In an effort to acknowledge citizens’ concerns regarding the condition of Lake Iola, the City of Scottsburg would like to take this opportunity to discuss our current mitigation plan as well as properly identify the invasive plant life that has taken over a portion of the lake.
Duckweed is an unsightly surface floating plant that has affected our lake. In discussing the matter with our local Purdue Extension office, we have learned that duckweed reproduces prolifically and can cover an entire pond quickly after coming to the surface. Duckweed reproduces by budding, and in some cases, can produce a new plant every 24 hours.
The Scottsburg Parks and Recreation Department brought in a specialist from Aquatic Control earlier this month to test the water at Lake Iola. From this test, the specialist was able to confirm oxygen level within the lake was very low, making this a desirable environment for duckweed. The low oxygen level in the lake is the result of excessive heat and cloud coverage this area experienced in the latter part of July.
Due to the aggressive reproduction cycle of this plant, it’s difficult to get it under control without damaging the ecosystem of the lake. Suggested treatments would be detrimental to the fish population along with other aquatic plants and animals that call Lake Iola home. Duckweed is best mitigated in a proactive way, not a reactive way.
At this time, the City is reviewing a proposal for a maintenance program designed to eliminate duckweed, primrose, algae and other surface vegetation to the lake. This program includes bi-weekly inspections of the lake with treatments as necessary. The program runs spring to fall and will provide a healthy environment for our water fowl, fish and other aquatic plant and animal life.
Lake Iola is one of our most beloved parks within the City of Scottsburg. It boasts connectivity to the Scottsburg Trail, provides a shaded playground for children and has beautifully manicured grounds that all can enjoy. We understand and appreciate the passion our citizens have regarding the park. We hear you and it is our mission to rehabilitate Lake Iola. Our citizens deserve to enjoy this beautiful park in its most optimal state.