Lake Rescue milfoil problem discussed at Rotary meeting

LUDLOW, Vt. – The co-presidents of the Lake Rescue Association, Barbara Silver and Bruce Zanca, recently spoke to a meeting of the Ludlow Rotary Club to discuss the problems facing them due to Eurasian Milfoil and river sediment.

The LRA, formed in 1933 and incorporated in 1954 is, according to Silver, “facing a crisis right now.” She was referring to the rapid build up of milfoil, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant that can grow from 4 to 6 inches a day in full sunlight.

The milfoil invasion of Lake Rescue and Lake Pauline was “rediscovered” in the lake system in 2014 following tropical storm Irene. It has become an ongoing problem that, if not addressed, could turn the “lakes into a swamp.”

Over the years since Irene, the LRA, in conjunction with state agencies, has spent thousands of dollars to remove the milfoil from the lakes. It was estimated that the LRA would spend about $48,000 next year on removing milfoil.

Zanca noted that they would probably never be able to totally eradicate milfoil from the lakes but would be able to reduce it to a controllable situation with constant maintenance care. To this end, the LRA is constructing a “Dash” boat that will be able to literally vacuum the milfoil from parts of the lake and its floor.

In addition to this problem, the LRA is also addressing the impact of sedimentation caused mainly by the Black River. One area of concern is the channel between Lake Rescue and Round Pond. Over the years, the sediment build-up has resulted in the creation of “islands” of sediment and raised the floor of Round Pond so that the depth of the water has been severely reduced.

The LRA has about 150 members. There are approximately 250-300 individual lake properties involved.

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