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Controlling Invasive/Exotic Weeds

By: Wendi Tremblay

At the May 12th board meeting, discussion took place regarding who is more likely to potentially spread exotic weeds, so that we can aim education more specifically at these sources.

It is widely believed by the board, that residents of Swains Lake are not the major issue with this risk . This is because most of us launch our boats in the spring, and leave them here throughout the summer. Rather, it is the boats that are launched for the day. These boats may have been to other lakes in the days and hours before launching at Swains Lake. In some cases, fisherman often fish several lakes in the course of a day. Marine Patrol can possibly be another culprit!

During a conversation I had with a member of Marine Patrol last year, I was told that when they make their daily rounds, they don’t take into account which lakes have milfoil and which don’t! And they often launch at lakes infested with milfoil before entering milfoil-free lakes. Astounded at learning this, I asked “why?” I was told that birds and ducks fly from lake to lake and they can spread the weed seeds on their feet, so they feel that following a protocol of checking milfoil-free lakes first, still will not guarantee that we stay free of the weed. He felt it was unfair to focus on them in the desire to prevent the spread of this weed.

Your SLA board is considering who to approach in order to at least require Marine Patrol to launch in milfoil infested lakes AFTER those that are free of it are patrolled. An ideal solution would be to patrol milfoil-free lakes and those with the weeds on different days, and after leaving the milfoil infested lakes , boats need to be thoroughly washed.

We also discussed the possibility of having a hand pump well in the boat launch parking lot, along with a bucket for people to use. This was decided against being set up because of the fear that people would plan on using it to wash their boats, and the seeds would then wash into the lake anyway.

By mid to late June, we hope to have a larger sign at the boat launch in addition to the one that is currently there, warning of the dangers of spreading milfoil and exotic weeds and what can be done to prevent it.

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