The summer of 2017 marked another successful year of milfoil management in the Squam Lakes waterbodies. The Squam Conservation Interns (SCI) pulled a total of 2,520.85 gallons of milfoil- 140.1 gallons from Squam Lake, 319.75 from Little Squam, and 2,061 from the Squam River. Over the past three years we have had great success in controlling milfoil growth throughout the Squam waterbodies, particularly in the Squam River. The density of plants continues to decrease in the Squam River as we commit more time to diving downstream. We expect to see even greater success in the coming year.
The SLA experienced a number of exciting changes to the milfoil management program in 2017. The increased size of our SCI program allowed us to run a larger dive crew five days a week for the entire summer. Our crew dedicated over 1,400 hours to milfoil removal efforts, more hours than any previous year. We also were able to commit at least one dive day per week through mid-October. Diving later in the season enabled us to tackle regrowth from sites visited in the early summer. We expect to see less growth in 2018 due to this extended dive season. Another exciting change emerged in the fall with the start of our new AmeriCorps program, the Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC), which doubled the size of the SLA staff. The LRCC program allows us dedicate even more time to fulfilling our mission of conserving this beautiful lake for the public benefit. We now have a dedicated program that ensures we can dive through the summer and through to October.
Looking ahead, several challenges loom in our quest to control milfoil in the Squam Lakes watershed. Some of those challenges are the unknown consequences of climate change. The further escalation of already rising temperatures could cause shorter ice coverage, which allows for a longer growing season for milfoil. Another issue we face is increased boat traffic throughout the region, which increases the potential for new aquatic invasive species introduction. However, with the expansion of our diving program, we expect to maintain control of milfoil growth despite these rising challenges.
In 2018, we will continue our intense focus of controlling milfoil in the Squam Lakes watershed. With our expanded efforts, we expect to see a noticeable reduction of milfoil growth in all regions of the Squam Lakes. The SLA runs programs that allow volunteers to engage with our milfoil removal efforts. Every Saturday throughout the summer the SLA runs a Weed Watcher training program. The program shows volunteers how to survey and identify aquatic invasive plant species. After participating in this program, volunteers are equipped with the necessary knowledge needed to detect milfoil on their own. We look forward to a successful year of milfoil management with our AmeriCorps members and volunteers working hand in hand to tackle these harmful invasive species!
2017 Site Specific Milfoil Reports:
- Bennett Cove Milfoil Management
- Dog Cove Milfoil Management
- Grapevine Cove Milfoil Management
- Asquam Marina Milfoil Management
- Squam River Milfoil Management
Learn more about invasive species, variable milfoil, and the SLA’s efforts to control invasive species in the Squam Lakes:
Milfoil Removal on Squam (including site-specific removal reports)
Find a Weed Watcher Morning: These training events will be held around the Squam Lakes in June, July, and August.