Village of Wolverine Lake officials have accepted a contract with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to erect a boat disinfection station at the department’s Wolverine Lake public access site this spring, and we are pleased the village has chosen to do so in a move to help stem the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). While the effort may have come a bit too late to prevent the introduction of some aquatic invasive species in the village’s namesake, surely it will help prevent the spread of other such species into its waters, and also prevent the spread of known invasive species from Wolverine Lake into other bodies of water in the area. We urge officials or homeowner associations in other west Oakland communities to take a similar approach.
The station is akin to a large containment tank filled with a chemical solution that is disbursed through a hand-held spraying unit. The station will need to be managed by volunteers who will fill the tank with the solution and educate people on its use.
According to Village Council President John Magee, the village will install, maintain and carry a level of insurance for the station, which comes as the result of a recommendation from the village’s Water Management Board, which has already forwarded design plans to the Village Council.
Magee added that invasive aquatic weeds have been problematic for decades and the station would help mitigate this concern, as well.
We couldn’t agree more. Starry stonewart, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and curlyleaf pond weed have invaded the village’s namesake over the past several years, and while the station will do nothing to reverse their infestation of the lake, it will may well help curb the introduction of new invasive species into its waters, as well as prevent the spread of others from boats or other water vessels used in Wolverine Lake to other lakes in west Oakland County.
Wolverine Lake is the only community in the area that we are aware of constructing such a station, and we hope others follow the village’s lead in erecting such an apparatus, for which the village budgeted $1,500 for its installation and maintenance — chump change when considering the amount of damage that aquatic invasive species can and have done to waterways in west Oakland County and throughout the state in recent years.
Although significant damage has already been done by aquatic invasive species in Wolverine Lake, and other lakes throughout the county, this is a step in the right direction. Area officials should consider similar measures to help grapple with the ongoing problems these species can and do pose to the ecological health of local waterways. o