Lake George homeowners complain to Hobart council about weeds, silt
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent October 20, 2012 3:34PM
Lake George in Hobart Friday Oct. 19, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:22AM
HOBART — Residents living along Lake George say they are seeing less traffic on its waters, a result, they say, of an increase in noxious weeds and silt.
They asked the City Council for permission to take care of the weeds themselves, which cause navigation problems for boaters, but said the city may need to look at dredging the lake again to rid it of the accumulating silt.
“When I first moved here the lake was nothing but lily pads. I was delighted when it was dredged. But during the past two to three years I’ve noticed it getting more and more silt,” Rae Marie Nabhan told the City Council on Wednesday.
She said she would like to see it dredged again.
About 590,000 cubic yards of silt were removed from the lake in 2000 at a cost of more than $2 million. The money was paid from a $3.8 million park bond also used for Lakefront Park. At the time Lake George had filled with sediments from an average depth of 6 to 8 feet to an average depth of 1 to 3 feet, according to a 2002 Deep River/Turkey Creek Watershed Plan.
Mayor Brian Snedecor said city officials have been discussing this issue.
“The lake has filled in 11/2 to 2 feet since the dredging was completed. We need to investigate silt traps,” he said.
Councilman Dave Vinzant, D-4th, said due to the nature of the clay soil, which turns to muck, the city probably will need to dredge the lake every 20 to 40 years. Besides the cost, he said the biggest problem is finding a place to put the silt once it is removed from the lake.
Another resident, Doug White, said this is the second year that the lake has had a serious problem with noxious weeds. He said they would like to hire a company to eradicate the weeds, but didn’t know if there would be any liability issues.
Vinzant said as long as the company follows Indiana Department of Natural Resources regulations, he doesn’t see any problem with this action.
Vinzant said the further upstream, the worse the lily pad problem becomes.
Tom Bacula, a District 1 fisheries biologist with the IDNR Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the Post-Tribune last week that the weeds are duckweed and coontail, both of which are good plants for fish but bad for navigation.
Bacula said homeowners can treat the plants within 625 square feet of their house with a chemical available at an aquatics store, but added the plants will die with the cold weather anyway.