The City of Wautoma is currently looking into ways to remove the invasive species, Reed Canary Grass, from the millpond. This photo was taken on Sept. 6 from the fishing pier near the World War II Memorial Building.

City of Wautoma working to remove invasive species from millpond

After hearing a possible invasive species was growing in the City of Wautoma Millpond, City Administrator/Clerk/ Treasurer Tommy Bohler spoke to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Management Specialist Ted Johnson who said it looked like Reed Canary Grass.

With the millpond already burned once, the Millpond Action Committee, chaired by Alderman Ed Hernandez, voted to look into renting a cutter from a local lake association, which can help cut down invasive species. However, while pursuing this option, Bohler consulted with Johnson who said in order to control the Reed Canary Grass more effectively the city would need to use herbicides.

Prior to obtaining the permit for herbicides and the applicator from the DNR in the millpond, Bohler wanted to confirm that in fact the photos he submitted were of an invasive species, to which Johnson replied, Reed Canary Grass was an invasive species and a very common one. Bohler also wanted to make sure the city was not harming any type of habitat, which can take some time.

According to Bohler, if the Reed Canary Grass is left alone it would die off within one to three years; however, he is working with City of Wautoma Public Works Director Matt Renner to determine whether the community should deal with this grass for one to three years waiting for it to die on its own or if they should pursue the DNR permit.

After discussing the options, Renner recommended the city wait to see how the grass lasts over the winter prior to pursuing the permit and applicator to apply the herbicides.

“We are moving towards getting rid of that grass, but we have to do it the right way and we have to follow the DNR procedures,” Bohler said. “The takeaway is that we understand the millpond is an important asset to the residents and we want it to look good.”

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