top of page

Long Lake Plant Control Program

Upcoming Treatments

Summer 2024

Plant Control Information
Long Lake Bio-Volume

In the fall of 2021, a hydro-acoustic survey of Long Lake was conducted by Progressive Companies to map and quantify the lake's bio-volume. The results of this survey were used to refine aquatic plant survey locations in 2022. The adjacent map is a graphical representation of Progressive Companies' findings.

Nuisance aquatic plant control is the primary focus of the Long Lake improvement program. In managing aquatic plants, it is important to remember that most plants are beneficial to the lake. The objective of a sound aquatic plant control program is to remove plants only from problem areas where nuisance growth is occurring. Excessive removal of aquatic plants can have negative consequences. For example, broad-spectrum herbicide treatments can result in algae blooms and reduced water clarity which, in turn, can be detrimental to the fishery. Maintaining a diversity of native plants is as important as controlling nuisance and exotic species.


Exotic aquatic plant species that are potentially a threat to the Long Lake include Eurasian milfoil, starry stonewort, and Carolina fanwort. Early detection and rapid response are key to effective control of invasive aquatic plant species. Each year, biologists from Progressive Companies conduct multiple surveys of the lake to identify exotic plant locations and targeted herbicide treatments are carried out to control nuisance plant growth. The herbicide treatments require a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who oversees the plant control program?

Plant control activities are coordinated under the direction of the lake board's environmental consultant, Progressive Companies. In a normal year, beginning in May and continuing through August, biologists from Progressive Companies conduct GPS-guided surveys of the entire lake to identify problem areas, and detailed plant control maps are provided to the plant control contractor. Progressive then conducts follow-up surveys to evaluate contractor performance, and provide status reports to the lake board.

Who conducts the herbicide treatments?

The Long Lake plant control program includes the select use of herbicides to control invasive plant species. The herbicide applicator is PLM Lake & Land Management. PLM's work is directly overseen by the board's environmental consultant, Progressive Companies. The herbicide contract is bid competitively and subject to performance reviews. The contractor is only compensated for work that is performed satisfactorily. 

Who determines when and where treatments occur?

Treatment timing and locations are determined by biologists from Progressive Companies after an analysis of survey results. Other factors such as weather, EGLE Aquatic Nuisance Control permit restrictions, and contractor availability also play a role in the execution of plant control activities. 

Why are there still plants in the lake following treatments?

Not all plants are treated. The goal of the program is to strike a balance by controlling invasive plant species and maintaining beneficial species. We do not want to remove all the plants in the lake. This would be bad for the fishery and cause a host of other problems, such as massive algae blooms.

Is there a permanent fix to the problem?

If conditions are favorable, aquatic plants will grow. However, there are things property owners can do to help minimize the amount of plants in the lake such as limiting the use of lawn fertilizers and maintaining natural vegetation along the shoreline to act as a filter for nutrients that wash into the lake. For more information on how to protect Long Lake over the long term, click on the Watershed tab above.

Are herbicide treatments safe?

The aquatic herbicides that are permitted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), are registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Before herbicides are approved for use in public trust waters, they also undergo toxicological review by EGLE. In Michigan, aquatic herbicide use requires an EGLE permit. The permit lists herbicides approved for use in the lake, respective dose rates, and shows the specific areas in the lake where treatments are allowed. If herbicides are applied according to label instructions and permit requirements, they should pose no danger to public health and the environment.

How will I know about use restrictions?

All lake residents receive a written notice in the spring regarding pending treatments. The written notice will list all potential herbicides that may be used and what the resultant use restrictions would be. The day before treatment, the state required treatment sign will be posted in all areas within 100 feet of treatment areas complete with a list of herbicides used and the associated use restrictions. If there is no sign posted along your property, it means that your area was not treated and there are no use restrictions.

When is it safe to swim after a treatment?

All herbicides have a 24-hour swimming restriction that will be posted on signs along areas of the shore that have been treated. However, if you do not have a sign posted or the sign indicates that only algaecides were applied, there are no swimming restrictions.

When can I water my lawn following a treatment?

If you draw water from the lake for irrigation, be sure to read the sign posted along your shoreline at the time of treatment. Most irrigation restrictions do not apply to established lawns. However, it you water flowers or a garden, adhere to the irrigation restrictions posted on the sign.

How about a pre-emptive strike?

To be effective, aquatic herbicides must be applied directly to the plant beds when the plants are actively growing. There are no approved pre-emergence aquatic herbicides like there are for agriculture.

How do the treatments impact fish?

If applied properly, herbicides have no direct impacts on fish. In general, lakes with a variety of plants often support more productive fisheries. The plant control program in Long Lake is designed to remove invasive plants while preserving plants that provide habitat and cover for fish.


Why didn’t my property get treated?

Treatments occur where the targeted invasive plants are found during the lake surveys. Not every property gets treated every time; your property may have plants, but if it doesn’t contain the targeted invasive plants, it’s not treated.

bottom of page