The 2020 Follensby Clear Pond Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Management Project Report is now available.
The report summarizes data, management techniques, and program highlights for the Follensby Clear Pond AIS Removal Project (FCAISRP). This project was made possible through a $15,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.
Following successful AIS management on Upper Saranac Lake (USL), the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has expanded AIS control efforts to surrounding tributaries. The expansion of management at the 495 acre Follensby Clear Pond will prevent the export of AIS downstream toward USL, protecting shore owner’s investments from infestation.
The report includes project activities that can be summarized in the following key points:
- Divers were contracted to restore 18 acres of littoral waterfront by removing invasive Eurasian watermilfoil through hand-harvesting methods.
- 2020 acted as the initial “front load” first-year intensive AIS harvest. — 240 hours of dive time was dedicated and 264 bags, or 6,600 pounds, of watermilfoil was removed from within the management area.
- Plant surveys, mapping, and project monitoring were completed throughout the project to monitor changes and provide data on the efficacy and success of the project.
- Expanded plant surveys conducted of the entire pond, outside the 2020 management area, found an additional 8.61 acres of AIS that was not identified in a 2017 plant survey.
- A post-harvesting plant survey was conducted following the management period; no AIS was found in the 18-acre management area.
While the long term objective is to eradicate AIS in Follensby Clear Pond, it is anticipated that each successive year of management will yield less AIS plant growth from the pond and a year-to-year decline in total area and amount of plant material removed. This project is consistent with USF goals of providing clear waterways and ensuring the sustainability of our natural public resources for future generations.
The FCAISRP is part of a larger watershed protection program, developed by USF, that uses a combination of AIS prevention, monitoring, management, control activities, and education to inhibit AIS spread.