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Notes from the Milfoil Summit:
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John McPhedran with the DEP’s Presentation

The Maine DEP response team for aquatic invasive species is run by John McPhedran, Paul Gregory, and Karen Hannel. There are thus 3 workers for the 6,000 Maine lakes. The latest invasive aquatic species in Maine is the Eurasian Milfoil.

Of the 2005 budget, the DEP program received $810,000.00 for the year to disperse. Indirect costs from the state and the department takes 15% of the budget. So the actual total for the 2005 year is $680,000. The budget for 2005 includes the staff-time and payment, it’s a rough estimate, and keeping in mind that some of the invasive projects are eligible for federal money as well as some projects can be reimbursed through Maine State Fish and Wildlife. The 2005 budget is as follows:

• 23% monitoring

• 23% education

• 26% inspection

• 26% site management/ Rapid Response

• 2% Task force/ interstate efforts

Rapid Response- management on site (divers on call, etc.)

Site Management- trying to keep identified invasives isolated

Inspection- high priority, inspectors situated on ramps on lakes that have been identified as well as at-risk lakes. A source of public education efforts, in this effort the brochures are being reprinted in order to have them available for hand-out.

Monitoring- work with Don Cameron and DLMP and Maine Aquatic Plant: to develop checking protocol.

Task force- is a 17 member state approved inspection force.

Cost Share- the Maine invasive sticker revenue. The 2004 funds from selling the stickers was around $64,000.00, and $59,243.00 were used in the year to combat aquatic invasive species. $45,995.00 of this money was used for inspection. $13,248.00 were used for control methods in already infested lakes in the form of hand removal, benthic barriers, etc. 2004 inspections cost up to $2,000.00 and control of documented infestations was up to $2,000.00.

In 2003 10,000 courtesy inspections were done.

In 2004 30,000 courtesy inspections were done. There were a few big catches around Sebago lake, more information is in the Water Colum fall 2004 edition.

The statistics on the handout were then overviewed. 91% of mainers were happy with the sticker fee. All sticker money aquired is put towards the invasive aquatic species programs.

There will be an expansion of the IPP program: 1250 new investigators were trained in 2004, the idea being to detect and contain early on in the infestation.

The Diver assisted suction pilot program was tested in Little Sebago. The diver directs the hose towards the plant and hand picks it. The plant is put into the hose, sucked up and filtered from the water and soil. Maine workers noticed it takes considerable time to set-up the machienery. There is a lot of fragmentation in the plant when this procedure is done (from unit and the diver). There is an increase in turbidity in the water, but in sandy areas it worked better than in mucky areas. It costs $20,000.00 per unit. And $150.00 per hour. A followup examination and procedure is required. It is cumbersome to move the unit, but was more effective in a diver effort in New York (where it was developed). However, the pro’s is that a large volume is removed in a short amount of time. There is varying levels of plant density post-suction. It works well in some cases, but not all. Sebago lake is thinking of making their own unit.

Updates on some lakes in Maine:

West Pond- (Parsonsfield) Dennis Spinney found more curlyleaf than the DEP originally thought was in the lake. There was better visibility when he went out, allowing him to better inspect the lake.

Pickeral Pond- (Limerick) No healthy hydrilla was found at the end of the summer. The DEP’s main goal was to prevent new tubers from forming, and that seems to be successful. However, there are still tubers in the sediment so the fight goes onwards.

In 2005 the focus will be on the core protective elements- IPP, Costshare, CBI, inspections. There will be an advertising campaign on the television to promote educational efforts which $30,000.00 has been placed aside for, and the Rapid response plan will soon open a website to help educate the public and provide an area for public comment.

Pickeral Pond herbicide is Fluradone a slow release granules. Aquacide (Paul responds)- Purchase of aquatic herbicide requires a license in the state of Maine. However, Maine is having a hard time controlling internet and catalog sales. Sites and catalogs have been asked not to sell in Maine. Aquacide is an herbicide. It is against the law to put herbicide in a lake without the proper licensure and permits because it could have detrimental environmental impacts, some of which people may not realize at first. You can be fined if using herbicide illegally. You must have at least a Waste Discharge License to put any herbicide in any lake. An estimate of the fine is $100.00 minimum. Violation of a permit is up to $10,000.00 per day maximum fine, on top of the $100.00 fine.

