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Officials drop plans to use bacteria to kill invasive species in Florence County lake

Beach area littered with zebra mussel shells
Beach area littered with zebra mussel shells

FLORENCE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Plans to add bacteria to a Florence County lake to try and kill invasive zebra and quagga mussels have been dropped due to local opposition.

Even some county officials took issue with the project from the U.S. Geological Survey and the state DNR.

The proposed experiment was first announced a few weeks ago. It would have been the first time in Wisconsin that the biological pesticide CL-145A would have been used on an open water. It would have gone on Keyes Lake, which first became infested with zebra mussels in 2010.

Chuck Henrichs of the lake association said the mussels were getting worse, and the experiment would have tried to protect native species. The DNR's Bob Wakeman said his agency didn't mean to upset people, and they'll look for another lake.

Henrichs said folks were caught off-guard by the idea.

The Florence County health officer, parks director, and conservationist were among the opponents.

About 15 letters of opposition were written to the state Ag Department, which must approve any such experiment. One letter had 77 signatures from local residents concerned about the safety of using the bacteria.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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