Effingham Has First Milfoil Infestation

Effingham – September 23, 2010 – Effingham this week become the third Ossipee Lake town faced with the task of addressing a milfoil infestation.

DES officials say DNA tests confirm that weeds found along the Effingham shore near the Ossipee River Dam are variable milfoil. Variable milfoil, as opposed to harmless native milfoil, is a fast-growing invasive that cannot be eradicated once it takes root. It is spread by boats whose props chop it into pieces that are dispersed by lake currents, with each tiny fragment capable of starting a new infestation.

Ossipee Lake Alliance officials said the origin of the infestation could have been fragments from Phillips Brook, Leavitt Bay or Portsmouth Cove, or a weed fragment could have fallen from a fishing boat trolling in the immediate area. A kayaker found the weeds this summer and sent samples to DES for testing.

Innocuous looking area is home to Ossipee Lake’s latest milfoil infestation, just above the Ossipee River dam, which is a popular spot for fishing. [Alliance Photo]

The discovery is bad news for Effingham, which has a relatively small footprint on the lake but a sizable presence on the Ossipee River. Because of the location of the infestation, just above the dam where the lake drains into the river, the potential exists for the milfoil to move downstream if it is hit by a boat prop or dislodged by a flood. The infestation is in an area estimated to be about 16 square feet in dimension.

While the state owns the lake, adjacent towns are responsible for controlling milfoil once it is found. To date, more than $150,000 has been spent to control milfoil in Freedom and Ossipee and the state has covered just 15% of the cost, according to Alliance figures.

Alliance officials said they have reached out to Effingham’s Select Board to help.

“Effingham has not had to deal with this problem before and we can advise them on how to create a management plan, which the state will require,” said Alliance Co-Executive Director Susan Marks.

“Given the water currents in the infestation area, the top priority will be to prevent milfoil from spreading downstream to the Ossipee River. That will require an aggressive control plan that can be implemented quickly.”

A small milfoil infestation in the Ossipee River along Freedom shores near the Effingham Falls Bridge has been managed with benthic barriers – large mats that prevent growth – since 2004. Marks said mats were a workable solution since the infestation is in relatively shallow water. It is the only confirmed patch of milfoil in the river, although a recent comment posted on the Ossipee Lake Alliance website by a river resident claims there is more milfoil further downstream. The report has not been verified, however.

Effingham participated in meetings hosted by the Alliance early this year to form a Tri-Town Milfoil Committee to improve communication and coordination of milfoil control efforts between the three lake towns. The Committee was disbanded, however, after Effingham’s representative dropped out of the meetings.

The Alliance’s Marks said “We continue to believe that inter-town coordination and cooperation are essential for long-term success in controlling milfoil in our area. The milfoil challenge is going to be with us for a long time.”


  1. MGN 14 years ago September 23, 2010

    Well, more good news for anyone who owns waterfront property.
    Kind of funny that the state wont take ownership for the clean-up since it was the state that wanted to open up the lakes by establishing public boat launches everywhere. All kinds of foreign boats began their assault on the lake and now we have milfoil.
    How does the state think the local towns are going to be able to finance this kind of clean-up on an ongoing basis???

  2. atony 14 years ago September 23, 2010

    Here is an idea…charge boaters a fee to launch their boats at the public ramps and use the money for milfoil clean-up!!!!

  3. Jim 14 years ago September 24, 2010

    I aggree charge 15 or 20 bucks a day to launch.

  4. Fred 14 years ago September 24, 2010

    there should be a launch fee at all public ramps

  5. JAM 14 years ago September 25, 2010

    Nice idea on launch fees, let us go one step further, apply a boaters (reasonable) fee/yr for every registered boat in NH, pool the moneys and use it for the clean up of milfoil in the NH lakes.
    The fees can be distributed according to the seriousness of the milfoil infestation, not all the NH lakes are in a milfoil situation, therefore, fix the lakes that have a real problem.
    I’m not sure or can even quess what the boat registration is in NH, but I,m sure it is high and with a reasonable boaters fee, and I MEAN reasonable, we can clean up the NH lakes.

