The Wesley Lake Commission is keeping an eye on the pond weed situation in the lake this season to see if herbicides need to be applied to fight the growth of the weeds.
“We are in a wait-and-see situation right now,” said Wesley Lake Commission Chairman Michael Brantley.
He said that Princeton Hydro, an environmental management and restoration company that is also the environmental consultant to the Deal Lake Commission, will begin to monitor the lake beginning in June to see if the weed problem seems to be coming back.
“If so, they will determine when it is the best time to administer the chemicals but we want to check it out first,” he said.
Brantley said there was some recent concerns about weeds in Wesley Lake but he said it ended up being a false alarm and that it was vegetation that was stirred up by a storm that is not a concern.
He said he hopes to cost to treat the lake will be shared between Neptune and Asbury Park, like it was last year. Last year’s cost was $8,200. Wesley Lake borders both communities.
Linda Occhipinti, co-owner of Asbury Park Pedal Boats on Wesley Lake, said that she, too, has a wait-and see approach to the weed problem this year.
As the lake choked up with weeds last year, it made it very difficult for her to operate her business and made the lake unsightly. The weeds also tend to collect a lot of garbage that then just sits on top of the lake.
“There has been no problem and the water looks good so far,” she said.
Occhipinti said that if she sees any weeds growing she will definitely contact the Wesley Lake Commission.
“It looks great now but the minute I see anything I will inform them. Maybe they got the weeds and maybe not- they may come back again and I don’t need this again,” she said.
The pond weed rapidly took over Wesley Lake at an alarming rate last summer and a special state permit to place herbicides into the lake was been granted by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The pond weed is in the genus potamogeton and it is not an exotic, invasive plant- it is native to New Jersey and can become a problem if not eradicated either by harvesting the weeds by boat or applying an herbicide, which is harmless to fish and wildlife.