State: Be on the lookout for invasives

  • Variable milfoil looks similar to pine trees and can completely cover the bottom of a body of water if not properly managed.  COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 7:7PM

With summer vacations looming, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is reminding boat owners and others visiting local bodies of water to be on the lookout for milfoil and other invasive species.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has proclaimed June as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Month in New Hampshire, according to NH DES Exotic Species Program Coordinator Amy P. Smagula. Anything that looks potentially invasive, according to Smagula, should be reported to herself.

“Boaters should thoroughly drain and clean their boats and equipment,” said Smagula. “People who see something potentially invasive should send a picture and let us know. I would rather get a bunch of pictures that are not milfoil than have a body of water get out of control because no one reported it.”

Smagula said milfoil looks similar to a Christmas tree or a squirrel’s tail. It is bright green in color and will reach toward the surface. If milfoil or something potentially invasive is spotted, Smagula said the public should send her a photo and other pertinent information to amy.smagula@des.nh.gov. 

Smagula said DES is the primary agency responsible for managing bodies of water containing milfoil and other invasive species.

Infested bodies of water in the area include Cheshire Pond in Jaffrey, Contoocook Lake in Jaffrey, Pearly Pond in Rindge, Lake Monomonac in Rindge, Scobie Pond in Francestown, Otter Pond in Greenfield, and Contoocook River.

Certain areas, such as Cheshire Pond in Jaffrey are dense and out of control, but areas like Dublin Lake in Dublin have no more milfoil due to management and treatment.

DES treats milfoil in a few ways, most commonly with herbicides or by careful hand removal.

Milfoil is not desirable for local bodies of water because it ruins the ecology and biology of the water, as it takes away the open space that various organisms enjoy.