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Bangs Lake 

Lake Management Plan
& Invasive Species Management


Bangs Lake,

Village of Wauconda,
Wauconda, Illinois

Bangs Lake is a 306-acre natural glacial lake in the Village of Wauconda, Illinois. The lake serves as a recreational resource for residents and tourists, with the added benefits of providing flood control and habitat for wildlife. The lake also serves as a central economic driver for the community. Protecting and improving this critical recreational, natural, and economic resource became a high priority for the Village of Wauconda.

The mayor and leadership of the Village of Wauconda, which manages a significant portion of the lake, engaged ILM Environments in 2023 to create a comprehensive lake management plan. Outcomes of the plan included prioritized recommendations over five years to combat the ongoing challenges of invasive species, land development, shifting climate patterns, and the accumulation of nutrients & sediment in the lake. The top priority identified in the plan was managing two aggressive species of invasive aquatic plants, Eurasian water milfoil and curly-leaf pondweed. The success of this plan will be measured, in part, by the reduction in these invasive species and the increase in native plant and fish populations.

ILM was hired in 2024 to execute a whole-lake systemic herbicide treatment as recommended in the lake management plan that targets Eurasian water milfoil and curly-leaf pondweed but does not impact native plant populations. The long-term goal of these treatments is to significantly control these invasive species while allowing the diverse native plant populations in the lake to establish in their place. After two to three years of treatments, it is expected that the native plants will have outcompeted the non-native invaders, providing additional resources for native fish, some endangered, that rely on native plants for food and shelter.