Freedom—July 29, 2014—Ossipee Lake has a new infestation of variable milfoil. Kayaker Jonathan Habif found the weeds in what is known as Liguori Cove, at the midpoint of the channel between Berry Bay and Leavitt Bay. It is Ossipee Lake’s 11th area of infestation.
Habif, a long-time lake resident, reported his find to Ossipee Lake Alliance director Susan Marks who alerted the Freedom Aquatic Invasive Species Committee (FAISC). She helped FAISC Chairman Jim McElroy mark off the weeds, and McElroy arranged for them to be removed by a state-licensed vendor.
Last week, professional diver and milfoil specialist Cliff Cabral of New England Milfoil harvested approximately 400 gallons of milfoil plants from the site using Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting, or DASH. DASH combines hand harvesting by trained divers and the use of a mechanical suction device that brings the plants and fragments to the surface for bagging and disposal.
McElroy said Cabral has already worked extensively on the lake this summer, removing milfoil from the Danforth Ponds, the Ossipee River (below the dam), and Danforth Brook, which feeds into Broad Bay at Ossipee Lake Marina.
“We have targeted some additional areas, such as Margery Cove in Broad Bay and further work in Danforth,” McElroy said. “But at this point we have expended most of the funds in the town account and will soon be dipping into our milfoil gift account.”
McElroy said the town received two state grants this year that provide a 40% match of town funds for variable milfoil control (one grant for herbicide treatment and one for DASH / hand pulling).
In addition to these efforts, FAISC has also been engaged in an educational campaign with lake users. Committee co-chair Ned Kucera led the development of a milfoil flyer that has been initially targeted to lake front abutters in Freedom.
The newly infested area in Liguori Cove will be closely monitored for future growth, and boaters are asked to refrain from using propeller-operated boats in the area. Propellers can spread milfoil fragments to create new infestations elsewhere.
Berry Bay Association President Roberta MacCarthy applauded all involved, noting that the problem was addressed swiftly after it was found.
“This all points to the importance of closely monitoring Berry Bay and our surrounding waterways for milfoil plants,” she said in an email to her Association’s members.
“When you are out on the lake, please take time to monitor the shorelines and shallow cove areas, and check your boat and anchors for attached plant fragments when you take your boat out of the lake.”
Ossipee Lake Alliance maintains an archive of material about milfoil on the lake. It’s at www.ossipeelake.org/programs/ossipee-lake-milfoil/.