The SLA is gearing up for another summer season of battling variable milfoil, the invasive aquatic plant that was first discovered in Little Squam in 2000. Since that time, the SLA, the Squam community, local town governments, and the NH Department of Environmental Services put forth an enormous effort fighting this noxious weed. All this effort over the years is paying off; there is progress as the SLA continues to fight this invasive species downstream.
"Milfoil on Squam is a story of increasing success," says SLA Director of Conservation Rebecca Hanson. "We've seen enormous reductions in plant growth in areas in Big Squam. We don't think we can call them infestations anymore, as they are mostly just single plants here and there."
With this success comes a call to action. The SLA will continue to concentrate its management activities in Little Squam and especially in the Squam River, where there is the highest density and largest areas of milfoil growth.
"We'd like to shift the burden of early detection onto a solid group of Weed Watchers," says Hanson. "These volunteer allow us to focus on milfoil removal, while they search the lake for potential invasive species growth."
Weed Watcher Volunteers survey the lake for previously undetected milfoil growth, or for any other potential invasive species. Weed Watchers can be in motor boats, canoes or kayaks, or they can be in the water with snorkel or scuba equipment.
"These are activities that so many are already enjoying on Squam," explains Hanson. "With just a little bit of training, Weed Watchers can survey and swim or boat."
The SLA is hosting a number of Weed Watcher trainings, events and activities this summer:
- Weed Watcher Training will be held at the SLA on Saturday, May 30th (in partnership with the Moultonborough Milfoil Committee)
- Saturday, June 13 at the Moultonborough Public Library (in partnership with the Moultonborough Milfoil Committee)
- SLA Director of Conservation will talk about the story of milfoil on Squam and the SLA's future plans on Tuesday, June 30th.
- The SLA is undertaking two lake-wide invasive plant monitoring days. Weed Watcher Days will be held on Saturday, July 18th and Saturday, August 15.
Contact the SLA to learn more: 603-968-7336. You can also learn more about milfoil on Squam here.