Cree Lake resident starts aquatic weed business


KENDALLVILLE — A biology and chemistry major from Georgia State University and a certified hazardous materials manager, Steve Johnson has worked in the environmental field for more than 18 years, tackling everything from oil spills, train derailments and underground storage tanks to decontaminating meth houses.

When the Cree Lake resident noticed that aquatic weeds were choking out Cree Lake’s channels, he decided to take action. Following training and testing he became an Indiana licensed aquatic applicator.

He established his own seasonal business in 2008, Everclear Aquatic Management and recently began marketing his business to the public. He plans to specialize in small to medium-sized lakes, ponds and waterways.

According to Johnson, “There are a lot of people out there who take aquatic weed control into their own hands by purchasing chemicals and putting them along their shoreline. What most people don’t realize, though, is that if you don’t know what weeds you have or you don’t know the proper balance of the chemicals you are using, you could potentially do more harm than good. There are very strict guidelines on what chemicals can be used for the various invasive weeds found in our region, and many of those need to be used under certain conditions, such as the temperature of the lake. I am committed to providing environmentally responsible treatment plans.”

The state of Indiana encourages all aquatic vegetation plans to be submitted and approved no later than June for most public lakes, Johnson said. Privately owned ponds are not regulated by the state and can be treated at any time.

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