Let’s clear the water

There is a passage in Assault on Lake Casitas by Brad Lewis, “Every man or woman who has ever rowed, even for one semester in college, will initially judge all bodies of water—lake, river, ocean, pond, anything bigger than a swimming pool—by its potential to provide a good rowing workout.” Because yes, no matter how fast I am driving past I’m always rating—how many rowable meters; how much wind is that ruffling the water; is it a cross?  And once I row on a body of water, I remember the hazards as well as the delights; water skiers, sunken trees, current…these days the hazards are growing, literally.  I’ve been on water where silt threatened the long-term viability of clubs, where algae coated my blades and slowed my starts.   Over the last weeks I have been learning about Eurasian Milfoil, an invasive species that quickly overruns and can choke off a body of water.  Chase down Milfoil online and the images are disturbing.

This writing is about the infestation at Vancouver Lake in Washington, where rowers have been competing and training for decades. 

If not treated this year, by 2022 it will be unusable. That. Is. Very. Soon. 

Regional, national and international regattas have been held at the park.  As a rower, and as a vendor, I always looked forward to my trips to Vancouver Lake—its proximity to Portland; the burgeoning craft food and drink in the town of Vancouver itself; and the organized, helpful herds of volunteers for the venue make it a must-row location.  If this were on a tour-de-regattas blog, I’d be waxing even more.  Well, OK, please stop in at this over the top ice cream treat shop…I’m serious, and if you need actual food before your dessert, go to this pizza place (an excellent gluten-free crust!) 

The lake has Friends.  Its board includes folks with backgrounds in Fish & Wildlife; district legislators; the sailing club; and of course Alan Stewart from Vancouver Lake rowing club. They have had some commendable success finding funding, but we have to step in to help treat the lake in time to save it.

Please join us in supporting the eradication of Eurasian Milfoil in Vancouver Lake.  JL, together with The George Pocock Rowing Foundation, Hudson, Concept2 and Pocock Racing Shells have created a tee shirt--100% of the profits from sales of the shirt will go to Friends of Vancouver Lake.  Your $30 purchase will help to clear the water.

Thank you!

“Didn’t see the show, didn’t have to! I have seen the evil Milfoil Weed in my lake and pledge to eliminate every feathery tendril from our midst as it threatens all that is good and pure. This green menace must receive no quarter and no sympathy!” Lake Deputy T., as told to the Law & Order Waterways Gazette


“Nightmare on Vancouver Lake” is a masterpiece of cinematic horror. I felt strangled by the Monster Milfoil as I struggled to hang on and avoid pitching overboard into the cloudy water as I viewed scene after scene. No one should have to endure what I did. I’ll never be the same.”  -- Almost Ghostly Al S., (Noxious Weed Monthly)


“If I ever see the dreaded Monster Milfoil in person, I will strangle each slimy piece to bits.” – One-punch P., (Sailor and Slayer Weekly)


July 08, 2019 — Joline Espraza


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