If you have been reading about Neil Santos and the new PLIA Program he is heading—as well as the discovery of new milfoil growths in Gove’s Cove—then you know how important it is for everyone who loves Pawtuckaway Lake to pitch in wherever they can in our campaign to eradicate milfoil.
Neil is looking for volunteers who like to snorkel and can join his team from time to time as they make their surveys to locate and mark milfoil in the lake. It’s OK if you can’t snorkel with Neil every time his team goes out—now and again would be helpful as the need for more surveys grows. They normally go out for about 1 1/2 hours and are flexible about the time and day of the week.
If you have some experience with snorkeling, have a mask, snorkel, and fins and are interested, please consider joining the team. If you are a diver, your assistance would be particularly valuable.
Even though the team has dubbed itself “Men in Black” since they look for alien species and sometimes wear black wetsuits, women are more than welcome to join. Please contact Neil Santos at 603 437-8468 or at email@example.com if you would like more information or would like to volunteer.
Volunteer Neil Santos created a milfoil snorkel patrol a couple of years ago in response to the variable milfoil infestation on Pawtuckaway Lake. Since then, for his work he has received the Cox Conserves Hero Award and his team has grown to include a certified milfoil SCUBA diver, volunteer Tim Roos.
Because the work of this team has developed a very specific purpose and its focus remains on milfoil, Neil’s mission has expanded beyond weed watching.
For that reason, the PLIA decided to create a separate program, emerging from our Weed Watcher Program, called the Milfoil Management Program. Neil, naturally, is its Chair and will conduct operations. From time to time he will provide updates on the progress of his program’s search, mark, and destroy objectives. Here’s his latest report:
Mid-Summer Milfoil Update. As most of you probably know, we have had variable milfoil in the South Channel for the past three years. This year we have continued to find it in the same general areas of the South Channel. The plants have, in general, been smaller than in past years and most are probably regrowths from previous plants that were not totally eradicated. It is very tough to get all the roots so the plants do not regrow. The good news is that none have been close enough to the surface to be fragmented by props or other surface disturbances and all have been removed by our newly certified milfoil diver, Tim Roos.
The unfortunate news is that a lake resident, Shane Pelletier, noticed milfoil growing in Goves Cove, near the dike. That plant was probably a couple of years old but has now been removed. It is probably the result of milfoil carried there by a boat prop or fishing tackle. No other plants have been found in Goves Cove but we will be keeping an eye on that area.
The Milfoil Team is continuing to search primarily in the South Channel for additional milfoil. We encourage everyone to keep an eye out as you use the lake and contact* me or Steve Soreff if you see
A homeowner and boater on Gove’s Cove called in a suspicious underwater growth there. Within 17 minutes, a member of the Weed Watchers checked it out. Within five hours, Amy Smagula at NH Department of Environmental Services verified the photo as most likely Milfoil.
Within 24 hours, the Milfoil Management Team snorkeled and confirmed the diagnosis, then placed boat warning signs on the growth. In the following week Amy visited the site, NH DES divers removed significant parts of the growth, and the Milfoil Team surveyed the location.
This is a wake-up call for all of us! Amy indicated that this milfoil infestation had likely been there for two years.
The bottom line: if you swim, boat, kayak, paddle board, fish, canoe, live on the shores of the lake, or garden on the shoreline, your eyes are critical to early detection. As the saying goes, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. The homeowner did exactly that. He noticed something new and different in his cove. He called it in!!
I will train anyone and everyone on becoming a Weed Watcher. I can do it in about an hour. You can come to my home or I will go to yours. Steve Soreff, Co-Captain Pawtuckaway Lake Weed Watchers, a program of the PLIA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call home 603 895-6120 or mobile 603 568-3202. Hope to see you real soon!!!
Let’s all SEE SOMETHING and DO SOMETHING to protect Pawtuckaway Lake.
Every year, to celebrate our nation’s birthday, the PLIA organizes a boat parade around Pawtuckaway Lake on July 4th. People decorate all kinds of boats – from pontoons to kayaks to power boats to jet skis – with patriotic or fanciful themes, and congregate at the north end of the lake for our annual parade.
This year is no exception. At 10:00 AM boats gather at the north end near the Twin Islands, proceed southward in a clockwise direction at 10:30 AM, and then cruise slowly in a circle around the lake as boats fall in line behind the leader.
Of course exuberance is always a part of this celebration, and we encourage it! But please, no water balloons!!! Super soakers are a great way to express your enthusiasm without endangering the health of the lake and our wildlife. And see how much fun? —
So, haul those decorations, flags, and banners out of storage, and make your watercraft colorful and eye-popping this year. And – see you on the lake!
Amy Smagula, Chief Limnologist/Exotic Species Program Coordinator at NH Department of Environmental Services, has been working closely with the PLIA to identify, detect, and control aquatic invasive species in and around Pawtuckaway Lake. The slideshow presentation she has given at trainings is now available for all to view at the following link: PLIA Smagula Presentation 2018 We strongly recommend that anyone interested in the health of Pawtuckaway take a moment to learn about invasive species, especially milfoil!
Don Roberge, Pawtuckaway camper, fisherman, and volunteer extraordinaire was chosen to receive the PLIA Local Hero Award at this year’s Annual Meeting of the PLIA. He was celebrated for his extraordinary efforts to conserve, protect, and improve Pawtuckaway Lake, largely from the campgrounds of the State Park where he loves to pitch his tent throughout the season. Although he is a resident of Manchester, Don has long been a fan of the lake and spends countless hours enjoying its beauty from his campsite and on his boat. He has volunteered with the PLIA’s Weed Watchers, has joined the crew on road cleanup days, and has stayed into the fall to help clean up the island trash that gets exposed when the lake level is lowered. He decorates his boat for the PLIA Fourth of July Boat Parade and recently even donated a bench to the State Park near his favorite campsite. It is situated specifically to watch the glorious sunsets from the North Channel, and Don recommends it for that purpose. But he also invites the public to rest and relax while their senses take in the beauty of the lake and its wildlife. Thank you, Don, for all you do!
If you missed the PLIA table at Nottingham Earth Day on May 12th, don’t worry! We’ll have even more on offer at our Annual Meeting from 9:00 AM to noon on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the Nottingham Town Offices, Community Gym. You can try your luck at our raffle, with prizes from ten different community businesses. Renew your membership–or join the PLIA–for a tax-exempt donation! There will be a slide presentation highlighting our activities and achievements in 2017. We will be bestowing an award to a Local Hero for uncommon service to the PLIA and Pawtuckaway Lake. There will be four breakout groups on various topics–in two sessions–so you can participate in two different discussions. Come at 8:30 for refreshments, raffle tickets, and schmoozing with friends and neighbors.There will be something for everyone! Read all about what’s planned in greater detail, in our Spring PawPrints newsletter.
The PLIA has published a second edition of its newsletter. This one is dedicated to our Annual Meeting coming on May 19, 2018. You can read the full edition, and find out what we have planned for everyone this year, here.