WHAT IS EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL?
Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is an invasive aquatic plant native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. It was first documented in North America in 1942 in the District of Columbia. It was most likely brought to this continent in the ballast of a ship and has since spread to almost every continental state and throughout Canada.
WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?
Milfoil spreads easily and grows quickly. Milfoil crowds out native plants, reducing biodiversity, diminishes fish habitat and negatively impacts wetland habitats. Dense mats form near the surface. They entangle boat propellers and interfere with swimming and fishing. As a result, Milfoil can adversely affect our local tourist-dependent economy.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE MILFOIL?
Leave it alone. As a homeowner you can carefully remove plants immediately around the area of your dock. You need to know how to properly remove it, though, because if you break the plant up you will just create more plants and do more harm than good.
WHERE IS IT LOCATED IN WOLLASTON LAKE?
It is in many areas on our lake already! Large infestations have been marked by YELLOW MARKERS. Please do not drive any motors within the confines of these markers or the milfoil will fragment and spread (see below).
HOW DOES MILFOIL SPREAD?
The primary way milfoil spreads is through vegetative reproduction. This spread is mainly through fragmentation of plant tips or through root expansion. With fragmentation, even a very small piece of this aquatic plant can float away, re-root and begin a new colony. It is easily fragmented and moved around within lakes by boats, or between lakes via boats and trailers. milfoil can form thick, floating mats of vegetation, clogging the water and hindering recreation. It can grow in water 0.5 - 10 meters deep.
what is the wlhca doing about it?
The WLHCA is exploring ways to reduce the spread of milfoil from Wollaston Lake. However, doing so will require awareness and a financial investment from everyone in the community each year in order to cut back on the invasive species’ footprint.
If we don't do something soon, it's not a question of IF milfoil will take over our lake. Research shows that if action is not taken, milfoil can take over a lake in just a few years. If that happens, make no mistake, it will affect everyone in our community.
The two most common methods to control milfoil are hand harvesting and matting. These are not easy jobs. Because the plant self-fragments, pieces of milfoil from patches break off and re-root nearby, confounding efforts to completely eradicate it.
Based on the first confirmed sighting of Eurasian Water-Milfoil in 2016, the WLHCA, through the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations (FOCA) 2017 Aquatic Invasive Species Program, arranged for a consultant to visit Wollaston Lake on August 18, 2017 to conduct a thorough review of the waterfront. Read the final report by clicking on the link below:
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE A CLOSE UP OF WHAT HAPPENS TO A LAKE WHEN MILFOIL GOES UNCHECKED. THESE IMAGES AREN'T A SCARE TACTIC. THEY ARE THE REALITY OF WHAT WE WILL SEE ON WOLLASTON LAKE UNLESS WE COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY TO TACKLE THIS ISSUE!