For Immediate Release
Aerial Spraying for Bush Honeysuckle to Take Place this Fall
Lake Shelbyville – Following up on last year’s pilot program for aerial spraying of bush honeysuckle, Lake Shelbyville will again be aerially spraying for the invasive plant. Bush honeysuckle, an aggressive exotic plant that is taking over much of the woodlands at Lake Shelbyville, will be treated with Rodeo Herbicide, an aquatic safe form of glyphosate, with the use of a crop-duster helicopter. Timing of the treatment will be dependent upon leaf fall as the leaves need to be off the trees in order for the herbicide to make its way to the forest floor where the bush honeysuckle is located. Bush honeysuckle goes dormant up to a month later than native plants and is often the only green plant you see during the month of November. Because the natives are dormant they will not be affected by the herbicide and only the target plants will be impacted. The aerial application method has been utilized successfully in surrounding states and in tests conducted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Lake Shelbyville staff set up tests plots within the treatment area in conjunction with IDNR in order to be able to measure the success of the application. In treated areas from last fall the plants were significantly reduced in the targeted areas, especially the ones where a prescribed fire was used to follow up in the spring. Currently, hand treating or forestry mowers have been utilized to control bush honeysuckle. These methods are expensive and time consuming whereas the aerial treatment is showing promise for quick application and greatly reduced costs with much better coverage.
Approximately 1,100 acres will be treated this fall. Due to archery deer season being underway, the chance of hunters being in the woods is high and hunters are asked to not hunt the target areas during treatment. Maps of the areas to be treated will be located on the Lake Shelbyville Website and Facebook page prior to treatment and the lake Shelbyville Information Line will be updated daily with the areas to be sprayed that day. Signs and maps will also be placed at the hunter/fisher lots as well as boat ramps.
Please take the time to check these resources if you plan on being in the woods during that timeframe! The application will occur during the week when fewer people are in the woods and will take place mid-morning to early afternoon. Fisherman are also asked to stay out of the coves on either side of the treatment areas during application to avoid any wind drift.
For further information please contact the Environmental Stewardship Department at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office at (217) 774-3951 ext.