The SLA is celebrating another great year of milfoil removal on Squam Lake. The 2015 season yielded 1995 gallons of milfoil from Squam Lake, Little Squam Lake and the Squam River. This is about half the amount of milfoil removed in 2014, which is great news! While we spent just as much time working on milfoil removal, there is less milfoil in the lakes to remove. In previous years, our Squam Conservation Interns, the main labor force behind on milfoil management activities, used the Diver Assisted Suction Harvester (DASH) to remove large milfoil infestations. In 2015, our removal crews experienced fewer large patches of milfoil, and spent more time handpulling instead of using the DASH. For example, we removed 550 gallons of milfoil from Grapevine Cove in 2013. This year we pulled less than one gallon. Most of our
DASH activities occur in the Squam River, and we are now removing close to the dam in Ashland. This is the first year we have been able to focus management activities this far downstream.
For a better idea of how we remove milfoil from the Squam Lakes, check out these two videos:
While our milfoil removal success is a cause for celebration, there is also some not great news to report on the aquatic invasive species front. This year, Squam Conservation Intern Ryan Mahar identified another invasive species in Squam, the Chinese mystery snail. The report was confirmed by NH Department of Environmental Services. Chinese mystery snails have found their way into more than 60 water bodies throughout the state. You can learn more about this species here. While we remove the snails that we find, currently there is no management plan at the state level for this invasive species. Impacts of the Chinese mystery snail are not well studied, but they include impacts to native shellfish populations. The arrival of the Chinese mystery snail in the Squam Lakes reminds us that we need to maintain constant vigilance in the face of invasive species spread. You can help this effort by becoming a Weed Watcher or getting involved in the Lake Host program. For more information on how to get involved click here.