In deference to the spawning habits of the resident fish (and the restrictions of our State permit) we wait each year until late June to begin suction harvesting. The divers are still actually hand pulling the milfoil, scooping up roots and silt to remove the whole plants. They then thrust the mass of root, silt, and plant into the vacuum hose, which sucks it up through the boat mounted pump. It is spewed out of corresponding hoses into what we call the ‘trash rack,’ a sort of floating strainer which we can tow up the boat ramp and dump at the end of the day.
DEPLOYING THE HOSES FOR SUCTION HARVESTING
While milfoil plants are being fed into the hoses by two divers on the bottom, the other two stand in the trash rack and scrape the plants and fragments from the screen to keep it from clogging.
THE SUCTION HARVESTER AT WORK
The trash rack is a utility trailer equipped with an hydraulic dumper and fitted with styrofoam floats for buoyancy. When full of wet milfoil it is very heavy. We dump it daily when it is in use.
EMPTYING THE TRASH RACK ON A CHILLY MORNING