Sign up to receive a copy of our quarterly e-newsletter and stay up to speed on AdkAction.org events, elections, and activities.
Invasive water milfoil could be in your lake. Unless you are careful to inspect and clean your boat and gear, you could spread this invasive plant to other lakes when you re-launch your boat.
Most Adirondack lakes remain free of this invasive plant. Please read this to learn what you can do to prevent water milfoil from spreading.
Eurasian Water Milfoil Variable-leaf Water Milfoil
Both Eurasian and Variable-leaf:
Eurasian water milfoil has:
Variable-leaf water milfoil has:
Eurasian and/or Variable-leaf water milfoil is currently found in Upper, Middle, and Lower Saranac Lakes, Fish Creek Ponds, Floodwood Pond, Copperas Pond, Follensby Clear Pond, Lake Flower, the Saranac River, Lake Kiwassa, Oseetah Lake, Meacham Lake, Lake Placid, Long Lake, and Lake Colby, along with others throughout the region.
These non-native, invasive plants overwhelm native plants, eventually forming a thick surface mat that suffocates a lake, affects food web structure, promotes algal growth, and can even decrease property values. Swimming, boating, fishing, and all other water sports can fall victim.
Once in a lake, invasive water milfoil can never be fully eradicated, and control is costly. Lake Colby, for example, is in its tenth year of harvesting and matting, and over a ton was removed last year alone!
Invasive water milfoil forms thick underwater stands of tangled stems and vast mats at the surface, making boating, swimming, and fishing difficult or impossible. Plants spread by small fragments that "hitchhike" on watercraft and are then introduced to new waters. Once a water body is infested, controlling these aggressive invaders is very difficult and expensive.
Preventing the spread of invasive water milfoil in Adirondack lakes is a high priority.
Please avoid boating through weed-infested areas, as your wake and propeller action can increase fragmentation and therefore spread the water milfoil. Try to keep wake action near shallow areas to a minimum. Collect floating water milfoil and discard it on land. Avoid areas with diver-down flags—there are divers underwater harvesting water milfoil when these flags are up. Do not use a motor in waters such as Little Colby, where the entire pond is infested with large stands of Eurasian water milfoil plants that can be easily fragmented.Inspect your boat and remove clinging plants before moving between or leaving lakes.Tell your friends about how to prevent the spread of water milfoil and pass on this brochure.
If you forget to inspect and clean your gear before you leave, you can infect other lakes when you re-launch. Waters such as Rollins Pond, Hoel Pond, Buck Pond, Lake Kushaqua, Barnum Pond, Mountain Pond, Upper and Lower St. Regis Lakes, Spitfire Lake, Osgood Pond, St. Regis Canoe Area and many others ARE NOT yet reported to have aquatic invasive plants.
Water milfoil clings to wheel housings of trailers, wraps around propellers, sticks between trailer pads and attaches to your boat and on other recreational gear. Once introduced to a body of water, it is highly adaptive and aggressive.
In early December 2009 a group of concerned citizens and representatives of the Adirondack Council and the Paul Smith's Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) jointly made calls on three Adirondack congressional and both state senatorial delegations. A proposal was presented (click here for a link to the summary) that would bring Eurasian Water Milfoil under control in the 43 lakes currently known to be infested within seven years at a cumulative cost of $35 million. Federal appropriation for these funds was sought to be administered through the Fish & Wildlife department and implemented by the AWI. Congressman Bill Owens secured the first $500,000 at committee level, enough for AWI to do the initial mapping, but the funding bill (and all so-called earmarks) was defeated in congress. Today, AdkAction.org, Inc. continues to press for federal funding of a milfoil initiative.