Invasive Milfoil Management

milfoil paddle

Silver Lake has been plagued for over a decade by an invasive plant species, Hybrid Water Milfoil (HWM).  First seen in the lake in the late 1990's, HWM became a real problem by 2012 when dense masses of HWM grew to the surface of most of the lake where the water depth was less than 10 feet.  Boaters literally had to go around the weed masses to reach deeper water.

The Silver Lake Protection Association (SLPA), a private association, organized an attack on the HWM by surveying the extent of HWM growth in the lake, and then by working with WDNR to treat the invasive species.  From 2012 to 2021, the SLPA raised  --and spent -- over $75,000 in private donations and almost $90,000 in WDNR grants to fund the HWM lake treatments.

Several types of lake treatments were tried until a full-lake treatment in 2015 kept the lake nearly HWM-free for several years.  Thereafter SLPA continued to monitor HWM growth with annual HWM surveys.  As warranted by the surveys, spot treatments in the lake attacked dense HWM areas in 2018, 2021, and 2022.

In 2020 SLPA concluded that it did not have the financial or institutional resources to continue to treat HWM in Silver Lake.  SLPA then sponsored the effort to create the Silver Lake Management District to take over HWM surveys and treatments.

The Silver Lake Management District was formed in fall 2021 by action of the Kenosha County Board pursuant to state statute.  But the District did not have the ability to levy taxes until year-end 2022.  As a result, the 2022 HWM lake treatment was co-sponsored by SLPA and the District, and was funded by the 2022 Silver Lake Fundraising Campaign which raised nearly $50,000 from lakefront property owners and other concerned individuals.

The Silver Lake Management District has since taken over responsibility for management of HWM in Silver Lake.  The 2023 lake treatment was the first to be undertaken solely by the District.