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LWTF News Archives: Summer 2008

May Water Clarity | Curlyleaf Pondweed | Layer-Air System | Alewives | Gardening Tips | Buffer Plant List PDF

May Water Clarity Is Very Good

Secchi disk reading for May showed a clarity level of 14 feet. Spring levels are normally better than summer and fall levels since algae has yet to develop but, even by springtime standards, this is a very good reading.

Curlyleaf Pondweed

Curlyleaf Pondweed, an invasive plant initially discovered in Lake Waramaug two years ago, has returned this spring. One large plant and three smaller patches were discovered through regular Task Force monitoring. The good news is that previous infestations, treated last year through hand-pulling techniques, do not seem to have re-appeared. Monitoring for this and other invasive species will continue through the summer, and the Task Force is prepared to act quickly to contain any new infestations.

Prevention is the most important factor...
Clearly, prevention is the most important factor in keeping our lake free of invasive plants. The thorough inspection of boats entering the lake is critical, as is avoiding the purchase of non-native, invasive plants anywhere in the lake's watershed.

Residents and recreational users of the lake are encouraged to call the Task Force at (860)868-0331 if you encounter suspicious growth in the water.

Layer-Air System Is Up and Running

The Task Force's Layer-Air systems are now in operation for the summer. The construction of the new Washington boat launch facility required that the Task Force fund, design and build new housing for the compressor which powers the systems, delaying startup for about two weeks. However, due to the relatively cool and wet spring, Task Force limnologist Dr. Robert Kortmann believes that there has been no loss of effectiveness due to the delay.

Alewives Are Smarter Than We Thought

A Task Force sponsored experiment to show alewives the way out of Lake Waramaug by attracting them with low-voltage lights at the south end of the lake has not, as yet, achieved the desired result. Alewives are harmful to the lake because they eat zooplankton, which in turn feed on algae. The Task force will adjust the methodology and retry the experiment in the fall.

Gardening Tips

Lawns within 200 feet of lakes or streams should not be fertilized. The reason is that fertilizer application, be it chemical or organic, can act as a pollutant and cause physical impact to adjacent wetlands or watercourses.

If you must apply a
fertilizer, be sure to use a
zero phosphate product.
If you have a problem lawn, and feel you must apply a fertilizer, be sure to use a zero phosphate product (the middle number should be "0"). If you have a lawn service, ask to see the names of any soil amendments they may be using. Children and animals playing on lawns treated with pesticides or herbicides are put at risk, and no lawn is worth that.

The Kent Greenhouse has stocked a zero phosphate fertilizer and South Farms Nursery in Goshen carries a good line of organic products (North Country Organics). Also look for Scotts Champion 13-0-44 Potassium Plus or Greenview 27-0-12. Look at Lawn to Lake for more tips.

Consider adding native plants to your lawn area. For ideas, please visit our buffer planting at 149 West Shore Road. After four years, it has become a natural looking country landscape, doing its job as a native habitat for many insect and bird species, filtering runoff and preventing erosion. A list of the plant materials used there can be found in a box at the site, or you can download a PDF of the list of plants.

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