The Upper Saranac Foundation’s Aquatic Invasive Divers have completed a successful invasive harvesting season. Over 20 weeks, the team removed nearly seven tons of invasive plants. Our team removed invasive milfoil from Upper Saranac Lake, Fish Creek Ponds, Square Pond, Follensby Clear Pond, Lake Placid, and Moody Pond in the village of Saranac Lake. Divers began harvesting milfoil in early June and continued into October.
This is the first year of the newly created Aquatic Invasive Dive (AID) Team. In past years, USF contracted independent companies for this aquatic invasive species (AIS) management service. This year, we took over AIS operations by employing and supervising our own divers. We hired divers that had a wealth of AIS experience as well as a history and knowledge of hand-harvesting on our local water bodies.
The shift in administration reduced the expense to USF while providing a direct management approach that further increased efficiency. The expansion to other water bodies outside the watershed enabled us to extend our knowledge of AIS management regionally and share similar accomplishments as has been achieved on Upper Saranac Lake. USF is nationally known for our AIS management success.
The success of the AID program is attributed to our partners and funding through grants from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the NEIWPCC, and support from Friends of Moody Pond, the Lake Placid Shore Owners Association, and donations made to USF.
Removal and control of AIS protects downstream waters from infestation and helps prevent the export of AIS to non-infested waters. The program protects economic value through recreation, tourism, sportsmanship, and second home ownership by providing clear, weed-free waterways.