E-mail LAKES@megalink.net to get the grant application, get on the mailing list for invasive aquatic plants, remember to send your name and lake affiliation to receive the grant information. The grant applications will be due on tax day.

State of Maine invasive plant sites:



email to get a copy of John’s presentation: milfoil@maine.gov

Peter Lowell with Courtesy Boat Inspectior Program:

No huge changes this year because the program appears to be working well. “what was the last lake you were in with this boat.” Is going to be reinstated as a question on the inspectors survey. E-mail LAKES@megalink.net to get a digital copy of the handbook and the one page form for inspectors to have when checking boats.

David Welch trains the inspectors in Southern Maine, can e-mail him for notices on grants and summit information as well as info for other events.

The Maine DEP contracted to the LEA to pass the money through for this program: They looked at the interm and final reports of the inspections. Some lakes can get a grant to help sponsor their inspection program.

Inspectors get hats ($10-12) and shirts (12 per organization or group) to promote awareness. You can aquire these for your own lake by emailing a request. There are also shaft wench stickers to help promote public awareness. And there is free boat inspectors training. Also there are brochures available talking about invasive plants, where the money goes, what waters are already infested, and the MCIP guide to the invasives 

L.L. Bean, COLA, and LEA- were helping to install boat wash stations in Maine. They made a handbook on how to make a boat washing station, and a pilot wash station was built this past year, along with 3 being built near Sebago lake, Moosepond, etc.

Concerns: some may think that a washing station is all you need. Must train people to use these stations, and there are other things that must be done to protect Maine ponds and lakes. The inspectors must be present during peak hours and able to do their work.

Libra Foundation is giving a grant to Sebago Lake to clean it. This is because the invasive plant in a stream near there was moving through the water locks and infesting new areas, heading towards the lakes. New barrier material was placed in the stream to stop growth, and it was partially drained to help kill the plant and stop growth. This is all in research effort that will benefit us all, to see if the new barrier works well.

Visit www.info.cola.org for more information

Roberta Hill and the Plant Patrol and Lake Survey Workshops:

MCIAP (Maine Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants) was launched in 2003 and MVLMP is the largest volunteer program in the country. MCIAP gets all of its funds through the sticker program.

The invasive plant patrol program trains people how to identify 11 invasive aquatic plants from the Maine state watch list. It is a 5 ½ program for basic training and is the second line of defense in Maine against aquatic invasives (after education and boat inspections).

In 2004, 450 new patrollers were trained in 20 different workshops across Maine. 1250  now patrol Maine waters, since the programs beginning in 2003. There is a formal commitment, where the inspectors provide survey data. And the first 100 monitors trained in 2004 received free bucket scopes.

The program also identifies new plants every year. 140 new plants were seen last summer (invasives not in Maine yet). There is a new field guide coming in the future, and a handbook is being developed to help patrollers identify invasives.

In the 2004 workshop everyone seemed to have fun while learning. During the first workshop bellydancers graced the breaktime.

IPP offers extended training in the field: how and who to look for, and identifying known invasives was gone over in detail.

Advanced Plant identification classes were first offered in 2004, and in 2005 two are going to be offered.

Manual control training will also be offered. For both scuba and non-scuba divers. It does not consist of just simply pulling up the plants. Also, training more people for the rapid response program is in the cards.

• In 2001 only one lake was screened

• In 2002 51 lakes were screened

• In 2004 249 lakes were screened

The surveyors consist of : 6% academic institutions (UME Farmington, etc), 15% trained professionals, 36% DEP staff and the natural areas program, and 43% volunteers.

Liz Patterson is the director of the invasive working group. They provide training, and attempt to screen every boatlaunch in Handcock county. This group is a wonderful model for all Maine regions. Everyone must think in proximity, one nearby lake not monitored effectively could cause YOUR lake to get infested.

