On August 1st LEA staff visited Mast Cove and found milfoil. We were acting on a tip from an angler who mentioned the situation to one of LEA's Courtesy Boat Inspectors. The patch he described was about 4 miles south of the public boat launch in Bridgton. Upon arrival we discovered very mature plants with some producing flowers.
The next day two staff from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection joined LEA for an inspection of the site. They confirmed that we had Variable Leaf Watermilfoil and we started formulating a plan. The first step was to ask the boaters using the marina to remove plants when leaving the launch and when entering Long Lake. The DEP provided signs to place at the launch as a reminder. The second step was to get in there and start working.
What are we doing?
Less than a week after the discovery we had a full plant control crew working in Mast Cove to suppress the infestation. The team that has worked so hard in Sebago Cove all summer is spending this week diving, laying tarps, and surveying the area. This is hard work but they are up for the challenge. Thanks to Tommy Chagrasulis, Derek Douglass, Abe Wiblin, Andrew Ferris, Lucien Sulloway, and Christian Oren for switching gears so quickly.
Crew members are using the DASH - (Diver Assisted Suction Harvester) The primary goal is to reduce the amount of plant matter at the surface of the water. With boats still docked at the marina it is critical that we reduce the chances that a propeller will produce more fragments. The crew is also laying down tarps in order to block the plants from getting sun. A survey of the area on Wednesday revealed a few more patches of milfoil further into the cove. See details about how you can help survey below.
Abe scouting for fragments
This leads to the last option for help. On Tuesday, August 15th we will be conducting a survey of the southern basin of Long Lake. We will cover as much lake as possible looking for more patches of milfoil. We hope that we don't find any but it's better to know now so we can create an action plan. If you would like to join us please meet at the Naples Town Beach at 8am on August 15th. Please bring snorkeling gear and/or a kayak. Remember to bring life jackets. There will be further opportunities to help with this project so stay tuned!
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