Invasive Species

The biggest problem with water weeds is the invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil. Here is a copy showing weeds in Augur Lake.

NYS list invasive species found in the state.


EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL

Eurasian watermilfoil is a perennial submersed aquatic herb that was accidentally introduced to North America from Eurasia, probably in the 1940s. The plant can form large mats of floating vegetation on the water surface, preventing light penetration, outcompeting native plants and impeding water traffic. The plant usually grows between 3 feet to 9 feet with stems penetrating surface water. Eurasian watermilfoil is a native of Eurasia and Africa and now appears in thirty three states east of the Mississippi River.

Eurasian watermilfoil became commonplace in Augur Lake in the middle 1970's and at one point affected almost 50% of the lake’s surface. Early attempts at controlling this nuisance weed by lakefront property owners included light harvesting around dock and beach areas, installation of bottom barriers as well as hand pulling. These efforts produced only limited and, at best, temporary successes with no tangible improvement in recreational uses of the lake.

In1998, having become aware of the possible benefits of using sterile triploid grass-eating carp for watermilfoil control, the ALPOA contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss the possibility of stocking carp in Augur Lake. The DEC was receptive to our request and issued a permit for that purpose shortly thereafter. With the permission of the DEC and the Adirondack Park Agency, we have been stocking the lake with carp periodically ever since 1998 and have achieved striking success in reducing the level of watermilfoil. At the present time we are working under a re-stocking program that we feel will keep Augur Lake relatively free from milfoil for the foreseeable future. A more detailed report on this subject can be found in the Augur Lake Management Plan.

SURFACE WATER MAINTENANCE

Augur Lake’s surface is usually clear in early spring as weed growth is quite minimal, but later in the summer with weed levels at their highest and motor boating at its peak, it is not unusual to see large patches of weed fragments floating on the lake's surface. Eurasian watermilfoil fragments can easily re-root throughout the lake and should be removed when sighted. Filamentous algae can be controlled by physically removing large floating clumps with a rake. This will prevent the algae from decomposing in the lake and consuming dissolved oxygen. Algae that have been removed can be piled for composting or used in a garden as mulch. Many boaters regularly pick up such debris on their usual lake trips.

ZEBRA MUSSELS

Zebra mussels are a well-documented invasive species that has spread throughout the Northeast and north central USA. These mussels are already present in several areas of Lake Champlain, and Augur Lake residents need to be vigilant to prevent their spread into our lake. Zebra mussel infestation has devastated some areas of Lake Champlain by covering shallow areas completely and blocking water pipe inlets and outlets. Preventing introduction of zebra mussels is important because, once in our lake, they will colonize quickly and be impossible or extremely expensive to control.

Anyone bringing a boat or equipment to Augur Lake that might possibly have been exposed to zebra mussels is MOST STRONGLY URGED TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY all boats and equipment thoroughly.

· Never move fish or water from one body of water to another.

· Empty bait buckets and ballast water on dry land, not into lakes.

· Inspect boats, trailers, skis, anchors and all other equipment and remove any visible organisms and vegetation.

· Wash with a hot water/chlorine solution (140 degree water with 10% chlorine) or dry for at least five days to remove or kill species that are not visible. (Zebra mussels can be introduced as larvae.)

The potential negative impact of zebra mussels on fisheries can also be profound. Zebra mussels eat by filtering microscopic food from the water. Young fish and native mussels rely on this same microscopic food to survive.