Announcements / Science

New Find of Eurasian Watermilfoil

Lime Pond (10 acres) in Barnard becomes the 68th Vermont lake/pond with a population of the aquatic invasive species, Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Eurasian watermilfoil is a nonnative perennial aquatic plant that spreads primarily by plant fragments. Watermilfoil’s dense growth can reduce recreational opportunities, outcompete beneficial native aquatic plants, and provides little value to wildlife.

Lime Pond’s watermilfoil population is considered moderate with limited growth throughout the shallow pond. Eurasian watermilfoil has likely been in the pond for some time. The infestation was discovered by Lakes staff conducting annual water quality sampling and represents the first confirmation of this species in the town of Barnard and this area of the state. Silver Lake (84 acres) is also located in the town of Barnard; no Eurasian watermilfoil is reported in Silver Lake.

Roughly 78% of Vermont’s lakes and ponds are not infested with Eurasian watermilfoil or another aquatic invasive plant or animal. Anyone using a Vermont water body is encouraged to be responsible stewards of state waters and take precautions that will reduce the opportunity for aquatic invasive species or wildlife disease to hitchhike along. Practicing “best practices” can help prevent aquatic hitchhikers like Eurasian watermilfoil from spreading from one water body to another.

Before leaving a lake or stream:

  • Clean off any mud, plants (even small fragments), and animals from boats, trailers and equipment; discard in the trash.
  • Drain boat and equipment away from water.
  • Dry anything that comes into contact with water.
  • Always buy bait from licensed dealers.
  • Never leave waters with live fish, or release plants or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.

To remove organisms you cannot see on your boat, waders or gear:

  • Scrub equipment with hot soapy water.
  • Spray boat and trailer with high pressure water and/or dry in the sun for 5 days.
  • Soak clothes, waders and other absorbent items in hot soapy water for 30 minutes.

For more information about “Best Practices” and “Disinfection Procedures” to keep your gear and possessions free of other invasive species and wildlife pathogens, visit:

http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/lakes/htm/ans/lp_ans-index.htm

A dense patch of Eurasian watermilfoil growing in a Vermont lake. Photo credit, VTDEC.

A dense patch of Eurasian watermilfoil growing in a Vermont lake. Photo credit, VTDEC.