  6. Tom 14 years ago September 26, 2010

    Wow you people are real tools!! If you don’t want boaters using YOUR lake then don’t allow them to register at all since part of the registration fees pay for those pesky boat launches. It is a state problem and the state should step up, but you don’t own the lake so get over it. Bitching about other boaters isn’t going to solve any problem. Standard blame game as always. Why not set up donation buckets at the launches and educate them while doing weed checks? Lobby your representatives to add a cleanup fee to registrations?

  7. Rick 14 years ago September 27, 2010

    As usual the “I’ve got mind” crowd raise the pitch forks against anyone who doesn’t fit into that category.

    Note to people living on the lake: You don’t own it. People who don’t have waterfront property have every bit as much right to enjoy the lake as you do. If there needs to be a fee assessed to help with the cleanup it should obviously be paid by ALL boaters.

    Or here’s another idea; how about higher waterfront taxes and fines for all those folks who live on lakes and who have also changed the natural look and feel of the waterfront, with walls, paths, tree and vegetation removal, gaudy decorations and additions including boat houses, etc..

    You aren’t supposed to make changes to the waterfront, but any boater knows that many of these stewards the lake, have changed the look and feel of the lake with unauthorized modifications to the waterfront.

    Lets go one step further. All waterfront modifications should be deemed to be illegal and reversed at the waterfront property owners expense, with no grandfather clause either.

    On top of beautifying the lake for those who come to appreciate it, it would also generate work for local contractors and put money into the kitty to fight milfoil. There’s nothing worse than having to look at all of that blight. It takes away from the beauty of the lake.

    Now isn’t that a nice idea.

  8. jason 14 years ago September 27, 2010

    I agree with Rick.

  9. Reed Malloy 14 years ago September 27, 2010

    Yep, Rick gave a right cross to yet another of atony’s foolish posts!

  10. atony 14 years ago September 28, 2010

    Who said it’s “our lake” or “we think we own the lake” ??? You’re both a couple of morons because you don’t comprehend the message. What many of the lake front owners are saying is we pay significantly more in taxes than those who don’t live on the water. We have a vested interest in maintaining the value of our property unlike those who just come to visit. Many of us have been on the lake for years if not generations and we never had a problem with milfoil. Hey Rick, nice rant on waterfront owners changing the shoreline…what does that have to do with milfoil infestation? Do you even realize what damage can be done by milfoil? …and you’re worried about a retaining wall??
    Milfoil is a relatively recent event and the onset times itself very closely to the public launches that went in without any consideration to the potentially negative effects on the lake. Now I see hordes of irresponsible boaters littering and contaminating the lake. (the sandbar during any holiday w/e is a prime example of the drinking, trashing and basic disregard for the lake). The w/e warriors come out, do their damage and leave. Do you really think they care if they have milfoil plants hanging off their prop as they travel from one lake to another? Not all visitors of course are irresponsible but enough are to have created this mess.
    So now I hear things like add additional fees to boat registrations or town selectman saying the that the lake front owners wouldn’t mind paying a little more to address the milfoil and I realize that there are still screwballs out there that think the gov. is the answer to our problems. The gov is who created the problem…who in their right mind thinks the gov can fix it??? You fools who naively say let the gov tax us more so they can fix our problems are indeed part of the problem yourself. And if you think I’m BLAMING you, you are correct.
    The gov gets enough money from us already, especially the lake front owners, (who really are not wealthy but have just worked hard and made sacrifices to be there). What we need to do is demand more from the gov…not give them more power and money.
    But as long as we have the Ricks and Toms running around waving the “let’s not blame anybody” , just “pay the gov. more in fees” and “you guys don’t own the lake” flags, with the Reeds of the world playing cheerleader, I can see the milfoil growing to the point where no one will be able to use the lake at all….
    The reality is that the water front property owners have a lot to lose. Those of you who don’t live on the lake know that so you can sit back and wait for the greedy, wealthy property owners to just fix the problem. If we don’t, no skin off your nose, your property values won’t be affected much at all.

  11. taxpayer 14 years ago September 28, 2010

    amen to atony! i couldnt have said it better myself….those guys must work for the government….or they are just completely clueless……

  12. Tom 14 years ago September 28, 2010

    The reality is you morons don’t know who originally got milfoil into the lake and you yourself could be spreading it around any time you cruise around the lake. You generalize about the people on the sandbar and probably don’t even know any of them. I know a large group of them have been cleaning it up for years and they don’t live there. If I owned a boat I would likely join them.
    You complain about your taxes on the water, but your taxes are figured on the value of your property NOT whether or not it’s on the water. Simply a higher value product do to supply and demand!!

