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Update on Milfoil

Welcome Spring and Summer!  The Swains Lake Association President and Vice President have been busy working through the permitting process for this year’s milfoil treatment, which is part of a continuing plan over the next few years.  The State took care of our permits for last year’s treatment, so this year is “a first.”  Despite busy work schedules,  President Deb Winter and VP Zak Downing got it all done, and Secretary Wendi Tremblay drove it to Amy Smagula, at the NH-DES in Concord so that it would arrive on time.  

The Preliminary cost estimate for this year, according to paperwork we received from the NH-DES, is $65,000.  This is meant to cover not only treatments with the chemical “ProcellaCOR” by Solitude Lake Management but also to cover divers later in the season if they are warranted.   The State provides a grant for part of this cost, and this year, that grant comes to $32,845.00.  In addition, we have $13,330.00 from donations, that is solely dedicated to milfoil removal.  Last year, we had a very generous offer from a member in the hopes of making their donation “work harder” for us.  They offered $2,000 towards treatments and encouraged us to turn this into a matching fundraiser.   2 other families immediately offered to “match” that $2,000, and 2 others promised similar funds when it became possible for them to do so. In addition, many families used this opportunity to donate what they could, and we sincerely appreciate every penny!  

By now, everyone living on the lake should have received a notice, with a map, regarding the tentative upcoming treatment plan, and it looks pretty much the same as last year.  It is important to go over areas of bloom again to be sure all the plants are treated and killed, so they don’t take hold yet again.  That said, I spoke with Amy Smagula on May 3rd, and she intends to come out here to do a “survey” of the waters either this upcoming week or next.  She will adjust the area of treatment based on her findings from that visit.  That will impact whether or not the cost goes down.   Based on Ms. Smagula’s findings, an additional notice will go out right before treatment occurs, if you live in an area where treatment will take place.  If you do not live adjacent to an area being treated, then you will most likely not be notified.  

I have yet to get information as to whether we will have to stay off the lake during treatment, however Fish and Game reiterates that although we get a notice to stay off the lake, they will not close the launch.  It is State Law that we cannot stop boaters from entering.  However, what we did last year was successful, when several of us took turns at the launch educating those arriving, that a chemical treatment was occurring, and we were just informing them so they could make a decision as to whether or not they wanted to enter.  (The majority of people voluntarily choose to go elsewhere).  However, we have to convey that the launch is OPEN.  During my time there, I had one boater decide to go out on the water, and upon leaving a few hours later, he told me he had been screamed at from shore to “get off the lake.”   We CANNOT harass boaters who decide to launch.  All we can do is to talk to our legislative representatives about introducing bills to change that rule.  Fish and Game is determined to keep public launches open at all cost, and even though we are not happy with it, it is presently beyond our control.  

Last year, we received treatment on June 12th.  This year we are hoping to be fit in by late May.   As soon as we know a date, we will put it on our web site, as well as social media accounts.  There will also be a sign at the boat launch, and the campground will be notified.  

In the meantime, we are hoping everyone can pay their annual dues early this year.   If you wish to give us an additional donation specifically earmarked for milfoil treatment, mark that on your check.  We will keep that amount separately accounted for.    Send checks to:  Swains Lake Association.   PO Box 2 …. Barrington, NH 03825.    We also accept Venmo @SLAnh.

More updates will come as soon as I have them!   

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