“Mission accomplished.” North Glengarry council heard promising news at its recent meeting after discovering the milfoil build-up in Loch Garry has been removed so boaters can cruise the waters of the lake without their crafts being snagged by the sticky substance. Loch Garry Lake Association director Bernard McDonell said there is no need to re-stock the lake this year with weevils, the beetle-type insects that eat Eurasian milfoil weed and break it down in the water. Mr. McDonell said the weevils that were stocked over the past three years have been aggressive in attacking the unwanted vegetation after they were introduced at various sites at the north end of the lake.
“The existing ones can do their job. There has been a notable improvement in the lake,” he said, adding last year the milfoil didn’t have a chance to flower.
There has been a complete collapse of milfoil at all the original stocking sites, based on the findings of Milfoil Solutions Inc., the company that supplied and stocked the weevils. The total cost of the project was $150,000, or $50,000 annually for three years with the township contributing $40,000 annually and the association members $10,000 each year. “The residents are happy,” Mr. McDonell said. “The real proof will be this Spring when they see to what extent the weevils come back into the lake again.”
He advised council that Milfoil Solutions Inc. has ceased operations after concluding weevils were not profitable. As well, the firm faced a new challenge -- locating weevils in other fresh-water lakes that were free of zebra mussels, an invasive species that would be collected along with the weevils.
“You are not allowed to transport any live entity (such as a weevil) from a lake that has mussels,” noted Mr. McDonell. Loch Garry appeared much improved in a photograph Mr. McDonell presented to council. The water is clear instead of the muddy hue it had before the township started the milfoil eradication campaign. Mayor Chris McDonell observed: “It’s good news. We were successful in our venture.”
Coun. Jacques Massie agreed. “Thank you and your volunteers,” he said to Bernard McDonell. “Together we saved a beautiful lake.”