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LWTF News Archives: Spring 2008

Curlyleaf Pondweed | Layer Aeration System | Alewives | CT Federation of Lakes

Merganser ducks on Lake Waramaug; photo by Wendy Panikker

It's a little late and a little wet, but spring has nonetheless arrived at Lake Waramaug, as evidenced in part by the arrival of diving Merganser ducks in late March.

The Task Force was on the lake shortly after the ice melted, ready to put into action both continuing programs and new initiatives for the monitoring and preservation of the lake's water quality.

Curlyleaf Pondweed

Curlyleaf Pondweed was discovered in Lake Waramaug in 2006, the first such invasive plant to be positively identified in the lake. In 2007, Lockhart Environmental Services was retained to remove the plants using non-chemical methods.

Bruce Lockhart and his team along with Dr.George Knoecklin will continue this spring to conduct a close inspection of the "hot spots" where we removed curlyleaf last year. We will also inspect the entire shoreline looking for curlyleaf or signs of any other invasive plants.

...a difficult and expensive process
As much curlyleaf as possible was removed last year but that doesn't mean we won't find any this year. As you can imagine, the hand removal by divers of a small underwater plant in muddy conditions is an extremely difficult and expensive process. We must be patient and persistent. We expect that we are likely to find more curlyleaf this year and are prepared to continue the hand removal process.

Layer Aeration Systems Start-Up

Improvement/Repairs to the Frost system on Arrow Point were completed by the Lake Waramaug Interlocal Commission in March and the system will be up and running on schedule as soon as our scientists tell us that the lake has "turned over" (which is usually about June 1).

It is hard to believe, but the Arrow Point system has been in operation from June to October every year since 1983. Over the past several years the Interlocal Commission has funded various repair and maintenance improvements to keep this system in good operating shape. Our original investment for the construction of this system was about $125,000 and it has served the lake very well for many years. With a little care we expect it to continue to benefit the lake for many more years to come.

The two Layer Aeration systems near Route 45 are powered by a compressor at the Washington Boat Launch, which is being renovated as part of the three town agreement for the inspection of boats. The building that housed the compressor was removed to provide space for the expansion of the boat ramp and the Task Force has been working with the Town of Washington to construct a new compressor building.

The Town of Washington First Selectman Mark Lyon and the town land use and park and recreation commissions have been very supportive of our effort to construct this new small building. They recognize that this compressor is vital to the continued improvement of the lake. However, this has not been an easy task and the cost projections for constructing the new building are much higher than we anticipated.

Showing Alewives the Door

Alewives eat zooplankton (which in turn eat algae) and are therefore injurious to water quality. The Task Force's limnologist Robert W. Kortmann has developed an experimental strategy to reduce the Alewife population. Low-voltage lights will be submerged in the lake near the Washington Beach outlet to determine whether the alewife can be attracted to the outlet and encouraged to swim downstream. If the experiment shows promise, a more permanent illumination system may be warranted.

Connecticut Federation of Lakes

Connecticut Federation of Lakes, which fosters communication between and pools the resources of many local organizations to promote healthier lakes and watersheds, on local, state and federal levels.

Two New Board Members

The Task Force is delighted to welcome two new members to the Board of Directors: Margaret Griner and Kirby Mullen.

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