The Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) Dive Team is continuing another year of successful aquatic invasive species (AIS) hand-harvesting management. This is the second year that the USF is operating its own dive team. In the past the USF contracted independent companies for this service. Running our own operation not only reduces the expense of AIS harvesting, but it also provides a direct management approach, further increasing our efficiency.
Since 2004, when 20 tons of Eurasian watermilfoil was removed, there has been a steady reduction in the amount of invasive plants found in Upper Saranac Lake (USL). Last year marked the lowest amount of milfoil retrieved with under 100 pounds found in Upper Saranac Lake and Lower Fish Creek Pond.
The USF was awarded another $15,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program to continue invasive management in Follensby Clear Pond. This is the fourth consecutive year that USF has received this grant. Over the first three years of the program, over 7 tons of milfoil has been removed. Invasive management in the tributaries of Fish Creek Campground and Follensby Clear Pond prevents the export of AIS downstream toward USL, protecting shore owners’ investments from new infestations.
The USF dive team also provides AIS harvesting services to both Lake Placid and Moody Pond in the Village of Saranac Lake. The expansion to other waterbodies helps offset the USF’s costs while sharing our knowledge of AIS management. The USF is nationally known for our AIS management success. We are happy to assist our neighbors in achieving similar accomplishments.
The dive team began harvesting milfoil in May and have already dove the waters of Upper Saranac Lake, Fish Creek Ponds, Square Pond, Follensby Clear Pond, Lake Placid, and Moody Pond. The divers will continue their efforts into October.