by Zach Clayton • MPA board member
As discussed in last year’s Moose Pond Matters newsletter, and at the MPA Annual Meeting back in July, we launched this new initiative to enhance our efforts to protect the lake we love from invasive plant infestations. Your MPA dues help pay LEA to inspect several small sections of the lake with divers once a year, but their examination is limited to areas near the two public boat launches, the narrows that divide the middle basin from the north and south basins, and several private marinas adjacent to the larger neighborhoods on Moose Pond. That leaves a significant portion of our lake uninspected and vulnerable to undiscovered infestations. The Lake Section Captain Initiative is all about reducing that vulnerability. We have asked the Captains to paddle “their sections” of the lake two times each year – in late July and in late September – when plants would be most noticeable.
Each captain carries a “battle bag” with them that includes an invasive plant identification guide, a pair scissors, a magnifying glass, a white Frisbee to use as a picture backdrop for clear images of each suspicious plant, and Zip-Loc bags to retrieve and deliver suspect samples to the LEA for closer inspection. Over the summer, we sent approximately 100 pictures and delivered more than a dozen plant samples to LEA. Fortunately, none of them were invasive.
Over time, these volunteers will become familiar with the types of plants currently growing in “their section” of the lake, and will be able to quickly detect the presence of any invasive species. This will allow us to take quick action before spreading. An infestation that is not quickly addressed could mean permanent and costly damage to our lake.
Please thank these volunteers when you see them out on the water next year, and support the MPA by becoming a paying member of the Association. Support means we can fund more important lake-protection initiatives like this one.