Spot Treatment with Herbicide Proposed for 2012

In a prior post we reported on the low incidence of E. milfoil found in the September 2011 survey, but noted that “we are very cautious about the low incidence of milfoil reported here.”  Based on anecdotal information we expected that considerably more milfoil has returned to the lake.  Now we have received a report from Lycott titled  Summary of 2011 Eurasian Milfoil Observations & 2012 Management Recommendations which confirms our fears.

You can download the three page document ay clicking this link, but here are the high points:

  • Milfoil was observed at fourteen locations around the lake this summer.
  • Ten of these exhibit only “sparse” growth.  We believe that these can be managed with hand pulling next summer.
  • Three areas have “moderate” growth.  In these locatirons we will employ either hand pulling or install bottom barriers, as the situation warrants.
  • At the mouth of Middle Brook there is an eight acre patch with heavy milfoil growth.  Lycott recommends that we again apply the herbicide triclopyr to this area for three reasons:
    • The existence of native species in moderate to heavy densities makes finding E. Milfoil difficult
    • Wide distribution of E. Milfoil over 8+ acres will be difficult to target with bottom-barrier
    • Sediment deposits in this area can greatly reduce visibility during hand-pulling and therefore increase the chance that plants will be missed

The report includes maps showing the locations where milfoil was found.

This comes as somewhat of a surprise to us, as we had come to believe that the 2010 herbicide treatment might last a few years. Apparently this is not the case. We are learning that milfoil is a pernicious weed (alright, we already knew that), and that its roots can survive in the ground under the lake for years. We do not know whether the newly grown milfoil is growth from submerged rootstock, if it is newly seeded from introduced plant fragments, or if some if it is coming into the lake down Middle Brook.

Based on this information we are beginning to explore just what this will mean for Lake Fairlee and for the Association.  We will be meeting with representatives of the State DEC to discuss premitting, notifications, testing, and funding.  As we know more it will be posted here.

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In related news, we have learned that our sister Lake Morey intends to apply an herbicide treatment next summer as well.  They treated portions of their lake in the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009.  Now the area they treated in 2007 is again densely infested with E. milfoil.