STAMBAUGH TOWNSHIP—Area fishermen vented for the third straight month at the Stambaugh Township’s September meeting.
The township’s invasive species ordinance, directing users of Chicaugon Lake to purchase a lake use permit, with proceeds going strictly for the treatment of the lake’s milfoil infestation, has been a hot topic lately.
One that area resident Steve Stoychoff said has created a lot of animosity.
“That’s all it’s done,” he told the board at its Sept. 5 meeting.
He suggested the township back off and see what happens.
He added that the chemicals used to treat the milfoil may do more harm than good.
Area resident Larry Dobson added that the attorney general had been contacted regarding the legality of the ordinance.
Another, a resident of Stanley Lake, expressed concern over the lack of indemnification agreements between the township and the Chicaugon Lake Association.
Township Supervisor Eugene Pellizzaro asked the public for their ideas on how to take care of the milfoil issue. No one spoke up.
“Everybody’s coming here with comments but no solutions,” he said, adding the township has been trying for years to do something. But with no help from the county, this was the best option.
And with over $12,000 in revenue collected so far this year, meaning next year’s treatment costs are covered, the plan appears to be working.
He added that at least five people who had been ticketed had since purchased a lake use permit, though one local resident said that she had been told by the magistrate not to worry about paying the fine associated with her ticket.
Chicaugon Lake Association Vice President Joe Shubat expressed his thanks to the board for taking the brunt of people’s frustration.
He also told those in attendance who had concerns over the chemical being put into the lake that the entire process is regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality and will not kill off the lake.
“Studies have been done for years,” he said.
Shubat added that Runkle Lake in Crystal Falls was recently given a clean bill of health after being treated for milfoil.
He said that Chicaugon Lake is as busy as ever and that the majority of out of town users understand the reason for the permit.
“They don’t mind. They don’t need to be educated on the milfoil. They know about it.” Shubat said
“The majority try to be good, conscientious boaters.”
He added that the permit fee is not driving away tourism.
Township Trustee George Brunswick suggested that those who are concerned about the issue take it to the County Board or the state.
“Insist they look at it.” Brunswick said.
Shubat agreed, stating, “Hopefully the state steps up.”
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