NORTHWOODS - People use fertilizer to help their plants grow. But strong winds and runoff from rain can move those nutrients into local lakes and rivers, causing significant problems for the habitat and water quality.
Many fertilizers contain phosphorus, which can be harmful to lakes. The DNR says that, while the nutrients in fertilizer are helpful to plants, they can cause an overgrowth in lakes and rivers.
"Fertilizer provides nutrients that plants need to grow," said Rhinelander DNR Fisheries Biologist John Kubisiak. "That's why we apply it--to make things grow. And in our lakes and rivers, it does the same thing: it makes plants grow. And that can be a problem if you get excessive plant growth."