Mechanical Harvesting & Herbicidal Treatment

The LLMA has set up a two fold system of Mechanical Harvesting and Herbicidal Treatment to manage the weeds of both Loon Lakes.

Mechanical Harvesting or Manual Cutting

Are we adding to the problem? Harvesting is our main method of controlling weeds. But is it enough?

This method is temporary at best. One might equate it to a haircut. Cut weeds once and they will soon be needing another snipping. Plus, if the fragments from harvesting are not thoroughly collected, harvesting and cutting may actually aid the invading plant in reproducing itself. Harvesting and cutting are labor intensive and equipment is expensive and difficult to maintain because parts are not available. Dumping areas are becoming difficult to find.

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Herbicide Treatment

Our board members have done their research and discovered a safe and effective Herbicide alternative to the options above. Herbicide 2,4-D is a selective, root-killing systemic herbicide that controls submersed, immersed, and rooted floating aquatic plants. Using the granular form of the treatment early in the Spring is effective and when timed correctly it will only target Watermilfoil. The granules sink directly into the plant bed, visibly expand over a period of several hours, and suspend a layer of herbicide where the plants are. The herbicide is slowly released in controlled amounts. As the plants begin to grow the herbicide is absorbed through the leaves stems and roots. Growth is halted and the plant dies. Many lakes treated with 2,4-D have had great success in eradicating milfoil with this herbicide.

Treatment is done by specialists approved by the IDNR. Treating the entirety of each lake is not recommended. A mapping of the location of Watermilfoil in both lakes must first be done before deciding where treatment areas will be. Then a representative of the Lake County Health Department must review the maps and decide what is safe for our lakes how many areas in each lake can be treated. It is anticipated that East Loon Lake will receive more treatment than West Loon Lake due to the heavy infestation there. It has always been LLMA’s goal to protect and preserve the pristine quality of our lakes.

Restrictions after applying 2,4-D: Animals and humans should not drink water from the lake for 21 days from time of application. There is no restriction on swimming or fish consumption. Do not water vegetables or ornamental plants from the lake for 21 days from time of application.

While no safe method of completely eradicating Eurasian Milfoil has been found, there are ways to arrive at the point where it is no longer intrusive.

For more information on Herbicide 2,4-D go to: