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VARIABLE MILFOIL INFORMATION AND ALERT

If you live on the water, be vigilant over the shoreline in front of you. Click here for a great look at what these invasive species look like.

Update June 2016

2016 Dives and Harvest amounts:
4/21 - Washer Cove. 1 gallon - some of those plants were fragmented prior to being harvested).
5/14 - Washer Cove. 1.5 gallons  - Four Seasons. 0.5 gallons

5/23 - Four Seasons. 2.5 gallons - two of the plants had fragmented prior to being harvested

- Washer Cove. 1 gallon

Total for 2016 as of 5/23/16 = 6.5 gallons

We harvested a total of 4 gallons last year, so this is cause for concern and action. We will continue to monitor both coves, and hope you will all help us by reporting any suspicious plants in your area.

Update - June 2015

After well over 660 volunteer hours (as of May 17) devoted to the detection and removal of Variable Milfoil, we can report that we have the issue under careful control. While we are not cured (technically the lake must be have zero spottings of milfoil for over two years) we are now down to literally finding and removing one or two plants in a week.

A dedicated group of weed watchers is monitoring the lake shore. We have a team of certified divers who have been specifically trained by the state DES on the proper removal of this weed. (It cannot simply be yanked out so if you think you see one, let us know)

Amazing fact: After the state divers did the initial removals last year, it has taken 660+ volunteer hours (the state calculates the value of that time at over $22,000)  to remove just 18.5 gallons of milfoil. Imagine how expensive a full-blown infestation could become!  That's why it is so important for all of us to be continually on the alert.

What you can do:

Stay away from any markers and stay out of Washer Cove unless you live there. If you do live there, be extremely careful of what you do and where you do it in the cove.

If you have guests, educate them. If you see people in marked areas, please educate them as to why it is so important to stay away.  One fishing hook can fracture a milfoil plant, which then spreads with the currents. That fracturing is how it spreads.

If you or a guest launches any watercraft, it MUST be carefully inspected and any tiny fragment of any weed must be removed. That's how it got here in the first place and the last thing we want is for it to be re-introduced by a new, contaminated boat. It can even be brought in on fishing lures, bait buckets, canoe paddles, trailers, bilge, etc.

Keep a lookout, especially if you are on the shore or have a waterfront home, for anything that looks like milfoil. If you see something suspicious, (there are photos below) contact Tara Johnson at: tara@naturedigger.com or call or text: 566-5752.

 

Background

Variable Milfoil (Milfoil) is now officially present in Baboosic Lake, specifically in Washer Cove. Residents must now use extreme caution and always be on the lookout for new occurrences. According to Amy Smagula of DES and the veteran milfoil divers (also of DES), we have caught this infestation very quickly (thankfully), and there is a good chance we can save our lake and not become yet another milfoil statistic.

Below are photos taken the week of 6/24/14 showing you DES’ quick response to our crisis. Note: This is not the end of our milfoil issue. This invasive plant doesn’t give up easily; the divers will likely return over the summer.

If you see anything at all suspicious, or have questions about milfoil, please contact Tara Johnson at: tara@naturedigger.com or call or text: 566-5752. If you do find something questionable, if possible, please take a photo with your phone and email it to us. Many phones have GPS coordinates, which will be very helpful. If yours does not, please give us landmarks that will help us locate the plant and verify whether it is, or is not, milfoil.

We are looking for volunteers to help us locate new occurrences and set buoys for divers, so please let Tara know if you’re interested. Amy Smagula will be doing Weed Watcher training for new volunteers in the very near future. We’ll keep you posted.
 


Above is a healthy stand of Variable Milfoil found 6/27/14 at Washer Cove.
 


Amy Smagula of DES brought her two interns for a full lake survey on Tuesday, 6/24/14. They were unable to survey the northern cove, but said they didn’t find any milfoil in the lake other than Washer Cove. Our Weed Watchers checked the cove on Monday and didn’t spot milfoil; however, they will be back at it this week just to make sure nothing was overlooked.
 


Milfoil was found below a propeller in Washer Cove this week. Please be sure to check under your boats and props if you have been to another lake, or were recently in Washer Cove.
 


Walt, a diver from DES removed the milfoil under the prop (and the dock) today (Friday, June 27, 2014), but we still need to watch for small fragments of milfoil floating in the water over the next several days. Please pick up any questionable fragments, because they can root and establish new growth.

 

The divers spent most of their time near the boat launch. This area had dense milfoil and could have been detrimental to the lake. Please check your props and trailers before you bring a boat into the lake. This could have been devastating to our lake if a resident hadn’t noticed it and reported it so quickly.
 


If you see buoys like this one in Washer Cove, please steer clear of the area. These buoys are marking milfoil for the divers, and if your propeller chops up plants in the area, you could spread milfoil throughout your lake.

 

Better yet - just stay out of Washer Cove if possible, especially near the shore. It can't help the situation.

Thank you for helping us keep an eye on the situation, we could be one of the few lakes to actually beat this invasive weed. 

 

Milfoil Observation 

From Amy Smagula of the State DES:

Please put lake residents on high alert, to scan their own shorefront areas for any rooted milfoil growth. Photos of what they should look for.

Invasive Milfoil

Variable milfoil looks like a squirrel’s tail in the water, with thick tubular shape, and feather-like leaves. It can be as short as 1 foot tall to several feet tall up through the water column, growing in depths from 1 foot to 10 feet in your lake.

Baboosic does have bladderwort which looks like milfoil, but the bladderwort is a native, and has greenish or blackish looking “seeds” (actually “bellies…it’s a carnivore) on the leaves (here is a link to common look-alike species, noting native is good, exotic is bad: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/exoticspecies/plant_id_help.htm.

Don’t worry about the plant with the seeds, do worry about the one that has feather like leaves without seeds on them.

Variable milfoil can grow from shore out to depths as far down as sunlight can penetrate, so while nearshore Weed Watching is great, I suggest that Weed Watchers start at shore and go out until they can no longer see bottom, as plants can grow in depths of 10+ feed depending on clarity.
 

If you see anything suspicious, email tara@naturedigger.com or call 424-6121