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Milfoil issue to be addressed by plan

SCHROON LAKE While a management plan for Schroon Lake is yet to be developed, theres no question eurasian milfoil poses a serious threat. In 1995 there was a single report of milfoil growing in the lake. A 2005 study found 15 milfoil growths and a 2006 report found 27. Eurasian milfoil is a highly aggressive aquatic plant that can form dense mats which congest waterways and crowd out native aquatic plants. Thick growth can impair recreational uses of waterways including boating, swimming, and fishing. It can also alter and degrade the habitat of native fish and other wildlife. In an attempt to control, if not eliminate milfoil, the towns that border Schroon Lake Schroon, Chester and Horicon contract to have the plant harvested each year. Estimates for 2007 are $26,000 for harvesting in each community. Adirondack Ecologists has served as lake manager for the SLA and towns of Schroon, Horicon and Chester. As such, it has conducted hand-harvesting of eurasian watermilfoil and undertaken numerous scientific studies of the lake. Adirondack Ecologists is a firm operated by Steve LaMere. LaMere, a certified lake manager, has been working with the Schroon Lake Association and the lakes communities the past 12 years. He is also the director of the Essex County fish hatchery in Crown Point. To help with the fight against milfoil the Schroon Lake Association is beginning a launch rap project. The SLA is organizing volunteers at the state boat launch in Horicon and the town launch in Schroon Lake. We will be looking for any weeds attached to the trailers or boat props, said Bill McGhie of the SLA. According to Steve LaMere, the lake manager, this could significantly reduce eurasian milfoil from entering the lake at these sites. Training for the volunteers will be conducted by Paul Smiths college. Paul Smiths College has been involved with projects of this nature throughout the state We anticipate starting the program this spring, he said. To participate in the project contact Bill McGhie by E-mail at wmcghie@nycap.rr.com or my mail at PO Box 17 Adirondack 12808. Eurasian milfoil is readily spread by plant fragments, which are abundant in infested waterways. Fragments may be carried downstream by water currents or inadvertently picked up by boaters. Milfoil is readily dispersed by boats, motors, trailers, bilges, live wells or bait buckets, and can stay alive for weeks if kept moist.

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