Shawnee Co. Parks and Recreation considers approval of $130,000 herbicide treatment

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – An invasive species needs to be treated at Lake Shawnee, but the solution is causing controversy.

It might look normal on the surface of Lake Shawnee, but underneath there is Eurasian watermilfoil. Parks and Recreation estimate the cost of the treatment at $130,000.

They plan to use an herbicide to control the invasive species as they’ve done in 2012 and 2016.

While some people would like to see the weeds manually removed to avoid the use of chemicals, Parks and Recreation said it will cost much more money to do so.

On the opposite side, the plant creates the perfect habitat for creatures in the water. It, therefore, increases the number of bass, making it a good thing for fishing. While this might benefit for fisherman, it’s something the department says needs to be fixed to enhance every park-goers experience.

“We are a multi-use lake and we have to control this for swimming areas for boating for skiing and fishing,” said Jeremy Myers.

This type of vegetation does have another benefit. It improves overall water quality by utilizing nutrients but can be a problem for those swimming or boating through the area as it can create mats on the surface of the water.

The issue will be discussed at the county commission meeting on August 29. It was set to be discussed Monday but was deferred to allow the Parks and Recreation Advisory board to deliberate on the matter.

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