NH Lake Hosts Stop Milfoil from Entering Pawtuckaway Lake

Recently, the New Hampshire Lakes Association recognized our own Pawtuckaway Lake Hosts for their excellent work. In an article of its October newsletter “Shorelines”, the organization described an important discovery of invasive milfoil that was made in the course of boat and trailer inspections at the Fundy boat launch:

“Last week we found a large, mature piece of milfoil on a boat trailer coming from Massachusetts. If we had not been staffing the ramp on weekdays after Labor Day, that milfoil would have been in the lake.”

– Dee-Ann D., Lake Host Point Person for the Pawtuckaway Lake Association (PLIA)

“The PLIA has been working very hard during the past few years to help control the infestation of milfoil in Pawtuckaway Lake—thank goodness a Lake Host was at the NH Fish and Game Fundy Access site on October 1 to prevent this piece of milfoil from hitchhiking into the lake. Had a Lake Host not been at the ramp at the time, it’s possible that all the time and money the PLIA and its partners have spent over the past few years trying to control the milfoil growth in the lake would have been in vain!

Thank you to all the Lake Hosts at Pawtuckaway Lake—and at all our lakes—for being there to protect our lakes from the spread of invasive species, one boat and boater at a time!”

In addition, milfoil was also discovered on its way into the Fundy and removed in late September, so our gratitude goes to these wonderful Lake Hosts – both paid and volunteer – for making this program such a success.

Remember, spread the word, not the milfoil!

Fall Roadside Cleanup

Twice a year, PLIA volunteers gather to spend an hour fanning out along both sides of Route 156 between the signs bearing our name on them. Spring and fall, volunteers in reflector vests scan the roadside, collecting and bagging trash. It is a program of which the PLIA is very proud, and is one way we are able to give back to the community. Plus, believe it or not, we have fun in the process!

On Saturday, October 14, the PLIA had the biggest turnout ever for trash pickup along the highway! Truly a perfect example of the adage, “many hands make light work”. We had the entire strip of highway under our responsibility clean in record time and had a nice visit with friends and neighbors at the same time.

Thanks to all who volunteered!



The Cox Conserves Heroes Award, in recognition of the volunteer work that Neil Santos has been doing to search for variable milfoil in Pawtuckaway Lake, has already benefitted the PLIA with a $5,000 grant. This is your chance to vote for Neil and increase the chances of an additional $5,000 award if he gets more votes than the other two finalists in this program.

Please act now to register you vote at this website. Click on the VOTE button under Neil’s picture that links to the form for voting. Tell your friends, neighbors, and colleagues about this wonderful opportunity to fund milfoil control activities on Pawtuckaway and to preserve it for recreational enjoyment and wildlife habitat in many years to come.

Voting ends on September 25th, so don’t put off this important and beneficial chance to speak up for conservation. Your vote counts!

The PLIA thanks you and Pawtuckaway Lake thanks you!



$5,000 Grant to the PLIA


        The Pawtuckaway Lake Improvement Association is scheduled to receive a $5,000 prize in connection with Neil Santos’s work with his milfoil snorkel patrol. Neil has been selected as a Cox Conserves Heroes finalist, and with this honor comes an award of $5,000 to the PLIA! But that’s only the beginning…

The Cox Conserves Program honors and celebrates environmental volunteers across the country. Neil is one of three Cox Conserves Heroes finalists in the greater Boston region. If he gets more votes than the other two finalists, the PLIA will be awarded an additional $5,000!

Pawtuckaway Lake is the location of a State Park offering camping, hiking, swimming, and fishing for visitors and residents alike. Keeping it clean and free of invasive weeds benefits all who enjoy its natural beauty, and that is one of the primary goals of the PLIA. It’s what Neil and his snorkel patrol devote hundreds of hours to doing.

Please help us boost the PLIA’s grant from $5,000 to $10,000 by voting for Neil NOW. Just go here, click on the VOTE button under Neil’s picture, and fill out the information for your vote. Voting ends September 25th. Pawtuckaway Lake thanks you!

Vote for PLIA Volunteer Neil Santos!

Pawtuckaway Lake Improvement Association member Neil Santos has been nominated as a 2017 Cox Conserves Heroes finalist for the Boston area for his volunteerism. Of course, Neil is already a hero to us because he created the milfoil snorkel patrol that has devoted hundreds of hours in search of variable milfoil in Pawtuckaway. Cox Conserves Heroes is a national awards program that honors and celebrates environmental volunteers across the country. Please read the story on their website at

On August 24, a team from WFXT Boston 25 came to the lake to profile Neil as one of three finalists for the Boston area Cox Conserves Heroes award.. The announcement was aired on September 5 and you can vote for Neil as your favorite hero at

PLEASE VOTE SOON and share this story with friends so that others can join you to make Neil the 2017 Boston Area Cox Conserves Hero! Neil’s work has enabled both lake residents and Pawtuckaway State Park visitors to continue to use the lake without restriction or other impact.

