Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife grants totaling nearly $660,000 have been awarded to fight invasive aquatic plants in the state’s lakes. Organizations in Kosciusko County received $143,200 to fight the invasive plants.
Kosciusko County received grants for 10 projects involving 19 lakes. Local sponsors will share at least 20 percent of the total cost.
Local projects receiving grants and the amount are:
- Barbee Lakes chain (Kuhn, Barbee, Little Barbee, Irish, Sawmill, Banning and Sechrist lakes) receiving $6,900
- Dewart Lake, $88,000
- Tippecanoe Lake chain (Tippecanoe, James and Oswego lakes), $40,500
- Wawasee and Syracuse lakes, $10,000
- Webster Lake, $26,600.
The grants will help control or manage aggressive non-native species, including Eurasian watermilfoil, curly leaf pondweed and starry stonewort that can take over and clog lakes.
“Controlling invasive aquatic plants in lakes will improve fish habitat by giving native vegetation a better chance to propagate,” DNR Director Cameron F. Clark said.
The grants were awarded by Clark through the Lake and River Enhancement program in the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. Throughout the state there were 40 projects involving 63 lakes in 15 counties.
LARE grants are funded through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when registering boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This user-funded program benefits boaters throughout the state. The grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for many local organizations to fund on its own.
The grants can also provide economic benefits to the lake communities by improving and increasing public access opportunities for those who fish or boat for pleasure.