What is the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch?
The Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch Program (EAPW) is part of the MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP). Volunteers learn how to detect, monitor, and respond to invasive aquatic plants in lakes. Early detection and rapid response is critical to preventing damaging invasions.
Why should you monitor your lake?
The Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch (EAPW) provides lake communities with a strategy for monitoring troublesome exotic (also called invasive, non-native) aquatic plants. If detected early, management strategies reduce the probability that an exotic infestation will cause significant disruptions to the lake ecosystem and recreation. Monitoring is recommended even if a professional plant management company has been hired. Independent monitoring will help the community verify the success of plant management efforts and identify future needs.
Aren’t plants good for a lake?
Rooted aquatic plants are a natural and essential part of the lake, just as grasses, shrubs and trees are a natural part of the land. However, sometimes a lake is invaded by an aquatic plant species that is not native to Michigan. Some of these exotic aquatic plants, like Eurasian milfoil, can be extremely disruptive to a lake’s ecosystem. These exotic plants can “take over” a lake by crowded out and competing with the beneficial native species. An overabundance of an exotic species can negatively affect fish populations and human recreation.