MESSAGE FROM HLA CONSERVATION COMMITTEE

EURASIAN MILFOIL WEED 

As anyone who has spent a summer on the water at Heritage Lake knows, Eurasian Milfoil weed is an ongoing problem and a difficult one to combat against. The Conservation Committee has been working hard through the winter, doing research to try to find better ways to help combat this problem, while improving the health of our lake and its ecosystem.  

We have been in touch with several organizations who have previously researched and dealt with this same problem in similar lakes and are taking several options into consideration. Some of these options include different treatments than what we have previously used, some of which are more natural techniques, such as possible introduction of alternative vegetation, as outlined in the article below from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Please join us at the monthly HLA board meeting this Monday at the lodge at 7:00 pm and feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

If you’ve spent any time on one of more than 450 natural lakes scattered across northern
Indiana, chances are you’ve seen two of the most beautiful flowers in the Hoosier state: the
white-water lily and yellow pond lily. 

Commonly called lily pads in recognition of their broad, green leaves, both plants bloom
throughout the summer with gorgeous flowers that add charm and beauty to the lake environment.

The white-water lily produces a dazzling white flower with a yellow center that floats on

the water surface. White water lilies have round leaves that look like floating plates.

The yellow pond lily produces a yellow flower on top of a stem that can reach several inches

above the water. Yellow pond lilies, also called “spatterdock,” have heart-shaped leaves that
stand tall above the water and flutter in the breeze.

In addition to their natural beauty, lily pads provide a host of benefits to lake ecology. 

Aquatic insects—an important link in the aquatic food chain—are attracted to the flowers
and rest on lily pad leaves and stems. Frogs and turtles seek the camouflage lily pads offer
as safe haven from predators. Fish hide among the stems, not only from each other but also
for protection from the sun. 

Because both plants grow in shallow water, they buffer waves, thereby protecting the shore
from erosion. They also stabilize the lakebed and protect water quality. 

Despite these benefits, some lakefront property owners don’t appreciate lily pads, said DNR
fisheries biologist Jed Pearson.

“We’ve seen a constant battle waged against lily pads over the years,” Pearson said. “Although
the plants are still present in most lakes, some lakes have very few left.”