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BREC moving to herbicide treatments to contain algae problem on City Park Lake

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BATON ROUGE- BREC will apply a series of herbicide treatments to the at City Park Lake between May and July to prevent a worsening of algae blooms, WBRZ has learned.

BREC said Tuesday, the decision to use chemical treatment was held off until absolutely necessary, but it is believed to be the best move for the health of the lake throughout the summer. 

The mild winter and warm spring resulted in minimal dieback and warm water temperatures will lead to increased blooms this summer, according to the statement. The treatments are meant to assist the sterile carp by removing vegetation below the lake's surface.

The proposed plan will address the emergent vegetation along the edge of the lake to create a division between the lake and bank. It will then use a series of herbicides to treat the algae and the invasive coon tail within the lake with treatments taking place once every week to ten days, according to the news release.

BREC plans to apply treatments in small areas to prevent a reduction in dissolved oxygen from vegetation decay, which could impact the fish population.

"The herbicides being used are designed for aquatic treatments and are labeled as safe for humans and wildlife. Every precaution is being taken to ensure the existing fish population remains healthy and if at any point dissolved oxygen becomes too low, or the treatments are deemed too risky, they will be stopped," BREC said.

To avoid this, the treatments will not take place between July 1 and September 30 due to high summer temperatures and an increased risk to fish populations.

BREC staff plans to evaluate the results weekly to assess treatment outcomes to determine whether or not they will continue.

“The planning efforts to dredge all lakes in the City-Brooks Community Park and LSU system will continue and, in the future, this project will solve the underlying issues causing the blooms. BREC is acting now to stop another widespread algae outbreak this summer to protect the ecosystem and prevent the unsightly growth on the lake,” BREC Superintendent Corey Wilson said. 

“This is a last resort as we try to avoid the use of chemicals wherever possible, but in this case, we feel it is our best option. We will be conservative in our treatments but move proactively to prevent a worsening problem before it happens,” Wilson said.

BREC warns the public to stay 100 feet away from the area undergoing treatment as a safety precaution. 

The multi-dimensional approach is intended to be a cost-effective method that will attack algae and remove a portion of the coon tail, which is also impacting the PH levels of the water, while not adding any additional environmental concerns.

Late last year, BREC attempted to use carp to eat the algae.  


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