Aquatic Vegetation in Cedar Lake


     The aquatic food chain begins at the lowest level. With lush vegetation comes, a place for small invertebrates to thrive. These small invertebrates provide food for small minnows and the minnows in turn provide food for larger fish and so on. The vegetation also serves as habitat and cover for all forms and sizes of aquatic life. A healthy lake has a mix of natural vegetation and submerged lake structure. Both are needed and necessary to make the lake all that it can be. Presently Cedar Lake has a deficiency of both good quality native vegetation and lake structure. This may change for the better on both counts in the near future.

     Over the last three years, a group effort from the Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, the Star Prairie Fish and Game Association and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has provided extensive fish crib construction and placement in Cedar Lake. To date almost 100 cribs are setting on the bottom of the lake doing their prescribed job of providing structure and habitat for the aquatic food chain. Because of the success of the crib project over the last three years, an increased crib building and placement project is being considered to increase the numbers dramatically over the next few years.

     Another experimental project is also underway. Not too many years ago the emergent vegetation on Cedar Lake was markedly different than it is now. On the southeast end of the lake near the mouth of Cedar Creek, bulrush expansions stretched 200 -300 yards out from shore. Native aquatic vegetation was the rule rather than the exception. On May 19th, 2006 members of the Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, the Cedar Lake Land Preservation Trust, Star Prairie Fish & Game Association and DNR planted 130 plants representing such varied names as Fowl Manna Grass, Broad Leaved Arrowhead, Soft Stem Bulrush, Giant Bur-Reed, Blue Flag Iris and Wool Grass Sedge. This planting were done under the watchful eye and direction of DNR Specialist Deb Konkel and Fisheries Manager Marty Engel. Three test plots were planted and will be monitored over the next year to determine the viability and survival of the plants. If successful, the program will be expanded and eventually Cedar Lake will take another step toward the goal of providing the best quality natural habitat to both aquatic fauna and flora possible.