No Milfoil in Portsmouth Cove

Ossipee — November 25, 2009 — Portsmouth Cove – a small inlet on the channel between Broad Bay and Leavitt Bay – is milfoil-free, at least for the moment. That’s the word from Amy Smagula, coordinator of the state’s Exotic Species Program, who surveyed the site this morning.

“There were plenty of native plants including chara, pondweeds, grassy spike rush, elodea and others, but no milfoil,” Smagula wrote in an email to the Alliance and local selectmen and conservation officials.

Smagula’s survey was prompted by reports from local residents of a substantial re-growth of the invasive non-native plant. Divers have annually hand-pulled milfoil from the cove since it was discovered there in 2005.

“The divers have done a good job in there and I didn’t see any rooted growth,” Smagula said this afternoon.

The report is a bright spot in what has been several months of discouraging news about milfoil, including the discovery of a major new infestation in Pickerel Cove, near Cassie Cove, and significant expansion of the weed in the Phillips Brook area of Leavitt Bay.

Smagula recently met with area selectmen and lake and conservation officials to discuss DES’ recommendation that the milfoil in Pickerel Cove, Phillips Brook and Leavitt Bay be treated with the chemical 2-4,D next year. The town would have to fund the project since state funds have been depleted for 2010.

Ossipee’s selectmen have taken the state’s recommendation under advisement.

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