The limnologist expressed his delight to speak to an enthusiastic group who has “been doing a lot of great things already and doing the right things in your watershed and foundation.” He recognized the stream bank restoration, sediment management in the watershed. “I’m not going to talk about specific
methods of what to do to make the lake better. I’m going to talk more philosophical. Where we need to be looking at the long term.”
The recently retired Indiana University professor provided the basic classic ecosystem definition adding the whole globe and world is an ecosystem.
“There are so many services (of the ecosystem) with great studies done talking about the value of the ecosystem.” He added the services provided more than exceeds the national debt. “You can’t put money on it.”
He provided causes, effects and potential solutions. Using the old Pogo comic where the swamp is becoming polluted and the group tries to find out who to blame, discovering it was them. “We have meet the enemy and he is us,” Jones quoted the comic strip.
Treat The Cause
Jones noted many treat the symptoms not the cause in lake management. Algae
is treated, but the cause — too many nutrients — is not. Placement of
retention basins to keep sediments out is a treatment of too much sediment,
but the cause is eroding landscape.
“Fish stocking should be self sustaining, if they have a place to nest,” he noted and pointed out a lot of lakes treat weeds every spring to the point there are no rooted plants at all and seawalls totally around the lake.
“They stock the lake every year with fish and wonder why fish aren’t reproducing. There is no habitat. Fish can’t reproduce in a bathtub.”
Jones pointed out individuals can start in their own watershed, their property. He showed slides of property landscaped to the edge of the seawall with no plants, no shade from trees allowing leaves to fall naturally into the lake and provide food.
“There is virtually no lake ecosystem value to sustain the lake, no place for fish, for aquatic insects which eat the algae that grows, insects are eaten by the fish to sustain the fisheries that keep the lake functioning.
He suggested re-facing seawalls with glacial stone to create habitat for insects and fish and break up the lake waves to eliminate choppy waters, getting the lake back by removing invasive species. “It’s healthy native plants, places for fish and insects that keep the system sustainable.”
“The word of the day is sustainability. Will this succeed? A pessimist
thinks, trying is the first step toward failure. That’s not the attitude you
want to have. ‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with
no loss of enthusiasm.’ That speaks to what I see in you guys, you’re
enthusiastic, want to do things and a little setback isn’t going to dampen
your enthusiasm. We need to foster enthusiasm.”
For the full report of Jones’ presentation, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.