2015 Boat Wash & Milfoil Control Update and Thank you

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2015 Boat Wash

In 2015, Shadow Lake was the only waterbody in the State of Vermont with a greeter staff washing boats.

During the season of 2015, our Boat Wash Station, operated 7 days a week, from 6 am until 6 pm, June 8th through September 7th. Our paid staff of Greeters interacted with a total of 422 watercraft.  2 of the boats inspected were found to be carrying plant matter, which is illegal, but No aquatic invasive species were intercepted. Of the 422 total of watercraft, 266 of those boats willingly washed upon entering the lake; and 156 declined washing for various reasons. Boaters reported having previously come from a total of 57 unique water bodies, 7 States and Quebec. Our goal for 2016 is to extend our boat wash operation to cover more of September.

imageBecause there is Milfoil in Shadow Lake, SLA Directors have asked boaters leaving the lake to please wash their watercraft upon departure to be sure of not transporting Milfoil from this lake to any other water bodies.

In 2015, SLA took a proactive approach by designing this new sign, posted at the State Fishing Access ramp area, to alert boaters using the lake to take precautionary measures when our boat wash station is not in operation. Hopefully this sign will bring awareness to help stop the spread of Milfoil.

 

Milfoil Update

In June, Ann Bove, from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, accompanied by an SLA Director and our hired SCUBA diver surveyed the Danforth Cove area as a follow up inspection following the September 2014 benthic barrier mat removal to search for any regrowth of Eurasian watermilfoil.  They were all pleased to find No Milfoil growing where the mats were located in the Danforth Cove. Science has shown if you are able to reduce the number of fragments being produced by reducing the biomass than you can reduce and even stop the spread of Milfoil. See our page dedicated to our Chronological Milfoil Control Program 2011-2014.

June 30, 2015, An article appeared in the official ‘Flow’ blog of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Watershed Management Division’s website recognizing and commending the Shadow Lake Association’s Milfoil management and control program as a success! The author concludes the article by complementing the SLA: ‘If anyone can take on Eurasian watermilfoil and win, I’m betting these folks can.’

Through out the 2015 season, our Milfoil Committee continued searching for Milfoil and other AIS around the lake by again performing two back to back diver assisted lake wide surveys, while keeping a close eye on the cove area.

End of 2015 Season, Only 3 Milfoil plants were found around the lake and No new Milfoil sites!  2 plants were found close together at site 5 (our Milfoil Committee surmised they started from fragments drifting in from site 20) and 1 scraggly Milfoil found near the cove at site 13.  See the Shadow Lake Map of known Milfoil sites 

Moving forward, while it is risky to predict what nature will do, we are extremely hopeful of not finding any Milfoil from this infestation in 2016. However, a new Milfoil infestation can be introduced at any time so we ask our lake community to please keep monitoring your shorelines and ask visitors to please wash their watercraft, including kayaks and the like at our boat wash before entering the lake. Microscopic life stages of aquatic invasive animals (Zebra mussels, Spiny water flea) cannot be seen by the human eye and can cling to any type of watercraft material, fishing or recreational equipment that goes in the water.  see our Boat Wash page

The Shadow Lake Association has funded, since 2011-2015, over $14,000.00 from our revenue of membership dues and their generous donations; as well as donations from the general public to go directly toward fighting this Milfoil.

In 2015, our Association membership amassed, an impressive, over 435 volunteer hours working toward our lake management programs. The State valued those in-kind personal services at over $5,550.00 that our volunteers freely gave to protect this lake for the mutual benefit of this entire community.  Our combined efforts positively influences our State Grant eligibility!  All the teamwork of financial support, volunteer time and labor, with morale boosting energy is greatly appreciated.

Sincerest Thank you’s:

It is a tremendous feeling to be standing on the doorstep of eradicating this infestation.

loon red eye with minnowRestoring this treasured lake from the spread of Milfoil may all be possible largely due to a handful of highly motivated individuals who have responded to this crisis by educating themselves and others while unselfishly stepping up to fight the Milfoil spread with all their might and to see this battle through, no matter how long it takes.

 

Though we can not claim complete victory yet, it is certainly time to acknowledge and extend a proper Thank you to the following tireless and dedicated people of the SLA Milfoil Committee;

  • Don Gilman, boat escort, lake survey, equipment maintenance, boat wash coordinator and greeter
  • Linda Gilman, boat crew assist, lake survey, safety watcher and recorder, boat wash coordinator and greeter
  • Christine Cano, volunteer snorkeler, Milfoil remover, boat crew assist, lake survey, safety watcher and recorder, Milfoil site mapping, VT Invasive Patroller
  • Jenifer Andrews, volunteer snorkeler, Milfoil remover, boat wash coordinator
  • Rick Utton, boat crew assist, lake survey, safety watcher and recorder
  • Rob Patton, professional SCUBA diver, Milfoil remover
  • Adam Gerlack, volunteer SCUBA diver, Milfoil remover
  • Walt Culver, boat escort, safety watcher and recorder

We could not be where we are today without the help of many terrific people. We would also like to gratefully acknowledge and wholeheartedly Thank;

  • The Shadow Lake Board of Directors, past and present, for their leadership and our Association membership for their continued support;
  • The many fine towns people of Glover, VT for their collaboration to protect Shadow Lake with annual funding to directly support the boat wash;
  • The VT Department of Environmental Conservation’s Grant-in aid program helping to fund our boat wash operation;
  • Our boat wash staff and volunteers, who greet the public and educate lake users about AIS prevention while working to wash and decontaminate watercraft; and
  • The many volunteers who go around the lake shoreline in kayaks or other watercraft to monitor for Milfoil and everyone who has helped on the sidelines in so many other ways too numerous to mention. You are all unsung heroes!

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We depend on and receive technical advice and council from several of the staff of the VT Agency of Natural Resources, Water Quality Division, our sincerest Thank you to;

  • Ann Bove, for the education she has given us, the technical advise, guidance and her dedication in supporting our Milfoil Committee team from day one!  Ann is a true friend of Shadow Lake and an incredible asset to the State of VT and all of its waterbodies;
  • Misha Cetner and the other State personnel who have spent time at Shadow over the past 5 years to assist with our program to control Eurasian watermilfoil; and
  • The VT Fish and Wildlife Department, for the privilege to operate our boat wash station at the Fishing Access at Shadow Lake.

~ It is incredible how much we can accomplish when we work together!

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