  13. atony 14 years ago September 28, 2010

    1. “you yourself could be spreading it around ” very true however we certainly did not introduce it to the lake because we live there and OUR BOATS NEVER LEAVE THE LAKE.
    2.”a large group of them have been cleaning it up for years ” then why do diapers, beer cans and other bits of trash keep showing up on the shoreline of cassie cove?
    3.”your taxes are figured on the value of your property NOT whether or not it’s on the water.” really??? assessed value is supposed to compare to market value. since 2005 (the last time values were determined) property values have steadily declined but assessed property values have remained to that of 2005. Anyone who has attempted and abatement knows from listening to the BLTA and the town assessor that waterfront property is assessed higher BECAUSE it’s on the water.

    Keep living in your dream world

  14. Tom 14 years ago September 28, 2010

    Sounds to me that if you are paying for a value that is higher than actual you should all be filing a class action law suit to remedy the problem. I agree everyone that boats should pay, but blaming others isn’t the way to go. Even if your boat never leaves the lake, at some point it was out of the water. Even new boats are test driven and could have been anywhere. So again stop blaming and look for better solutions or you will alienate the ones who may help. People on the roads are just as bad with trash. It seems to be the American way to dump your trash anywhere you see fit, especially butts.

  15. Reed Malloy 14 years ago September 28, 2010

    If atony had a case he would file for an abatement, not whine incessantly and anonymously on the internet. Do you know why many of these “lakefront” owners complain but never file? Because in many cases they have made illegal additions, deletions and waterfront changes without pulling the proper permits or permissions. The single most damaging event to this lake is by a Massachussetts resident but waterfront property owner! This lake his been significantly harmed and changed for the worse not by weekend boaters or campers, but by the selfish destruction of shorefront property owners like atony. What’s that they say about people living in glass outhouses throwing stones? I will say one thing…atony’s misery brings a definite smile to my face!

  16. atony 14 years ago September 30, 2010

    Put down your Pom Poms for a second a listen.
    Many abatement attempts have been made… all the way to the state BLTA. Here are the most common results and why. In the face of prominent local realtor’s assessments, professional appraiser’s reports, NH board of realtor data and local comparables the state and town deny the abatements. They disregard any professional opinion that does not coincide with their unsubstantiated assessments. The state and town recognize a downturn in the real estate market but don’t believe lakefront property in Ossipee has been affected (Ossipee is magical that way I guess).
    That’s the “what” now here is the why: If an abatement was granted there would be in many cases a substantial credit or return to the taxpayer (based upon the decrease in property/home values since 2005). Once word got out that a taxpayer was granted an abatement for the reason of disproportionate assessment every home owner on the lake would be in line for their abatement. The town and state WILL NOT lose or give up that revenue…that’s not what gov does.
    So your rant about changes to property or homes is laughable. But if one had to choose between a retaining wall or an addition to their camp versus milfoil it’s my bet that most educated people would not choose the milfoil. I have been on the lake since the 70’s and have not seen nearly the damage to the lake because of property improvements as I have the damage to long sands and sand bar by the w/e warriors and certainly nothing like the milfoil damage in Danforth Bay.
    The misery that you mention is brought about by our government’s incompetence and arrogance that not only affects me but affects you also. Please tell me that you are not registered to vote….

  17. Jason 14 years ago September 30, 2010

    I spent the whole summer on my boat at the sands. I saw very little trash in the water. To be exact I found two beer cans in the water and I picked them up.

  18. taxpayer 14 years ago September 30, 2010

    hey jason,
    i live right near the sandbar….in one word after 4th of july…TRASHED! i was there the day after and it was disgusting…nice to see my tax dollars are hard at work trying to keep this lake clean….

  19. Jason 14 years ago September 30, 2010

    hey tax payer

    Take pictures of the trash you find and post them on this web site. I not being a wise guy I beleive you, but pictures are better then words. I anchor my boat closer to the pine river so I’m not with the cowd.

