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Thurston County Lakes

Lake Lawrence Aquatic Weed Harvesting

Introduction

The purpose of this page is to provide a general overview of the Lake Lawrence Management Districts Harvesting Program.  It provides a general overview of pertinent information and the recommended procedures for the programs operations: harvesting schedule and strategy, off-loading sites, and disposal sites.  Program objectives are to: 1)  Mechanically harvest and remove at least 90% of the aquatic plant material from the harvest areas designated by the steering committee.  Ultimately lake quality objectives underlying the harvesting program are the enhancement of summer navigation and water contact recreation and the prevention of fall algal blooms (which utilize nutrients from decaying plant material) .  2)  Dispose of the harvested plant material in an environmentally acceptable and productive manner at locations of minimal transport distance from the lake.  3)  Maintain a minimal disturbance or inconvenience to shoreline area residents and lake users.

Conservation Areas

harvesterThe Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife advocates that aquatic vegetation management programs allow areas to remain intact as wildlife habitat.  Several areas have been designated as conservancy areas.  These areas do not hinder shoreline residential access to open water areas and are considered to be valuable areas for fish spawning, wildlife and immature fish shelter, and waterfowl food.

These areas will not be harvested during the early stage of the harvesting season when fish spawning and larval fish development occur.  The harvesting plan therefore recommends bypassing conservancy areas on the first lake harvesting or until late July which ever occurs later.

Proposed Schedule

Historically two harvests occur on Lake Lawrence each year removing approximately 50 - 60 acres of plants.  These harvests typically target the holiday weekends.  The fist occurs prior to the July 4th weekend and the second harvest prior to Labor Day. 

  • Conduct preharvest survey: Before beginning harvest operations a preharvest survey should be completed and reviewed by the Lake Lawrence Management District Steering Committee for the outline of areas to be harvested and marked with prioritization.  This survey will be performed with use of GPS to help calculate approximate areas of dense weed growth.  GPS points downloaded into a GIS database to create maps for the final committees review.
  •  Create maps: Create maps for current harvest to provide to contractor.        
  •  Evaluation of harvest: Areas harvested will be reviewed by a County representative.  The contractor is to remove at least 90% of the plant matter from the lake.  If, after the contractor has informed the County that the contractor has completed an area, and the County Representative notices that large strips of weeds are left unharvested, then the County Representative will require the Contractor to reharvest the area so the remaining large strips of weeds are removed.  The Contractor will provide reharvesting at no charge to the County.

Contact Us

 Staff contact: Janie Civille (360) 754-4681. E-mail: civillj@co.thurston.wa.us

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