Courtesy Boat Inspector Keeps Milfoil Out of Long Pond
A routine shift at the Long Pond boat launch took an unexpected turn recently for 7 Lakes Alliance Courtesy Boat Inspector (CBI) Jarvin DeHaven, a lecturer of English at Perdue University.
Upon inspecting a boat about to enter Long Pond, DeHaven quickly identified two, one-foot long sections of a suspicious plant that he thought likely to be invasive milfoil. According to 7 Lakes CBI Coordinator Cody Pajic, "DeHaven followed milfoil inspection protocol to a T. His trained eye identified the plant as suspicious but invasive milfoils are almost impossible to distinguish from native milfoils without DNA analysis. Dr. Bernacki, professor of biology and invasive species ecology at Saint Joseph's College of Maine, ultimately confirmed what we suspected the large plants were indeed invasive variable milfoil."
Sharon Mann, who heads 7 Lakes Alliance's invasive aquatics program, noted that one "very small fragment can root quickly and eventually lead to serious problems, so preventing two very large intact sections from going into Long Pond was a great save."
Mann has overseen milfoil remediation efforts since 2018. This includes removing boatloads of milfoil from May to October by hand and diver assisted suction harvesting. She also oversees the very labor-intensive effort to put down burlap barriers over the milfoil plants in an ongoing battle to fight of spread of a "very aggressive invasive plant that survives in a wide range of climate conditions, including under ice."
Mann noted that the thought of this aggressive plant spreading into another one of our Belgrade Lakes keeps her up at night. On a positive note, she pointed out that "our relentless efforts have contained the existing infestation and kept it from spreading further into Great Pond."
The success of our invasive aquatics program to date is only possible with the support of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the towns of Rome and Belgrade, the Belgrade Lakes Association, and 7 Lakes Alliance supporters.
7 Lakes leads workshops on invasive aquatic plants identification for citizens to adopt their shoreline and coordinates invasive plant paddles for volunteers in collaboration with our lake association partners. Please call 495‑6039 or visit 7lakesalliance.org for more information or volunteer opportunities, including those relating to milfoil.