Fanwort, an highly invasive weed, was found in our lake in summer 2011. The Lake Management Group (LMG) has worked tirelessly to fight it. Here’s why:
Fanwort is extremely aggressive and grows quickly – up to 1 1/2 inches per day. If it continues to spread in the lake, it is likely to become the dominant plant and could choke off the lake, killing other plants and taking over their area, and taking away native vegetation for fish, rendering it unusable for boating, swimming, fishing, etc. In order to prevent this devastating occurrence, visual surveys are conducted regularly to identify any spread and take necessary steps to mitigate it.
This plant spreads by fragmentation – so touching it in any way will cause more plants to grow. It also thrives in 8-10″ of water, the average depth of our lake. To date, trained personnel have pulled tiny plants by hand and larger swaths with our suction harvester, a boat built, maintained and operated by a group of LMG volunteers.
A number of volunteers look for fanwort on a weekly basis – but we do not have enough volunteers to do this job.The lake has been divided into numerous survey zones. A zone captain appointed for each zone handles scheduling, questions, training, etc. In order to have enough eyes on the lake to control this invasive weed, every lakeside resident needs to be looking for this plant off their shoreline. This spring we will be holding training sessions to show everyone what the plants look like, how best to spot them, and what to do if you think you have seen it. This will include marking the spot with a brick tied to a floating marker a few feet from the plant, and emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Paula Bertram (email@example.com or 978-582-9658), Betty MacDonald firstname.lastname@example.org 978-582-7474), or the office 978-582-6365 to have them inspect and remove the plant. If you suspect you have seen fanwort DO NOT TOUCH IT. Though it may seem like a good idea to get it out of the lake, this will only cause more plants to grow.
If you are interested in helping to look for fanwort as part of our survey team, please click here for more information and whom to contact. It takes a couple of hours to do this, and you can do it on your own schedule.
When we have set dates for future trainings, we will be sure to post it here.
Below are pictures of fanwort.