IPP coordinators workgroup. Maine’s early detection network

MCIAP and agency Partners (state level) -> IPP -> Lake level -> team/individual level and patrollers

Quick Key being developed for Maine. Use to identify if the plant is suspected as an invasive or not. Everyone encouraged to test it today at the summit!

Friend or Foe Learning Kit- aimed at 6th to middle schoolers, somewhat like the quick key. Provides anatomically correct plastic plants to help identify invasives. It will be launched this fall, as well as the virtual herbarium on the world wide web to be launched in the fall. It will have real images of invasives for the public to examine.

www.mainevolunteerlakemonitors.org will make the online workshop.

Maine is envied by other states because we are the last to be hit by invasives and we have the potential that other states do not have for stopping the invasive spread.

MCIAP@mainevlmp.org is the e-mail and 1-207-783-7733 is the number for the maine center for invasive aquatic plants. The center will be having an open house immediately following the summit, all are invited to attend.

Evan Richert as the Keynote Speaker, he helps evaluate invasive dangers to Maine

Advice to those concerned about invasive aquatic plants: get close to the problem to learn about it and find a resolution. Know that humans introduce invasives with out knowing what they are dealing with. Must take necessary actions to contain and prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants.

Statistics: there are approximately 4000 plants and 500 animals that are established invasives in the united states. Many of these were introduced accidentally or on purpose. 700 cause some harm, and 1000 are a threat to native plants. 75-85% are not “invasive”, meaning they do not grow out of control. Not all invasives are bad, however those that are cause many damaging effects on food plants, recreational activities, population diversity,  increase in eutrophication.

What kind of problems do invasives present? Economic problems, biological problems, and ethical issues. (If there was no economic impact would we care?)

Biological problems: preventing arrival, eradication (mostly impossible), and containment.

Invasives: are better competitors for nutrients than native species, they are free of natural enemies in these new habitats such as parasites, diseases, which puts them at an advantage. They gain biological advantage by overcoming native plants and being more resistant than native plants. Get to know invasives by studying how they reproduce and repopulate, their natural biogeography. Remember that nature eventually evens everything out: by disease, parasites, etc. But that usually takes many years to develop in a natural state.

Some people would be neutral if the only implications invasives have is biological.

Economic impact of invasives: is thought to be a self-interest threat of harm. The costs of invasives are high, and ponds/lakes/streams/rivers are all important in the Maine state tax base. Water clarity is important when assessing land worth and attracting vacationers. The loss of one meter of clarity in water can depress yard worth an overall total of $6-10 million per year.

Economic losses in the United States due to invasives is in the billions of dollars when looking at terrestrial AND aquatic invasives. Invasive weeds alone have a $5 billion  loss of industry, not including herbicide costs. 12 million dollars is spent each year to control invasive plants. When one adds all of this together, the United States loss to invasive species, according to BIO SCIENCE 2000 is upwards of $125 billion  per year. In 1997 in maine the combined economic contribution of lakes and ponds was 1.2 billion dollars, and provided over 50,000 jobs.

Ethical Considerations: reaction should be important to controlling and eliminating invasives. It should be a reaction contrary to the economic componant. Obligation to community and generations to come to stop invasives.

  1. Should those who cause the problems bear the cost of solving the problem? Spread of all invasives is increased by human movement and trade. They can be introduced on purpose or by accident. An estimated 3,000 to 10,000 protists, animals, and plants are on the move in ballasts of ships on any given day. Inadvertant introduction instigators did not donate time or money to prevent the spread. Many people do not realize the danger of spreading the invasives, and some may just not care because it does not directly effect them. Costs of invasives are generalized, but if the people who spread the invasives should cover the cost how do we enforce that?
  2. Would we care if there was no direct economic harm, resource harm, etc? Should we care? Or should the problem of invasives only be considered through the economic dimension.

The homogenization of nature is where everything would be biologically similar. There would no longer be biological diversion, and human colonization has been proven to cause this.

Conservation Biology Magazine: claims that invasive species have caused 49% of the worldwide extinctions. It is second only to the fragmentation of wildlife habitat.

