News Briefs

Lakes Region News Briefs 9/6

By Lani Duke

Lake group tries new approach to eradicating milfoil from Bomoseen: new harvester gets to work

The Lake Bomoseen Association has wound up a 10-day, $29,500 weed harvesting program in which a pair of harvester boats cut and pulled Eurasian milfoil from water south of the float bridge. Over time and careful observation, the LBA has been learning more about the invasive plant and how it affects the lake, the organization’s secretary and treasury John Hale told the Rutland Herald.

Using a sonar survey taken last summer, the LBA located and directed its efforts on the highest milfoil concentrations, or 210 acres of the lake’s 2,400-acre surface. Milfoil grows on sediment-rich bottoms but not on sand.

LBA member Bill Wood noted that the boats cut the milfoil, unlike a model used in the past that unsuccessfully attempted to pull the weed out by the roots. This year’s harvesters were removing 40 to 50 cubic yards of milfoil a day.

The Agency of Natural Resources’ aquatic invasive species management coordinator, Josh Mulhollem, believes Vermont is successful in combatting milfoil statewide, with very few new populations, only one or two a year, a low number attributable to increased public education and having greeters to caution boaters on milfoil control at access points. About 60 bodies of water in the state are currently infested

Historic interlake channel to be restored

POULTNEY—The Lake St. Catherine Association hopes to dredge out a historic channel, filled in by sediment and downed trees, connecting Lily Pond to the lake and restoring a navigable channel between the two. The organization’s permit application promised that the channel reopening would benefit both bodies.

In the application, the LSCA provided significant evidence that the channel had been in use in the past and had filled in over time, ANR Regional Permit Analyst Laura Dlugolecki said, commenting that permits to dredge were not rare but ones to reconnect two bodies of water are. The permit fell under the state’s lake encroachment statute, defining how to balance water quality and habitat against recreation needs.

Work is scheduled to begin Sept. 18, cutting a 775-foot-long, three-foot-deep channel, no wider than 25 feet. Removed sediment will dry on shore before being removed to be composted. About half the estimated $35,000 cost is already raised, LSCA Trustee Jeremy Jones said, commenting that hopes are high to raise the remainder in the community.

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