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PROSPECT LAKE: A Safe Refuge for People and Wildlife
Photo credit: Leslie Alfin
Since 2006 Friends of Prospect Lake, with support from the Town of Egremont, has worked diligently to maintain the ecological balance of our lake by controlling the spread of exotic invasive plants, such as Eurasian Milfoil and Curly-leaf Pond-weed and, when necessary, algae blooms.
What is Eurasian Milfoil?
Eurasian Milfoil is an aquatic plant native to Europe and Asia. Discovered in the eastern United States in the early 1900s, it probably spread through the movement of watercraft and water-related equipment.
Left unchecked, Eurasian Milfoil can multiply to 250 million plants in one year and take over a lake in as little as two years, choking off the oxygen supply and creating a swamp.
The result? Reduced animal and plant life, mosquito infestation, and interference with swimming, fishing, and boating.
How we have controlled
Eurasian Milfoil while maintaining
the health and safety of Prospect Lake
Under the strict guidance of MA DEP, the Egremont Conservation Commission, and professional lake management services, we safely treat Prospect Lake to control Eurasian Milfoil.
We follow a "survey, treat, survey, and treat again if necessary" program. Most years this means aquatic management specialists survey the lake in early spring to find the weed buildups, treat, and survey again in mid-summer to see the results.
Two critical guidelines
ensure the health and safety
of animals and people.
We strictly follow MA DEP regulations. Our local Conservation Commission ensures that we do so.
We make our decisions in concert with lake management experts and based on data drawn from the lake itself.
Are there alternative treatments?
The answer is yes, and we continue to explore them.
Dam Drawdown--is an effective treatment option. When the water level is lowered, exposed plants die back in the winter. Prospect Lake's dam, which is owned by the campground owner, needs repair, so a drawdown is not currently an option. We support a controlled drawdown and, when the repair is done, would encourage consideration of this method of weed control.
Mechanical Harvesting--is performed by a large, expensive machine that cuts the weeds. It is not effective for Eurasian Milfoil because milfoil spreads by fragmentation, and mechanical harvesting produces many, many fragments. It can also harm non-target plants, as it cuts everything.
The results of our efforts:
A success story in the making.
Annual treatments over more than 10 years have gradually succeeded in almost eliminating Eurasian Milfoil.
Prospect Lake remains the pride of our community. It is open for swimming, boating and summer/ice fishing. It provides sustenance for wildlife such as eagles, hawks, ducks, geese, beaver, otter, turtles, and frogs, whch thrive along its shore.
These are the hard facts governing our work.
We invite and welcome your support.
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