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  • WATERLINE - June, 2023

    Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho Regional Lakes Conference returns!

    The 20th annual Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho Regional Lakes Conference was a big success! The conference resumed this year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and it was great to have everyone together again. The conference took place on Saturday, March 18th from 9-2 at Spokane Community College’s Lair Auditorium. Thanks to our sponsors, the conference was free to participants and lunch was provided. More than 50 people attended; lake association members, academic researchers, students, government agencies, contractors, and other professionals all came together to network and share information about lakes.

    Jeremy Jenkins of the Liberty Lake Water and Sewer District, who kicked things off with opening remarks, and David Stasney, professor of Water and Environmental Science at Spokane Community College, hosted the event.

    Meghan Lunney of Avista Utilities was the first presenter. She spoke about several shoreline stabilization projects Avista is conducting on reservoirs they manage in the Inland Northwest. Next, Doug Jayne of the Twin Lakes (ID) Association provided a look into the Twin Lakes channel dredging project that occurred in fall 2022. This project was intended to reduce the phosphorus loading in the navigation channel between the two lakes. The association hired a contractor to suction dredge the channel, which successfully deepened it as well as met the TMDL requirement to reduce sediment phosphorus by 25%.

    Tom Moorhouse of Clean Lakes, Inc. then talked about how Clean Lakes has been using drone technology to conduct herbicide treatments on hard-to-reach sites in California. Just before lunch, Craig Cooper of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) presented the National Academy of Sciences’ key findings of its review of Lake Coeur d’Alene water quality. The report found that water quality seems to be improving but more work will be needed to continue positive change. The full report can be found online at the Idaho DEQ website.

    Lunch hour was next, and attendees had a chance to network, visit booths, and eat the provided lunch. After lunch, Bradley Roth and Ben Casscles of Aquatechnex, LLC discussed how they have been using the ProcellaCOR herbicide technology to manage hybrid and Eurasian watermilfoil populations in lakes throughout the Inland Northwest. The afternoon concluded with Dr. Alan Kolok and associates from the University of Idaho presenting their studies on mercury levels in Spokane River crayfish.

    This conference was made possible and free by our awesome sponsors, who included Aquatechnex LLC, Avista Utilities, Deer Lake Property Owners Association, Lake Roosevelt Forum, Liberty Lake Water and Sewer District, Spokane Conservation District, Spokane County, Tshimakain Creek Labs, and the Washington Lake Protection Association. Thanks to everyone who attended, spoke at, and organized this amazing event! We hope to see everyone again next year!