Summertime in the Belgrades
August 10 – 16
Prevention is Still the Key to Success
by Lynn Matson
Maine officials and state conservation leaders have know about milfoil for years and clearly understood the risks and problems associated with this invasive plant. Their mission has always been to keep it out of our lakes.
Prevention is at the heart of the state milfoil boat sticker program and is the objective our Courtesy Boat Inspection initiative, which has now been in operation for nearly 20 years. In 2011, the BRCA Courtesy Boat Inspectors checked 5,285 boats at the public ramps on Great and Long Pond. Over the last five years inspectors have found invasive plants on five boats at these ramps
The Courtesy Boat Inspection program works. Remember, variable milfoil got into Great Pond at the Route 225 bridge, which is not an authorized ramp and where there are no inspectors. A chain link gate has now been installed at the bridge to prevent further boat launches.
Prevention Is Critical To Stopping The Further Spread Of Milfoil
Now that milfoil is in Great Pond, it may seem like this prevention strategy is no longer appropriate. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, prevention is now more important than ever.
Yes, variable milfoil is in Great Meadow Stream and North Bay of Great Pond, but it is presently confined to this relatively small area. It hasn't been found growing anywhere else in the lake. Our job now is to keep it contained and prevent it from spreading.
It's also true that as more lakes become infested with milfoil, the more likely it will spread to other nearby lakes and water bodies. This is especially true for Great Pond, given its size and volume of boat traffic. If Great Pond becomes overrun with variable milfoil there's a very high probability it will also infest Long Pond and the other lakes in the Belgrade watershed.
The key to stopping this kind of catastrophe is prevention. We've got to prevent this invasive plant from spreading further out into Great Pond and into its neighboring lakes.
The work underway right now in Great Meadow Stream and North Bay is focused on prevention. The milfoil plants are being removed so they can't spread. The goal is get 95+% of them pulled out before the work ends in late September. Great and Long Pond are also being continuously surveyed to find and remove any new plant growth before it can become established. To date, none has been found.
How You can Help
Our best long-term defense against the spread of milfoil is a well-informed and vigilant lake community. Here's how you can help:
Great Pond Action Plan Update
Working in Great Meadow Stream, New England Milfoil removed 4,000 gallons of milfoil last week, and the BRCA team pulled out an additional 1,330 gallons. To date, 33,264 gallons have taken out this season. It's now estimated that 85% of the milfoil growing in Great Meadow Stream and North Bay has been removed.
The Stop Milfoil Capital Campaign has received $156,070 from 207 individual donors. More is needed to complete this work. Please contribute. For more information, call