10 Things You Can Do to Protect Lake Mitchell
1. Wash, drain, and clean your boat to keep invasive species out of the lake.
2. To guard against introducing VHS fish virus, only use minnows bought at authorized bait shops or ones caught in Lake Mitchell.
3. Check to make sure you aren’t growing phragmites plants in your yard. This invasive plant will destroy our wetlands.
4. Use phosphorus-free fertilizers.
5. Practice catch-and-release with walleyes to help rehabilitate that fishery.
6. Develop a greenbelt along your shoreline
7. If a seawall is needed, consider using only rock or seawall with rock rip rap to minimize wave action erosion.
8. Do not feed waterfowl to help prevent swimmer’s itch.
9. Remove purple loosestrife from your shoreline.
10. Do not rake leaves or deposit lawn clippings into the lake.
Zebra mussels appear in Lake Mitchell
While zebra mussels are commonly found in Lake Cadillac, last summer they appeared in Lake Mitchell. When docks were removed, the structures were encrusted with the tiny snails. Zebra mussels negatively impact ecosystems in many ways. They filter out algae that native species need for food and they attach to, and incapacitate, native mussels. There is no way to control a population of zebra mussels. Beyond that ecosystem impact, the sharp edges of zebra mussel shells may cut the feet of those who step on them. You may need water shoes for wading in the lake this summer.
Lakes infested with zebra mussels may have an improvement in water clarity as adult mussels feed by filtering large amounts of plankton and detritus from the water. Each mussel can filter one liter of water per day! Zebra mussels thrive in nutrient-rich water which supports healthy populations of plankton.