Milfoil Found Growing in Beaver Lake
As many of you know, The Beaver Lake Improvement Association has been fighting against exotic species, especially Milfoil, for almost 25 years. Despite our best efforts including Lake Hosts, Weed Watchers and multi-faceted educational and informational campaigns, Milfoil was found growing in Beaver Lake.
On September 8, BLIA member Ken Kimball sent a picture to Dan Scharlach of a weed growing in the lake that he and his neighbors, Bill Davidson and Bob Delitta were concerned about . Dan forwarded the pictures to Amy Smagula, Exotic Species Coordinator for NH DES. Amy responded:
“Yikes! Can you have someone mark the area with bottles or buoys (around the four corners) and let me know where it is (street address of house it’s out in front of)? I’ll see if I can have divers down tomorrow, or if not, then Friday.”
With that email Milfoil was confirmed growing in Beaver Lake. Three days later we received the following email:
“Unfortunately the milfoil at Beaver Lake is a bit more widespread than what was marked; Walt and I found several smaller infestations outside the marked area ranging from a few stems to a dozen stem clump. Walt and I swam many transects in a wide swath around the affected area and ended up with 40 gallons. The main infestation has been knocked down, but as usual the worry is any that might be hidden in the dense pondweed growth as well as possible regrowth from the large patch. We plan a revisit on a week or so.”
After the revisit on the 24th we received this email:
“The divers came down yesterday and found a few plants in the buoyed area, plus a couple outlier plants a little ways out from the buoys. The plants were low growing and mixed with native vegetation. The deepest they found milfoil was about 11 feet down.
They think they got what is growing, and did swim several tight transects out on either side of the areas where they found growth, just to be sure. They think they are done for this year, unless someone spots some growth.”
I asked Amy what the odds of us eliminating this through divers pulling and and she said this:
“Good odds of eradication at this level. Need eagle eye Weed Watchers to keep surveying, and we will keep diving. If it gets away from us, either due to lack of vigilance or something else then we may need to go chemicals, but hopefully not!”
So what does all of this mean to us? There is one lake in New Hampshire, Great East Lake that found Milfoil early and pulled it. According to our friend Andrea Lamoreaux at NH Lakes it has not returned so there is a precedent for successful eradication. The thing I am sure of is that the BLIA will not wait and see if it will return. Our Weed Watchers will be out there this year for as long as they can and next year at first thaw. And we will continue the Lake Host program starting in June. Vigilance is the key… and not just by the BLIA but by all lake residents.
I would like to thank all of our Weed Watchers but especially Dan Scarlach who has been all over this since the first floating Milfoil was spotted. I would also like to thank Ken and Bob and Bill for paying attention and being alert enough to find something suspicious and follow through with repotting it. And, of course, I need to thank Amy and the Divers for caring enough about our little lake to drop what they were doing and respond to our emergency. It is important to remember that there are 999 other lakes in New Hampshire that they also need to worry about.
If you have any questions at all, or would like to become a Weed Watcher please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Tompkins Jr.