Avoiding Invasive Plants in Sebec Lake
The water quality of Sebec Lake is above average for lakes in Maine, according to the Maine DEP. A constant concern is to keep invasive species out of the lake. These are introduced by boats which are brought to the lake with remnants of the invasive plants (e.g. milfoil, hydrilla) somewhere on the boat, motor or trailer. It is important to inspect and clean boats, trailers, and other water 'toys' which have been in other bodies of water prior to launching them on the lake. Should you find any plant that you suspect to be an invasive plant you should take a sample in a plastic bag with some water and contact Bob Hall and get the sample to him to verify.
Proposed Invasive Plant Patrol Initiative
The SLA concerns about Invasive species invading our precious lake are growing and we are now forming a plan to be proactive in our approach.
At the top of the list of this threat are invasive plants, such as Eurasian Milfoil and Hydrilla. These two species of invasive plant, which can effectively take over and �kill� the lake, are now just a two hour drive away from Sebec. They are present in the Belgrade lakes, and continue their migration northward and eastward from other infestations. How does this happen? Fragments of these invaders arrive on boats, trailers, PWCs, canoes, kayaks, waders, skis, tubes and yes, even kids� toys. Belgrade Lakes is believed to have been infested by Duck decoys. Fragments survive even the harsh extremes of winter, and can remain dormant for many months, both in the water and on land. It takes vigilance and a commitment from Camp owners to keep them at bay. It means a monitoring team needs to be formed, not just to patrol the areas of highest infestation risk, e.g. launches and marinas, but to respond to any Camp owner who suspects they may have one of these plants growing at their lakefront.
SLA, as many of you know, has been the tip of the spear in protecting Sebec Lake from a variety of threats over the years. We�ve depended on the volunteerism and membership support to perform this function. And now we need your help as much as ever.
SLA has formulated plans to create an Invasive Plant Patrol team. The team will perform several key functions:
1. The IPP team, working in conjunction with the State and local governments, will design and place additional educational signage about invasive species at all launches and marinas. Education is our best preventive measure.
2. Survey the lake shore zones, creating a map of what is currently growing where. Beginning this summer, the survey will begin at the marinas and boat launches. Over the next 3 � 4 years, the IPP team�s goal is to have completed the entire shoreline.
3. The IPP team will be trained in rapid response to any report of a �potential� invasive plant, so that we can safely and effectively �trap� it and send it off for official analysis without risking further spreading.
The creation and activation of this team is no easy task, and it needs your help. How??
First and foremost, volunteer to be on the IPP team. If you�d like to volunteer, contact SLA President Brian Woodworth at 207-217-0962 or Board member Rudy Davis at 978-204-6799.
Second, volunteer your kayak or canoe to the effort.
Third, make a dedicated financial contribution to the effort. The team will need equipment: logs, view scopes, maps, specialized rakes and other things of this nature.
Fourth, if you are not a member of SLA, join. Annual dues are only $15.00, and the return � protection of your lakeside asset � is immense. Nobody wants to live on, swim or fish in an infested lake.
Finally, become educated about this threat, and make sure the �toys� you put in the water, or that any visitors may put in the water, are appropriately washed and cleaned prior to going in.
The SLA believes it is critical not to underestimate the threat these invasive species pose to our Lake. If you�d like to see what an infestation looks like, watch the VLMP video on our home page. It�s not a pretty picture.
So, please consider getting involved.