ODNR and Indian Lake Watershed Project discuss spring plans for Indian Lake

By April King

The Indian Lake Watershed Project (ILWP) hosted a public meeting in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Wednesday evening at Indian Lake High School.

Over 200 attendees heard presentations from Dr. Jennifer Jones, a Certified Professional Watershed Manager from Restorative Lake Sciences, and ODNR’s contracted consultant, Edward Kwietniewski, an Aquatic Biologist from AQUA Doc Lake and Pond Management, Inc. Both presenters provided information to address the aquatic weeds on Indian Lake and took questions from the audience.

In July, the ILWP hired Dr. Jones of Restoration Lake Sciences to produce a lake management plan for Indian Lake. Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D. in Water Resource Management from Michigan State University and is a Certified Professional Watershed Manager. Her expertise includes Inland Lake and Water Resources Management and Restoration, Lake Improvement Feasibility Studies, and Aquatic Plant Management and Identification. In addition to addressing aquatic weeds, Dr. Jones’ lake management plan will address sediment removal, public education, recommendations to remove nuisance geese, and other factors. Dr. Jones has these comments about what is happening at Indian Lake and how residents can help.

Edward Kwietniewski was hired by ODNR in 2021 to perform an aquatic weed study for 2022.

Mr. Kwietniewski holds a B.S. in Aquatics and Fisheries Science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and an M.S. in Lake Management from the State University of New York College of Oneonta.

In addition to hiring Dr. Jones, the ILWP Board worked this past season with ODNR to use commercial harvesters to get the lake navigable for boats. While this plan took a lot of coordination, expense, and labor, it was always a temporary solution until a long-term direction could be determined.

To date, over 70,000 cubic yards of aquatic material have been removed from the lake. Removal of this material helped to keep our lake open for business. In addition to harvesting, ODNR has also sprayed 500 acres with a herbicide called ProcellaCOR. This product is specially designed to target Eurasian watermilfoil. Early results appear to be promising and evaluation is ongoing by ODNR.

The recommended short-term strategies include herbicide application and mechanical harvesting beginning in the early spring of 2023, assessing the conditions of 2022 treated areas, and adaptive management based on overall conditions. Long-term management strategies include bot washing stations, lake dredging, and shoreline erosion surveys.

The Watershed continues to work with ODNR and others to find solutions to address the aquatic weeds and other water quality issues facing Indian Lake.

If you would like more information or would like to get involved, the Watershed Project hosts monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at the Indian Lake State Park multipurpose room. For more information please go to indianlakewatershedproject.com.