Following successful aquatic invasive species (AIS) management on Upper Saranac Lake (USL), the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has moved efforts to control AIS in contributing tributaries. In just one week of hand harvesting on Follensby Clear Pond, divers removed 5,100 pounds of the invasive milfoil plant. In comparison, the week’s prior find on USL netted just 15 pounds.

Helping underwrite the cost of managing AIS in the USL watershed, the Follensby Clear project is supported by a $15,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. A detailed account of management efforts was recently highlighted on the front page of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

The first week of this project will knock down the denser areas of the infestations. Divers will return in September to remove any regrowth. Invasive management of upstream tributaries such as Follensby Clear Pond prevent the export of AIS downstream toward USL, protecting shore owner’s investments from infestation.

Plant surveys conducted by USF determined that 18 acres of the 495-acre Follensby Clear Pond are infested with Eurasian watermilfoil. With AIS propagating through fragmentation, Follensby Clear’s infestation, located next to the pond’s outlet and near the newly enlarged culvert, is considered a major threat to USL.

The Follensby Clear Pond AIS Removal Project will enhance USF’s larger watershed protection program that uses a combination of AIS prevention, detection, monitoring, control activities, outreach, and education to inhibit AIS spread.

USF has been successfully managing AIS since 2004. Through the efforts of hand harvesting by divers, the annual poundage removed on USL has been reduced from 18 tons in 2004 to under 300 pounds in 2019. Further expansion of AIS within the watershed will assist in decreasing AIS impacts on USL.

This project is consistent with USF goals of providing clear waterways and ensuring the sustainability of our natural public resources for future generations. USF is committed to the long term sustainability of this project and will support ongoing AIS management efforts at this location past the initial harvest period.