A pilot program seeking to eradicate bush honeysuckle will be tested this November at Lake Shelbyville in Shelbyville County. Bush honeysuckle is an invasive plant species that is taking over woodlands across the country. The plant was originally brought to the U.S. for decorative and anti-erosion purposes, however because of its aggressive growth patterns that often block sunlight it quickly became a danger to native plant life. As a result, new methods are being tested to control bush honeysuckle in many states.
At Lake Shelbyville, an aerial spray with Rodeo Herbicide will distributed via crop-duster helicopter November 11-13 depending on leaf fall as the herbicide must reach the forest floor to be effective. The aerial application of the herbicide has been successful in surrounding states and in tests conducted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Until recently, hand treatment or mowers have been used to control the plant, however aerial distribution shows promise as it saves costs and can cover larger areas. November is the ideal time for treatment as most other plants have gone dormant for the winter and will unaffected by the herbicide.
With archery deer season underway, hunters are asked to not hunt in the treatment area. The treatment area is located at the Hunter Lake Fisherman Parking Lot, in the woods to the northwest. There will be signs and maps posted at the Hunter Lake Fisherman Parking Lot, Dam West, Lithia Springs, and Opossum Creek Boat Ramps. Application is expected to take place midmorning to early afternoon. Fisherman should also avoid coves on either side of the treatment area.
For more information, contact the Environmental Stewardship Department at (217) 774-3951 ext. 7049.