CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — At Mosquito Lake, there’s a good view of the excessive vegetation looking north from the Route 88 causeway.
Lily pads line the shore as far as the eye can see and looking south, plants protrude from 8 to 14 feet of water.
“You can see where the water’s not moving. That’s where the plants are all the way up to the surface,” said wildlife biologist and Mosquito Lake Association organizer Denny Malloy.
“But if you try to get a boat through there, you’re going to tear up your propeller, you’re going to tear up your motor. Jet skiers, water skiers could break an ankle,” Malloy said.
However, the vegetation is good for fishing — while we were there, one man in a boat was catching fish right up against the vegetation.
“But these guys who know how to fish the weeds in the shallow water, that’s where the walleye and crappie are,” said Mosquito Lake marina owner Joe Sofchek.
He’s run the marina for 21 years and Tuesday he was in the process of closing for the season. Though some fishermen may like the conditions, Sofchek hears a lot about what he calls “the weeds.”
“That’s the biggest complaint I hear is the weeds and it’s not so much the boat fishermen, it’s the shore fishermen too because there’s not a lot of places for them to fish because of the growth,” Sofchek said.
One solution is to cut the vegetation — but Malloy said it would only make it grow back faster.
“All you’re doing is spreading those seed heads. Actually, it’ll be worse for the lake if we start to mow this stuff,” Malloy said.
There is one way to control vegetation, but it’s not possible at Mosquito Lake.
“There’s different chemical things that would work. But being that this is drinking water for tens of thousands of citizens, they don’t really want to mess with that,” Malloy said.
Mosquito Lake is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which is in the process of updating the lake’s master plan. The scoping phase will end Nov. 13, after which the work will begin on an updated plan and environmental assessment.