30 years ago De Facto existant rights to species apart from humans was declared in the United States.

Ethical values- willingness to act contrary to self-interest of humans. This is evidenced by how we live everywhere,  as in urban sprawl. Reduces or eliminates biodiversity.

Suburban sprawl, impervious to arguments against loss of biodiversity and homogenization of the environment.

Grow Smart Maine- is trying to link Maine’s economy with the sprawl problem. Angus King to be the spokesperson for this. Sprawl is a huge threat to the quality and diversity of life in Maine.

Public awareness and the volunteer programs are an increasing testiment to Maine’s strong feeling for nature. Augden Nash’s Poem (rock dove is invasive species) ended the presentation.

Mary Jane Dillingham with Inter-agency Task Force Update

In 2001 Maine state legislature passed a law to control invasive plant spread.

Land and water resources counsel consists of 17 members. Some non-governmental. They are trying to help keep biodiversity in Maine. The task force helped make the law to provide species protection. In November 2002 it was adapted, and there are copies on the DEP website.

In 2004 There were three meetings held in January, April, and November. The next meeting is scheduled for March in Augusta. The agendas for the last three meetings were gone over, highlights included:

DEP activity and updates in the state of Maine

Concerns on the infestation in maine

The boat inspection program was reviewed.

Updates on programs: Manual collection update given during the past meeting, boat ramp inspections seem to work, as does the rapid response program.

LD17-23 was enacted. It is a bill that promotes ways to eradicate invasives.

Maggie Shannon and prevention efforts taken by COLA in Maine (Maine Congress of Lakes Association)

The courtesy boat inspection program was begun in 2001. Simple tools used in developing and starting a program. Knowledge of the social and ethical issues is essential to control the invasive plants. Must protect the lake every day, which is a very hard thing to do.

Tools and suggestions for starting a program at your lake: a 3 tier approach. May 27 to September 5, at least three days a week must have boat inspectors working. Important to have weekends covered. Must divide the inspectors time between volunteers and paid employees.

There were 4,235 inspections done in Maine in 2004. Obviously cannot pay for all covered time. Reliance heavily on high school and college students, as well as other volunteers to cover the time.

Put out about volunteer positions using flyers, posters, high school and college guidance counselors, and press releases.

Volunteer requirement: person to person calls, and a call record must be kept. Schedule workshop dates where the volunteers and workers can learn how to inspect boats, etc.

Prompts are always helpful when inspecting. Signs or stickers placed near the ramp to waterway require no personell or effort to get the message across. Can also make a non-permanent sign (sandwhich board) to place near the ramp asking boaters to perform an inspection even if personell is not available. Try for a pleasing graphic that gets the message across.

Email milfoil@maine.gov if you have an idea or a design for a small sign getting the inspection idea across to boating persons without personell available.

In September- Do reports, ask towns, stakeholders, news, association newsletter to explain what is going on currently at the lake.

In December- Submit fundraising requests to the towns and stakeholders. Say that all resources belong to all of us and thus the responsibility of watching these resources belongs to all of us.

In January and February- Be at the budget meetings in town, ask questions and explain why you want money and what it would be used for.

In March- Attend town meetings and send out the flyers.

COLA executive director is Maggie. There are 490 lakes in maine now associated with COLA. The average donation is $87.00 per person. info@mainecola.org for any information or questions concerning this talk.

Colonel Thomas A. Santaguida and John Boland

There are 110 game wardens that patrol, overall 127 for the state. They patrol an average of 4500 hrs in watercraft, and participate in education on all levels. On an average day there are 40 working game wardens in the state.

2003 there were a few dozen violations detected from no sticker. In 2004 by mid-summer there were 1700 violations detected (differing laws all pertaining to water), and this does not include verbal warnings. 70% of the time there is a warning about not having the sticker, 48% is for other violations.

Anytime a lake wants a warden to inspect it, just ask the local warden to come out. The warden should also be willing to speak at lake meetings.

There is also a crisis going on with illegal fish trade and release. Many native species are being eaten or run out of waterbodies because of introduced species. Prevention is the key to sustaining our natural water resources.








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