Lost Lake Invasives Called Dire Threat to Lake and Life
Lost Lake has been taken over and is clogged with invasive aquatic plants like mille fore and kabamba. This is a threat to the lake and to life - children have been caught in these weeds and could easily become entangled and drown," Art Prest, Chairman of the Groton Lakes Association told the Finance Committee.
He was joined by Lakes Association members Alex Woodle and Tom Sangiolo, along with Selectman Josh Degen to explain the importance of treatment of the lakes with Sonar, a herbicide that has been very successfully used on weed reduction/elimination in lakes in towns surrounding Groton and across the state with excellent results and, most importantly, no threat to humans or to fish.
Cost to the town for Sonar treatment is estimated at $135K and includes initial treatment and three years of follow-up spot treatment. Voters at January Special Town Meeting will be asked to approve these funds, so that treatments can begin in April following the winter weed kill. According to Prest, Sonar will start at the top of the aquatic plant and work its way down to the roots. It is applied in three phases so that it can be used when the lakes are at different water levels.
Selectman Josh Degen stressed that property owners on the lake are assessed at a 1.4 factor on their properties and this is based on waterfront that they cannot use. "Sonar is safe, and it is approved by the DEP," he said, adding that in the future there will be a need to install a boat washing station to clean boats entering the lake and prevent recontamination. He pointed out that right now, boats that leave Groton lakes and are launched at another lake bring invasive plant contamination with them.
According to Degen, the town has put Sonar and its application out to bid through an RFP and expect to have these results in hand well before Special Town Meeting. Town Manager Mark Haddad advised the FinCom that funds for this effort would be taken from the town's Stabilization Fund.
Prest noted that there are more than 100 houses on the lake, "This has gone way beyond anything we have seen before and I fear someone will die," he said, adding that his family has owned this land for many years.
"This has to be a total lake treatment. It takes six months to break down the algae. Application of Sonar will be 20 ppm (parts per million) while lots of area towns have used much stronger ppm applications without a problem," Prest said, adding that there will be a companion education program for boat owners, lake users and property owners, including how to spot an invasive species.