  20. atony 14 years ago September 30, 2010

    We are talking about more about the sandbar at the end of the channel. But I remember the big controversy regarding long sands and how people were using the brush area as their own personal latrine as well as the trash left behind. Ultimately they closed the beach so maybe that is why you don’t see much trash. However, I know several home owners on cassie cove and they find anything from diapers to beer cans floating up on the beach after long, busy w/e’s. Years ago it was never like that. In fact we used to go to the sand bar as kids and be the only one’s there. It was a lot cleaner then…
    A lot of you folks are going to have to come to grips with reality and that is many (NOT ALL) of the visitors to the lake are not as concerned about its welfare as the lakefront property owners. The property owners are motivated to protect the lake because they have a lot more to lose, than the random visitor, if something goes wrong. Once you accept that you can then understand the root cause of something like milfoil. Then preventative action and/or correction become much more effective. Doesn’t mean that the lakefront property owners “own the water” or “don’t want anyone else to use it” just means we have a strong sense of vulnerability especially when the state decides to provide public access and then has no plan or intent to police it.

  21. Rick 14 years ago October 1, 2010

    Yeah atony in your little world you have it all figured out, of course it’s all figured out so that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a moron, an idiot, or they work for the government, or WHATEVER… Your logic however isn’t based on facts, it’s simply the ranting of an overgrown child having a temper tantrum. Honestly you need a timeout.

    However since you insist on making this an “us vs. them” situation, let’s just move down the road you’ve put us on shall we… What I find most disturbing about the lake are all of the unauthorized, and in many cases gaudy, changes to the waterfront, made by some of the folks who “have theirs” and don’t want anyone else to be able to enjoy what is clearly everyone’s resource “the lake”. These “I’ve got mine” folks just don’t want to play by the rules. They make changes to their property that adversely affect the lake aesthetically, and I think much more focus needs to be directed to these modifications. We need to get our lake back to where it needs to be, a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing place for all to enjoy. All of these changes need to be undone and at owners expense. Let’s get together atony and work on this shall we. I’m quite sure that if enough focus is directed at this problem it spur at least a review of modifications that have been made over the years by the “I’ve got mine” crowd.

    My guess atony is that you are one of the guys with the huge cement retaining walls running across the shore, with a big old dock and a bunch of water craft dotting the landscape, leaking oil and gasoline into the lake. You are also probably one of those guys who is right there to make sure new lakefront owners don’t make any modifications to their shoreline though, just as you are right there to try to make sure nobody who doesn’t live on the lake can enjoy it.

    So keep throwing out the insults atony, call everyone morons, idiots, government employees, non taxpayers, blah, blah, blah… Honestly atony, you are one waterfront property owner who is all wet.

    Oh and as for the milfoil, I know plenty of lakefront property owners who take boats out to fish in other lakes and then put their boats right back in the lake, it happens all the time, so milfoil can get into the lake in many ways, and from what I’ve heard it can be chemically treated, which makes your juvenile ranting over milfoil pretty much meaningless. Hey I have an idea, maybe you should focus on litter as a reason to keep everyone but lake front owners like you off of the lake, or you could focus on ethnicity or religious affiliation, or maybe types of haircuts people have, anything that will single out those who don’t own on the lake from those who do.

  22. Reed Malloy 14 years ago October 1, 2010

    Bravo Rick….it couldn’t have been said any better!

  23. atony 14 years ago October 1, 2010

    I need a time out????
    Re-read my post’s because you’re not getting the point…
    Your resentment towards the lakefront property owner is very evident and misguided. Just keep in mind those lakefront property owners you seem to despise so much are providing the lion’s share of the budget for the town. You know the fire trucks, police cruisers, town employees, schools, new parks and the like mostly comes from our tax dollars. And we are not there more than two months a year. Don’t believe me?? Think I’m not being factual?? Check it out…its public record.
    It looks to me like even though you may not be living on the lake the locals make out pretty good because you would not have half the services or town employees without the lakefront revenue.
    Do some research on milfoil….it’s here to stay. It’s just a matter of how well it can be controlled. And that is in the hands of the town who, to date; have not displayed a high level of competence or action on the issue.

    The “us versus them” comments you keep bringing up are manufactured by you and you alone…you can deal with that one on your own.


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