LAKE MASSASECUM IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION – 2015
Dave Gaudes, President
Welcome to Lake Massasecum, a crown jewel in the New Hampshire lakes system! Please bear in mind the following:
AVOID THE RESTRICTED USE AREA AT THE NORTH END OF THE LAKE!
Lake Massasecum has been beset by expanding infestation with milfoil since 1997. Due to current dense growth at the north end of the lake, NH DES has mandated enclosure of the most affected area with a floating net and arranged for herbicide treatment on 7/9/14. Milfoil spreads rapidly through plant fragments which drift, slowly grow roots and then sink to form new growths in locations remote from the source plant. Milfoil weakened by herbicide tends to easily shed fragments so boats entering or leaving the net enclosure are restricted to residents needing access to cottages in the designated area. No fishing inside the net is permitted!
BE AWARE OF “DIVER-DOWN” FLAGS BEING USED BY MILFOIL HARVEST DIVERS.
Hand-harvest of growing milfoil plants, roots and all, one plant at a time, is the primary tool available to control and reduce the current infestation in locations throughout the lake. A growing volunteer group of trained divers, certified by DES, is using SCUBA equipment and/or mask and snorkel to locate and remove milfoil wherever it has been found. A red flag with white diagonal is a standard indicator that a diver is nearby and may be invisible to boaters. State law (and common sense) requires boats to stay 150’ clear of these flags. They are often a “surprise” for fast-moving boaters so please stay alert and avoid a tragedy.
PLEASE DO NOT MOVE OR DISTURB ANY OF THE TETHERED JUGS, NOODLES OR OTHER TEMPORARY “MARKERS” USED TO DESIGNATE MILFOIL LOCATIONS.
When milfoil is seen, either by divers, snorkelers or Weed Watchers in boats, a tethered “marker” is placed to help locate the growths for harvesting. Please do not move or remove what might look at first like “trash!” Potential clearing of an infested area requires multiple visits to the same location so the markers are vital in this process. In shallow water, boats using electric motors for fishing need to be especially careful to avoid accidentally hitting milfoil growths and causing explosive fragmentation of stems! The launch area itself has a recurring problem with areas of infestation as does the “cove” next to Rt 114 across from the big island. There are multiple markers in these areas so please use caution and good judgment or stay away from these locations entirely.
LEARN TO RECOGNIZE AND PLEASE REPORT ANY MILFOIL YOU ENCOUNTER WHILE SWIMMING, FISHING OR BOATING
Milfoil growths cannot be removed unless they are located and marked. Please learn to recognize this plant by looking at available pictures, going on the internet, etc. Massasecum is the only lake in NH which can boast of having Sclerolepis in its native aquatic plant community. Bladderwort and Waterweed are also very common. Sclerolepis makes up the bulk of the floating “seaweed” throughout the lake and can be confused with milfoil by inexperienced observers. Once clearly identified, milfoil can easily be distinguished from the “good” plants. If you see what you believe to be milfoil please notify a Lake Host at the boat ramp, campground staff or Dave Gaudes at the email address provided above.
CONSIDER HELPING SUPPORT THE GROWING EFFORTS TO CONTROL MILFOIL INFESTATION IN MASSASECUM AND THROUGHOUT NH.
The manpower and expense required to combat invasive aquatic plants in NH is huge and is growing every year. Amy Smagula, (Limnologist and Exotic Species Program Coordinator) at DES is extremely competent and hard working but is simply not equipped with enough physical or financial resource support for her agency to handle this problem in the now more than 70 affected NH waterbodies. The cost of managing milfoil in Lake Massasecum is shared by NH DES, the NH Lakes Association, the Town of Bradford and by funds donated by the Lake Massasecum Improvement Association (LMIA). The in-water labor required to locate and remove milfoil is largely provided by lake volunteers sponsored by LMIA. Please consider joining LMIA and/or the NH Lakes Association and learning more. Direct donations to be applied to milfoil mitigation in Massasecum or queries about LMIA can be directed to Dave Gaudes. Bradford town residents can help out by voting at town meetings to support allocation of an increased portion of the town budget to milfoil mitigation.
CONSIDER JOINING THE EXPANDING GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS WORKING TO FIND AND REMOVE MILFOIL IN THE LAKE.
Currently LMIA is the organization supporting the growing number of DES trained, certified divers voluntarily (and effectively) harvesting milfoil in Massasecum. Under the leadership of Mary Keegan-Dayton there is a list of Weed Watchers searching for and locating milfoil in shallow water. Mary is beginning to add swimmers to her group, persons willing to use mask and snorkel in an effort to find plants at depths too deep to be seen from surface craft. Individuals with pontoon “party barges” have made themselves available as “dive barges.” Persons willing to make the round trip to LaPorte’s Dive Shop in Newbury can relieve divers from having to spend time picking up and/ or returning rental SCUBA tanks and gear used in volunteer harvesting. Jugs, noodles and assembled markers/ lines and weights can be made by non-swimmers willing to contribute effort or materials. No one is working on this problem full-time or expected to do so. Everything is “as available” timewise. If you want to learn more about how you can help and how amazingly little time and effort is required please contact Dave Gaudes (firstname.lastname@example.org) or John (“Rus”) Rice (email@example.com).