The summer of 2011 was a breakthrough season for the Foundation’s Milfoil Control Program. The new program, designed by Aquatic Invasive Management (AIM), of two divers, working four, 10 hour days, for 20 weeks was a great success. Compared with 2010, when there were larger teams for shorter periods, the amount of Milfoil Harvested in 2011 was over 50% less than in 2010.
The primary reason for this improvement was greater efficiency in locating and harvesting Milfoil before it grew into larger plants and greater density. Several factors contributed. The Community was vigilant in reporting Milfoil sightings. The Lake Manager, Guy Middleton, was extremely effective responding to the “Rapid Response” calls and in his extensive deployment of buoys marking areas where he visually found Milfoil. Guy commented that he found only one or two new locations during the entire summer. As a result, the divers were able spend their time harvesting and not searching for Milfoil. In addition, having the same divers annually increases their effectiveness. Guy and the divers, through their extensive time on the Lake know every area of potential Milfoil growth.
In short, fewer divers, spending more time on the Lake and harvesting, combined with their knowledge of the Lake and Guy’s buoys, allowed the divers to stay ahead of the Milfoil growth and regrowth. Thus plant size and densities were significantly reduced. As Dan Kelting (Adirondack Watershed Institute) said in his 2011 USL Plant Monitoring Report, “Average Milfoil density in 2011 was lower than 2010, indicating that the management team was able to reverse the increasing trend in the preceding three years”.
This summer, we will repeat the 2011 Program. The years of experience, testing and refinement, by AIM and Guy, have lead to an efficient and effective means of controlling Milfoil infestation of the Lake. Diving began on May 14th this year and will continue through the week of September 24th.
While on the water, we implore Lake residents and guests to be aware of divers working underwater. Please watch for these locations marked by the international diver flag. Stay away at least 300 feet to avoid injury to our divers.
Please remember that you, the Lake Community, are an integral and important part of the Program’s success. Please report any suspected Milfoil sightings to Guy. Go to www.uslf.org for contact information. On the web site, you can follow the summer’s progress with bi-weekly reports and maps under “Milfoil Current”. Reports from last year and Dan Kelting’s Monitoring Report can be found there as well. In addition, Guy’s periodic “Lake Manager Articles” and “Water Quality” reports are listed below “Milfoil Current”.
Finally, none of these activities would be possible without your generous support and involvement. We thank you.