry Procedure and OutdoorNebraska.gov/aquaticinvasivespecies for information about invasive species in Nebraska.

The public is encouraged to report any suspected observation of aquatic invasive species to Game and Parks at 402-471-7602 or at ngpc.ais@nebraska.gov.

Let me ramble a bit about aquatic vegetation.  You likely have heard me say that aquatic vegetation is some of the best fish habitat.  I am for it!  In most cases, I would tell you it is NOT a nuisance and instead of complaining about it, learn to fish in and around it!  However, especially in the case of invasive species, it is a problem.

Ryan Hodnett, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

There are native species of watermilfoil that can be found in Nebraska waters.  Those native aquatic plants are desirable and provide excellent habitat.  However, non-native and especially a hybrid like the watermilfoil found in the Iron Horse Park Lake (the interstate lake at the main North Platte I-80 interchange) can crowd out native plant species and make fishing nearly impossible.  In some cases, chemical treatments may be appropriate.

Again, let me remind all recreational water users to Clean, Drain, and Dry!  Aquatic vegetation can be spread from one waterbody to another simply by fragments that may be attached to boat trailers and other equipment.


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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