Ossipee to Put the Chemicals to Milfoil

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.


  1. Cathie Bowen 13 years ago February 4, 2011

    Thank you to the Selectmen of Ossipee. As a shorefront owner adjacent to Phillips Brook, I too have seen how easily the milfoil breaks off and spreads quickly. Broken pieces are washed ashore which we pick up and throw away as much as we can, to no avail. I often wondered why people were not prevented from entering Phillips Brook, especially motorized boats and pedal boats, until the weed has been mitigated. Over the past 5 years the milfoil has spread and spread. I know the divers had harvested but it is back in full force. I look forward to the chemical treatment and hope that it reduces the current infestation and keeps it from spreading further. Here, here to the Selectmen for helping to protect our lake!

  2. Richard Phillips 13 years ago February 4, 2011

    Would the Ossipee Lake News post a photo of the milfoil? I would like to see exactly what you are talking about. My experience on the Lake spans 1947 to 1991. It is my recollection the coves were very weedy. Could it be that the cottages and their inhabitants are the invaders?

  3. John 13 years ago February 5, 2011

    I am a long time owner of lake front property in Freedom N.H. (Danforth Bay) and when we purchased this property the water was absolutely a wonderous body of water. Our children grew up during the summer months and late fall enjoying the water. Now the past five years or so it has been a battle maintaining the clean up of Milfoil. We enjoyed swimming off our frontage but now the pieces of Milfoil that are floating into our cove is a continuous clean up. We love Danforth Bay and will continue to enjoy it’s beauty, but the invasion of Milfoil has certainly put a scare in our habits, we now have grandchildern and will not allow them to swim off our lake frontage due to our fear they may get tangled in the Milfoil. We are pleased for the treatment to the lake with 2,4-D a year ago, but the Milfoil has raised it’s ugly head once again. We are greatful for the treatment that the town of Freedom accomplished on Danforth Bay and hope it will continue and also would like to thank all the town officals for there support and hope they will continue there quest to preserve the beauty of our lakes.

  4. Chris 13 years ago February 7, 2011

    As one who is concerned about the environment I dislike the idea of using any chemicals, however, in certain cases there must be exceptions. It is a moot point, if we don’t eliminate the milfoil, there will be no lake for wildlife or people.


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