On August 15th the combined team, in the photo below, gathered to begin assessing the cause of increased phosphate in Lake Fairlee. Four members of the Vermont Department of Environment Conservation joined four members of the Lake Fairlee Association “Water Quality Action Committee” for a “get to know” overview of the lake. From the information gained on the tour, plans will be made for what measurements will be needed to better assess the lake health. Multiple hypotheses still remain to understand the increase of nutrients in the lake.
[ What follows are the notes from the divers submitted after their visit of September 11-13. ]
We extracted a total of 31 panels (est. just over 18,000 sf) and associated metal from sites shown in red. The only remaining panels that I am aware of are at the Middle Brook site (site 14 on this map).
Additionally, we hand harvested a total of 3,138 plants from 8 sites.
We did not visit (DNV) several of the sites in the south basin, but it is expected that there is growth at those sites.
Of the sites/areas we did work, milfoil growth does seem to be increasing. As examples consider the following observations:
Site 6 yielded over 1000 plants and these were noted to be spread throughout the bay, as deep as 15′ generally mixed among dense growth of native species.
Site 15, originally just the boat launch at Aloha Hive, is now spread a bit South and well East of the launch scattered to moderate all the way to the southernmost portion of the swim docks transitioning from flat silty bottom to moderately steep and rocky area.
Site 5 was not fully cleared, but plants are moderately scattered from the swim platform off the point northward a full three properties (to the large yellow house with white trim (which also has a very loud Chocolate Lab)). We worked the northernmost reach of that site off of the yellow and white house.
And while it is not noted on my map, there are also scattered milfoil plants just outside of the public boat launch.. primarily on the northern bit in the shallow rocky area just outside of the launch itself.
In general, it seems that milfoil is again starting to grow/spread faster than we are clearing it… though that conclusion is necessarily tentative. Once the full survey is conducted this week we’ll be able to put together a game plan for 2013. I would anticipate however that the 2013 plan include more robust harvesting 2-3 times throughout the summer (i.e., perhaps as much as a concentrated week-long efforts instead of spreading out 2-day visits). We’ll revisit this idea once the survey/maps are completed.