In addition to this honor there is a grant awarded to the recipients to donate to their favorite nonprofit organization, and Neil has chosen the PLIA!

Milfoil Squad Progress Report

Our Weed Watcher snorkel team captain Neil Santos has this update on milfoil at Pawtuckaway Lake:

Divers from NH Department of Environmental Services were at the lake Friday morning to remove the milfoil that had been marked by Neil’s team.  While they did remove milfoil that was found, the divers discovered that many of the very small plants, which were thought to be milfoil regrowth areas, were actually coontail, a native plant. Those who have reported seeing such plants in the lake and have wondered if they were milfoil will appreciate how similar the two plants look.

There was also one marker that had somehow been moved over the past week which Neil relocated using GPS, but the divers could not find that milfoil. This was one small plant which will need to be located again by snorkeling. 

In addition to checking the marked areas, the DES divers did a general sweep of the mid-channel area between the markers but did not find any additional milfoil, so we know there is at least one small plant in the channel. It is also a fair probability that there are other small milfoil plants as well that haven’t yet been found.

It is important to note that the divers have removed less and less milfoil on each visit over the past two years.  It is hoped, therefore, that containment, and possibly even elimination, look promising as long as careful monitoring of the channel area can be continued for at least the next couple of years.

It also goes without saying that our Lake Host program is a crucial tool in minimizing the probability of re-infestation!

A heartfelt thanks to the tireless efforts of Neil’s Weed Watcher snorkel patrol and our vigilant Lake Hosts!

Milfoil Search and Rescue Update


On July 9, 2017, PLIA volunteer Neil Santos and his team of Weed Watcher snorkelers and divers traveled up to the boat launch in Fundy to search for milfoil. They started at the launch and snorkeled their way down the stream about 2/3 of the way to the black marker where the stream opens up.  The visibility was extremely poor. Close to the launch there was considerable sediment in the water due to the boat traffic/ launches but even downstream the amount of tannin in the water made it difficult for sunlight to penetrate and kept the visibility to 2-3 feet at best.  Fortunately, Fundy is quite shallow and, even though they could not see very well, they had good confidence that they would have spotted any significant patches of milfoil. They saw a good deal of bladderwort, native milfoil, and grasses but were happy to report that they did not see any invasive milfoil. Thanks to diligent boaters and especially to the Lake Hosts!

On the following weekend, July 15, 2017, the team convened in the South Channel and searched Area 3, where they discovered a number of patches of milfoil in the mid-channel area.  Each patch contained a handful of plants. They were all in the area where milfoil was discovered last year so it is undoubtedly regrowth.  The “relatively” good news was that the plants were all comparatively small,–about 6 inches to 2 feet tall–and therefore well out of harm’s way of prop contact and prop wash. They also surveyed the area to the southwest of the mid-channel where they had found a couple of plants last year but that area appeared to be clear. 

They left a few markers in the channel but there are more patches than are indicated by the floats. They plan to put out additional markers to guide the divers closer to the time when they will be here to pull what was found.  The DES divers will be here during the week of July 24-28.

Let’s hear it for the Weed Watcher snorkeler team!


July Fourth Boat Parade

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.

So, haul those decorations, flags, and banners out of storage, and see how colorful you can make your watercraft this year.

Anyone one who captures pictures of the holiday fun at the Boat Parade this year is invited to submit them to:  We are always looking for photos of events on the lake to add to our gallery.

And as always – see you on the lake!

Poem about Pawtuckaway

An anonymous Pawtuckaway fan recently sent this poem to the PLIA.  It is untitled, but we think it captures Pawtuckaway Lake in summer, and we would love to know who composed it.  Many thanks!

The morning mist glides just above the water’s surface
The distant call of a loon serves only one purpose
It’s a brand new day at Pawtuckaway.

The sun peeks over the island trees
The warmth of the air is sure to please
And as it rises above the eastern shore
The mist is no more.

A heron emerges from its hiding place
As an eagle soars with dignity and grace
The constant chatter of an annoying jay
It’s a brand new day at Pawtuckaway.

The noonday sun and a gentle breeze
A kayaker paddles across the surface with ease
Turtles on branches absorbing sun rays
This is definitely Pawtuckaway!

The call of nature is all around
Pay attention! It’s in sight and sound.
Once seen and heard, you’ll surely say
I love this place; Pawtuckaway!

As the sun is setting in a fiery sky
Once again a loon sings its lullaby.
You wonder if it’s heaven
Because it seems that way.
It’s not, but it’s close
It’s Pawtuckaway!