Ossipee – February 3, 2011 — Selectmen voted Monday night, Jan. 24, to treat the pesky milfoil in Ossipee Lake chemically. It took several weeks for them to decide whether or not to do it, with some convincing.
In the end, Selectman Kathleen Maloney voted against using 2,4-D treatment while Selectmen Harry Merrow and Morton Leavitt voted “with reluctance” to accept state grant money and move ahead with the treatment. They were rightfully concerned about the impact chemicals will have on water quality and safety in using chemicals and if it is truly more beneficial than hand harvesting.
Robert Oram, a Freedom resident who has been active on several boards and committees in that town, including the effort to control milfoil on their side of the lake, spoke to selectmen about the findings in that town.
“I’m not a big chemical fan myself. In Freedom we used both applications – herbicide 2,4-D and also on a smaller infestation used diver-assisted suction harvesting. We followed the diver in a canoe and noticed that as the diver moves through the water he stirs up quite a bit of the milfoil. After extraction some of it obviously breaks up. We filled two five gallon pails in an hour of parts that broke off. We see firsthand that on a larger infestation the herbicide works well. On the smaller infestation I strongly suggest you use a core of volunteers to assist because it tends to break away.”
Oram explained that in 2011 Freedom has received the same grant being offered to Ossipee from NH Department of Environmental Services. The matching grants can only be used for chemical treatments. Freedom will once again use the chemical herbicide in Danforth Bay.
“There is no way to eradicate it, but can keep it in check. Based on the herbicide application and the assessment we made – the difference was remarkable,” said Oram.
Milfoil has been found in Ossipee’s Pickerel Cove and Phillips Brook. According to reports, it has now infested a 12- to 13-acre total area.
Maloney expressed concern about the possible impact on drinking water for residents in those areas. Residents will be given advance notice before the application is applied with information about necessary precautions.