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Milfoil Treatment Update

We wanted to share with you information/update on the June 12 Treatment of Milfoil on Swains Lake…

We started working with the State of New Hampshire last June and have an amazing rep, Amy Smagula who has been incredibly helpful and responsive. The surveying was completed, the permits were submitted. It has been a long year of teamwork with Amy and the Swains Lake Association as we collected names for the Certified Letters to all residents, kept her alerted to all new findings and concerns from residents. Thank you to Zak Downing for helping us share this information with you in a timely manner, we try to get this to you as soon as possible when received.

We tried to make certain everyone was updated on the treatment process, although it took us longer than we would like, we do appreciate the support and work that went into this treatment.

On Saturday, we (Deb Winter, Jamieson Winter, Wendi Tremblay, Janet Shaw & Matt Niswender) put up 160 posters around the Lake to make certain everyone was aware of the upcoming treatment. That was definitely a labor of love as we encountered the hot sun and torrential rain . We have been advised to leave the signage posted at least 7 days – we will start to remove them but if you see any in your area, please feel free to grab it any time after Monday afternoon.

Peter from Solitude arrived at the Boat Launch around 10:30 am and worked until 7:30 pm – we appreciate the support (Wendi Tremblay, Lisa Donovan, Cindi Harrington and Joanna Weston) at the Launch to help inform and monitor incoming/outgoing boat launches.

INFORMATION FROM PETER/SOLITUDE: The chemical used (ProcellCOR) only targets milfoil so other plants and animals are not affected. Some types of pond lilies may turn brownish, and the leaves may curl temporarily, but pond lilys will not die. They just won't look great for a while. However, it will kill the milfoil plants that are rooted in place. Some really thick patches may possibly require a second application, but confident most will respond to this treatment.

The milfoil plants begin to absorb the chemical (ProcellaCOR) immediately when it is placed in the area of the patch. The boat is an airboat (similar to what they have in the Everglades), and it is retrofitted with a large tank to hold the chemical which is mixed with water when applied. A number of hoses apply the herbicide directly underneath the surface of the lake. This prevents "spray" from blowing on shore.

24 hours after application, the milfoil plants will have absorbed all the chemicals they need to kill them. In about 3-4 days you will see some browning of the plants, and they should die off in 3-4 weeks. Wendi asked why he only did one swipe in certain areas and along Mica Point and he said that the woman who works at the DES and does the surveying sends him the numbers to calibrate into his system and disburse the proper amount of herbicide at any given location. The milfoil was so thick at the area from the boat launch to the 2 islands, that he was in that area the first 2 1/2 hours of his "tour" of Swains Lake.

BROKEN or FLOATING Milfoil after TREATMENT: What happens if stems are broken off before the plant dies. Do they still root? Amy of the DES says they will NOT. The plant has already absorbed the herbicide, so they will die off even if they begin to put roots down.

Existing BROKEN or FLOATING before TREATMENT: The milfoil that was already broken off and floating around the lake can still take root, because as a floating stem, it won't absorb the herbicide, (floating stems have no roots to absorb this chemical which targets the root system). So, this will be an ongoing process on a yearly basis, although Amy expects each year we will need less and less. So, as we asked last year, if you see it floating, please try to pick it up (pool skimmer, etc) and remove from the lake – if rooted – please do not pull it out as it spreads wildly that way.

TREATMENT SUMMARY: On Monday, Solitude treated 74 acres of the lake. Peter, (Solitude) says his uneducated guess for next year may be 20 acres. Amy from the DES will re-survey the lake in late August and again next spring and mark the spots for next year's treatment. On Wednesday, both Amy and Peter felt the process went very well and they are confident they accomplished a lot, but do expect us to need more treatments in the future.

COST: This treatment cost approx. $65,000 (permits, surveying and treatment). The State of NH covered this expense for 2023. They will only cover 1 year, so future treatments will be responsibility of the residents.

That said, we do have some fun ideas (if that is possible) for Fundraising. We are also planning to explore options for additional grants but will not know that until early 2024.

We appreciate everyone’s support and diligence on Monday to get the job done!

We will update again as we receive more information!

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Appreciate the efforts of all. Thank you Ruthann Lennon


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