Aquatic invasive plant species are posing challenges to both government land and water management officials and local lake associations. Both groups are fighting hard to hold the line against invasive species such as Euasian milfoil and hydrilla.
Invasive aquatic plants drive out native species, foul boat propellers, ruin fish habitat, and make lakefront shoreline areas unuseable for any type of recreation.
Informed lakefront property owners are the first line of defense. It is these folks who keep a sharp eye on the shoreline and report any suspicious looking aquatic weeds to either their local lake association or to the Maine State Bureau of Land and Water Quality.
The State Bureau maintains a very informative website that will tell readers such things as how to identify an invasive plant, how to report the finding of an invasive plant, provide information on courtesy boat inspections, give you an update on the recent chemical treatment of Salmon Lake in the Belgrade Lakes area to irradicate a recently discovered infestation, and also update you on the finding of hydrilla in both Pickerel Pond in Limerick and Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson. You can also download a pdf file of a map of Maine showing where infestations have been discovered. Please click here to go to that website.
The Lakes Environmental Association in Bridgton, Maine has recently published a report entitled "Milfoil Update 2009″ that covers a host of topics including the discovery of hydrilla in Damariscotta Lake, the use of a chemical herbicide in Salmon Lake, property owners on Lake Arrowhead and Balch Lake are banding together to fight invasives, an updated survey of York County for new infestations and a Q.&A. about the controversial use of chemical herbicides being used to fight aquatic invasive plants. Please click here to go to that very informative report.
Remember, information and observation are the first lines of defense against this menace to our beautiful lakes and ponds. If you are a lakefront property owner, or plan to be one, to be a good steward of the lake you must become familiar with these invasive species so that they someday will become a thing of the past.