Ossipee — July 11, 2011 — Two new patches of invasive variable milfoil have been found in Ossipee Lake, and a third has been discovered in the Ossipee River below the dam complex. The weeds were reported to DES and Ossipee Lake Alliance, and were confirmed to be non-native milfoil by Freedom resident Jim McElroy, a member of the Freedom Conservation Commission’s Aquatic Invasive Species Committee.
Near Marjorie Point on Broad Bay, an alert property owner contacted the Alliance after noticing a patch of suspicious weeds growing off the end of his dock in a small cove southwest of Camp Huckins. Days later, another Broad Bay property owner contacted the state to report that suspicious weeds had washed up on his shore in Sunset Cove, in the Ridge Road area of Ossipee.
McElroy confirmed both samples to be invasive milfoil. Since the Sunset Cove sample had been obtained from the beach, he surveyed the area by boat and found one location near the shore where plants were growing. Due to the windy conditions, however, a complete survey was not possible. Contact was made with the Ossipee Conservation Commission so that they can address this new find.
The discoveries of new infestations come on the heels of successful aquatic herbicide treatments of the exotic weed last month in a number of locations around the lake. With oversight from their conservation commissions, the Towns of Ossipee and Freedom initiated control treatments in Danforth Pond, Danforth Brook (Ossipee Lake Marina), Causeway Cove, and Phillips Brook.
At the same time, a small patch of milfoil was treated in Huckins Pond, a small body of water favored by fishermen and canoeists directly north of Danforth Pond. That patch was discovered last year by DES. While boating to this location, the herbicide applicator also identified several small patches of milfoil in the river leading to Huckins Pond and notified DES and the Freedom Aquatic Invasive Species Committee. The Freedom Board of Selectmen approved allocation of milfoil funds to address these small patches within the river, and the company New England Milfoil removed the plants on June 28. Due to the small size of the infestation and shallow water, hand pulling by a diver was used rather than a DASH unit.
In an e-mail to the Alliance, DES Exotic Species Program Coordinator Amy Smagula said weeds found in the Ossipee River south of the Ossipee River Dam have been confirmed as variable milfoil. Above the dam, a patch found and treated last year has returned and is being addressed by the Freedom and Effingham Conservation Commissions. Schedules are currently being coordinated by Effingham and Freedom to work on the Marjory Point and Ossipee River infestations with the work to be conducted by New England Milfoil. It may also be possible to do a more complete survey of the Sunset Cove location on the same day with cooperation from the Ossipee Conservation Commission.
Alliance Director Susan Marks thanked the volunteers who reported the latest infestations and asked all lake residents and visitors to remove floating milfoil fragments from the lake and dispose of them in a trash bag. However, pulling growing plants from the lake is not permitted except by state license. Suspicious weeds should be reported to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact the Freedom, Ossipee or Effingham Conservation Commissions by phoning the appropriate Town Hall.