Van Vliet Lake has long been known for its fine fishery as well as its abundance of aquatic plants. Aquatic plants can enhance the fishery and consequently many of the lake’s recreational attributes, but can also create a navigation hindrance in parts of the lake given certain environmental factors such as low water levels and drought conditions. Effective aquatic plant management aligns with the Van Vliet Lake Association purpose of protecting and enhancing the lake as a public recreation facility.
Concern about navigation impairment in the lake is nothing new. In the mid 1960's, a prior lake association utilized some limited herbicide application, and in the early 1970's purchased a small aquatic plant harvester which it used for over twenty years.
When the current lake association was initiated in the early 1990's, and founded in 1995, it was partially done so to address what some considered to be increasing navigational issues in parts of the lake. A comprehensive aquatic plant survey and lake health study was done in 2004 by a lake consultant resulting in a lake management plan approved in 2005. The association also joined with the Presque Isle Town Lakes Committee to do a subsequent survey and analysis in 2008 which resulted in an approved aquatic plant management plan in 2012. However, WDNR requirements changed and the 2012 plan was deemed not specific enough to allow harvesting. In 2013, with cooperation of the WDNR and available state grants, another in depth lake survey was completed to arrive at a management plan acceptable to the WDNR. The 2015 Onterra plan is valid through 2020 and does allow for application of a harvesting permit in certain limited navigation lanes within portions of the lake in a year when conditions merit cutting. The 2016 White Water report used the 2013 data to create a plan to address invasive species in the lake should they ever be found.
In very general terms, all of the surveys report that the lake has a very sound ecosystem and no invasive aquatic plant species, albeit with a plant abundance within the upper quartile of the eco-region. The shoreline assessment is very good, with only 0.3 of a mile of the 5.3 mile shoreline considered developed/unnatural. In addition to the reports, background information is available in the archive section of the website.
2012 Aquatic Plants Committee
The Aquatic Plants and Algae Control Committee is defined in the bylaws. The committee's purpose is to "offer proposals to the Board for a vegetation management plan and may be delegated responsibility to implement such a plan."
At the July, 2012 annual meeting a subgroup was designated to look into nuisance plant issues on the lake. It was clarified at the August 21, 2012 board meeting that this group is that committee. Members are Ed Brodsky, Jeff Burke, Mike Czarny, and Jim Sprester.
The following links access the reports of the committee.