September 15, 2011
To Fellow Shadow Lakers,
The Board of Directors are saddened to report that Eurasian Water Milfoil has been found in Shadow Lake. A Boat Wash attendant found what was thought to be milfoil tangled in some fishing line along the boat ramp. There was no sign of it in the water around the boat ramp so it was hoped that someone had correctly discarded it on the ramp before entering the water. The sample was sent to the State of Vermont for identification. The State Department called us back confirming it was Eurasian Water Milfoil, myriophyllum spicatum (Ewm) and they felt the lake shoreline should be checked. Within days, a convoy of volunteers and the State’s specialist went around the lake with their kayaks.
The specialist found a patch of milfoil (Ewm) and took some more samples. She recommended that the State divers should come to ensure that it was only in one area. The divers did check the circumference of the lake and confirmed the milfoil seems to be in only one area. The State has had some success in getting milfoil out of other lakes and they feel this early detection is key, containing it and possibly eliminating it all together if we move quickly.
We are continuing to work with the State at this time. They plan on putting bottom barrier benthic mats of blackout plastic down over the patch, attaching them to the lake bottom. These barriers may be in the water for up to two years. This process will hopefully kill off the milfoil because it needs sunlight to thrive. The State specialists will professionally remove any single plants they may find around the patch but so far they do not see too many plants spreading out, which is good news! The State requires that a permit be issued for the work to be done in the lake. Once the permit is applied for, a 10 day public notice will be published in the local newspaper. The State is supplying all the plastic barrier material and netting for this process along with their time to get this going, at no charge to us. We will be paying for the rebar used to hold the mats down and the certified contractor (which we are required to use) who will install the bottom barriers. This first step of the process is estimated to cost around $500 but the actual numbers will be reported at the annual meeting. This money will come from the Boat Wash fund. The fund which so many have generously given to each year.
If you see any of the plants in the water please make note of where you are on the lake but DO NOT TRY TO PULL ANY MILFOIL PLANT OUT OF THE LAKE! They segment and break apart very easily and then they can spread. Report the location to any Director as soon as possible. If you DO SEE ANY OF THE MILFOIL FLOATING LOOSE ON TOP OF THE WATER, PICK IT ALL UP, GETTING IT OUT OF THE WATER! THROW IT AWAY IN YOUR TRASH or let it die by drying it out, far away from the water.
This is a large challenge we are all facing but “when the winds of change blow … adjust your sails.” Although we are very disappointed; we need to take a deep breath and move forward, keeping a pro-active thought process on this fight against all types of invasive species! A prime example of forging ahead was just two days after the milfoil patch was found, a Boat Wash attendant checked a boat going into the water and their motor had weeds tangled all around their propeller, a very stringy weed (we hadn’t seen before) and milfoil mixed in with it. The samples have also been sent into the State Lab for identification BUT this boater would have brought it right into the lake by the boat ramp area, if it hadn’t been for the Boat Wash staff. This incident is a testament to how important it is to keep supporting the Boat Wash so it can continue inspecting watercrafts. We don’t want to get more milfoil, or other invasive species, in more areas of our lake. It is very important to try to keep this invasion to a minimum!
If you have any further questions or want to volunteer to help on the containment project please contact any director as soon as possible.
The Shadow Lake Board of Directors