Harvesting Program

Sign up Now for 2021 and Reserve Your Spot!

Lot Size June & August 2021
up to 50′ $250
up to 100′ $500
up to 150′ $750
up to 200′ $1,000
201′ and above $1,250

Join the Harvesting Program Now - Acreage is Limited!

Frequently Asked Questions

When can we start harvesting?

The permit states that harvesting can take place in June and August.

How much does it cost?

Friends of Catherine and Channel Lakes will fund the first round of harvesting in the spring of 2020 as a pilot study. The summer 2020 cut, and all harvesting services in 2021 and beyond will need to be funded by the homeowners, businesses and associations around the lakes. The cost for harvesting services will be determined during the spring pilot program and shared with stakeholders in June or July 2020.

What is being harvested?

 The goal of harvesting is to reduce the presence of invasive plant species Eurasian Water Milfoil and Coontail. We anticipate being able to harvest a strip of growth outside of piers and docks. The permit parameters state that harvesting may take place at a minimum of 3 feet in depth to a maximum of 12 feet in depth and up to 150 feet from the shoreline. The permit is limited to 70 acres per cut (spring and summer).

How often will we be able to harvest?

 The permit allows for 70 acres to be cut in the spring (June) and a 70 acres to be cut in the summer (August).

What can we expect for results?

 Harvesting enables invasive plants to be cut and removed at one time. This provides a quick solution to improve navigability for boats, aesthetics in the lake and a reduction of decaying plants that cause algae blooms. Reducing invasive plants also allows native species to take root.

Will harvesting harm the fish in any way?

We anticipate minimum to no harm to fish. In fact, reducing invasive plants and increasing native species will provide a healthier environment for fish.

Will there be any clean-up after harvesting?

 The harvesting vendor will remove all harvested material.

Will I pay the same amount as my neighbor?

 We anticipate that payments will be based on the width of the lot and area being harvested. This is similar to the method the spraying companies have used for years.

What will you do about the varying pier lengths to make it fair?

 Our goal will be to provide a similarly sized strip of harvesting for each stakeholder.

Harvesting Parameters

What you Can Expect

  • Your waterfront area will be harvested during the cut/cuts for which you have donated. The harvester will cut and pull the invasive plants from approximately 75 feet from the shoreline (past docks and other impediments) to up to at maximum 200 feet from the shoreline.
  • The harvester is not allowed to harvest in water depth that is shallower than three feet. At most times, the harvester will not navigate around docks and other impediments. Plants in shallow waters and around docks should be hand-pulled by the property owner or other service provider. If you have more expansive harvesting needs, please call or email Friends of Catherine and Channel Lakes to discuss.
  • The main harvesting goal is to remove most of the weed mass in the densest areas around the lakes. Because of wave action, currents, wind and other factors, as well as the large size of the harvesting machinery, harvesting is not a precise function. While harvesting will cut most of the weeds, it will not cut every weed.
  • Once an area is cleared of rooted weeds to a depth of three feet at a minimum, wind and wave action may blow fragmented, floating weeds from other areas in the lakes not associated with harvesting into that waterfront. Property owners should always pull floating weeds out of the lakes and dispose of them properly. Eurasian Water Milfoil can replant from fragments and decaying plants create nuisance phosphorus that leads to algae blooms. Help keep the lakes clean by pulling as many fragmented, floating plants out of the water.
  • For the most part, the harvester will not make return trips to waterfront property after it has been harvested to the satisfaction of Friends of Catherine and Channel Lakes.
  • Like lawns, cut plants in the lakes will grow back during the season. Harvesting year over year, however, should reduce the overall number of plants over time. Harvesting is a long-term endeavor.
  • Harvesting will not be performed for any property with a current permit for chemical treatments. Harvesting is not to be conducted on areas where chemical treatments have been or may be applied. Harvesting will be performed pursuant to the permit with the IL DNR and cannot deviate therefrom.
  • For 2021 and future years, the harvesting fee will include both the spring and late summer cuts. Donating for only one cut during the season will not be available.