Steve went fishing earlier this week with a buddy who has a boat. They went out on South Center Lake. Last time they were there the fishing was excellent, lots of small sunnies, great sport for guys who love catch-and-release. This time, though they were out for hours, trying a variety of spots, not a single fish could be seen. Not a nibble. Not a jump.
Now I know as well as the next how possible it is to get skunked. Been there, done that, didn't need the filleting knife. But this time there was something else going on that may have had more to do with the bad fishing.
A sign was posted by the boat ramp, informing the users that a chemical had been applied to the lake for weed control. It worked.
It really really really worked.
Every plant in sight in the water was dead. Every plant they hooked and pulled up from the deepest bottom was dead. Every plant in any part of the lake where they traveled that day was dead. It's a really good sized lake. They traveled all but one bay. No plants.
And in case you forgot I mentioned it, no fish.
Now lake weeds provide oxygen to the water. Fish use that to breathe. Not enough, and they surface hang where air reaches the top layer. Still not enough, and they die. And stink. Rotting weeds also stink, though not as bad as fish. Makes the lake such a pleasant place.
Consider also that the rotting releases nutrients back into the water to be used again. First, by algae and other micro organisms. Then by whatever may still be alive after the poisoning. So for the plants, it's a temporary treatment. And in no way does it do anything to stop property owners around the lake from dumping tons of new chemicals on their lawns intended for growing grass but which primarily end up in the lake feeding new plants and algae.
I get that dumping chemicals is cheaper than going around the lake with something to pull out weeds. also faster. However, if you physically removed weeds, they could become fertilizer, or mulch, for gardens or fields. Useful, in a word. But now what have you got? Besides a lot of dead crap, that is?
All in all, it just seems like a bad idea.