On the 3rd of October, 2020, Roberta Hill of LSM and Lidie Robbins of 30 MRWA led a team of 15 volunteer invasive plant patrollers (IPPers) in screening surveys of the lake with the focus upon Inner Cove, where that first specimen was found. Several patches of variable milfoil were found; one patch, more than 10 feet in diameter, suggested that the milfoil has been present in the cove for at least a year. On October 15th, another screening was conducted, this time assisted by several of LSM’s Uber-IPPers and two divers, one from the ME DEP and one from Little Sebago’s milfoil removal team. Four additional plant clusters were identified. Invasive plants were removed from all identified locations.
M. heterophyllum spreads through two mechanisms: auto-fragmentation and vegetative propagation. The parent plant becomes more brittle toward the end of the growing season, and breaks apart (auto-fragmentation), creating numerous viable fragments. Each fragment is a clone of the parent plant and mobile. When caught in a current, or by the wind, or even something like a boat’s line they are carried off to a new location. If they come to rest in a good spot, through the action known as vegetative propagation, the fragments will sprout roots, and may establish a new colony.
The fact that (so far) the M. heterophyllum seems to be confined to the wetland at the northwestern corner of Inner Cove, provides some hope that the infestation may have been caught early on. In order to be sure, LSM, our volunteers, and partner organizations need to conduct a comprehensive (Level-3) survey of the entire littoral zone of the lake. Thanks to the efforts and dedication of the various partners and IPPers, plans are already underway to ensure such a survey will be completed next summer. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Roberta at [email protected].
In the late summer of 2020, the invasive plant, variable water-milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) was found in Androscoggin Lake by volunteer Invasive Plant Patroller, Katherine Mahoney. In response, a coalition of local, regional and statewide partners leapt into action.
The coalition included 30 Mile River Watershed Association, Androscoggin Lake Improvement Corporation, Lake Stewards of Maine, and Department of Environmental Protection and a dedicated team of volunteer Invasive Plant Patrollers.
This video captures the majesty of the imperiled lake and the actions of those who are working to save it.
More information about Androscoggin Lake invasion can be found in the November 2020 lake of the month HERE.
The year is 1937. Across the Atlantic, the Spanish civil war is raging. Somewhere over the Pacific, Amelia Earhart is last heard from. In the US, FDR opens the Golden Gate Bridge; the Hindenburg airship is destroyed at Lakehurst NJ; Spam is first sold in food stores. And, in Maine, Gerald Cooper, a faculty member at UMaine, begins the first systematic survey of the water quality and biology of Maine lakes (and some streams). During this first year, Cooper focuses on streams and a few lakes in York and Cumberland counties. Over the next 7 years (with a break during the war year of 1943), Cooper and colleagues survey over 200 lakes, ending up with Moosehead and Haymock Lakes in 1944.
A key reason for the Cooper surveys was to evaluate lakes for fish-stocking. They collected data on: lake depth, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, phosphorus, benthic invertebrates, and plankton & fish communities. Cooper did not measure water transparency. Therefore (and unfortunately, given the ever-expanding base of Secchi data collected by LSM volunteers and others) it is not possible to explore how transparency in these lakes has changed over the 8 decades since these historical surveys were carried out.
Cooper et al. used gill and seine nets to collect fish. Supplemented by information from fish & game wardens, they thus documented the structure of the fish community in each surveyed lake (species composition, diets, age/growth). By comparing these data with more contemporary data from IF&W, it is possible to examine changes in lake fish communities over the past ~ 60 years. Especially interesting is the ‘spread’ of such species as largemouth and smallmouth bass as a result of both intentional and illegal stocking (and ‘natural’ range expansion).
Explore these changes in Maine’s lake fish communities HERE.
The Maine DEP Lakes Assessment Section works in a strong partnership with Lake Stewards of Maine/Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (LSM) in the collection and management of water quality data collected from Lakes throughout Maine. LSM coordinates the initial gathering and quality assurance process for more than 1,300 individuals and many lake associations that monitor individual lakes across the state.
Also included in this undertaking are a number of regional entities, including Lakes Environmental Association, Cobbossee Watershed District, Mid-Coast Conservancy, 30-Mile River Watershed, 7 Lakes Alliance, Belgrade Lakes Association, Acton Wakefield Watershed Alliance, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Portland Water District, Auburn Water District, Acadia National Park, and Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust. Included are the sovereign nations of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, and the Penobscot Indian Houlton Band of Maliseets.
Data have also been acquired from private consultants, such as FBE and Lake & Watershed RMA, as well as others collecting lake data as part of regulatory requirements. Additional data are acquired through the DIF&W and through cooperative projects with the University of Maine System, Bates, Colby and Unity Colleges, and County Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Field data are also collected by the Maine DEP Lakes Assessment Section under probability-based studies conducted within EPA Region I, and as part of the National Lakes Assessment Study being conducted by EPA Headquarters.
We apologize if your lake data-gathering organization has been accidentally omitted. Please let us know if that is the case. Additional types of data are also submitted to the Lakes of Maine website, including Annual Loon Count data gathered by volunteers through Maine Audubon Society, and a variety of lake and watershed information provided by The Nature Conservancy.
Click here to view current water quality conditions on a representative sample of Maine lakes during summer, or view which lakes have experienced ice-cover in the fall and ice-out in the spring.
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