Our partner, Swimmer's Itch Solutions, has determined that the Common Merganser is the host of a parasite that moves between these birds and a certain snail that we have in the lake. We engage with SI solutions to trap broods of the birds (the young host most of the parasite) and relocate them to bodies of water that have been certified as not containing the snail that propagates the parasite. This is a proven method that is being adopted around the state.
Each visit by our partner for trapping and relocating a brood costs $3,000. This year, we have located four broods (30 birds in all). This will give us relief next year, but we will have more broods to relocate next year. This is a costly approach to rid our lake of SI and it requires action every year. If we want to continue this program, we will need strong support from our members.