Subject: ESSLA’s Surveillance of Beaver Pond
Today, based on a request by John Donovan, Vince Blando and Bill McGhie, from ESSLA, did a two hour surveillance (8 am to 10am) of the aquatic growth in BEAVER Pond, Town of Horicon, NY. Vince and Bill were escorted by residents George Hill and Gregg Temperino using George’s pontoon boat. Starting at George’s dock, a complete clockwise circumnavigation was made of the Pond as well as traversing the center of the Pond from east to west. Observations were visual from the pontoon deck and rake tosses and snippers were used to collect samples. The average Pond depth was in the range of 2’ to 5’ with spots at a maximum of 7’ to 10’. Conditions started out warm, cloudy with little to no breeze and ended up sunny. Visibility was excellent and Pond bottom could be seen during most of the travel. Pond bottom was generally muddy with lots of leaves from the nearby wooded areas. A significant quantity of Lily Pod growth covered certain portions of the Pond.
Findings: Seven different aquatic species were observed, none of which were invasive. No Eurasian Water Milfoil was observed. The aquatics are Elodea Canadensis, Elodea Nuttalli, Clasping Leaf Pondweed, Red Pond Weed Pondweed, Slender Pondweed, Common Bladderwort, Fragrant Water lily and Pickerelweed (Note: see attachment for more detail) The majority of the growth was overwhelmingly Elodea Canadensis with the major concentration on the west end of the Pond. Slender Pondweed was also observed in abundance. No visible inlet streams were observed for the Pond except a drainage run off from a swampy area across Beaver Pond Road on the west end. George and Gregg indicated that the Pond was spring fed as well as being a recipient of run off from the nearby hills on the north side of the Pond. The north western shoreline of the Pond is state land and the rest is private with approximately 25 or less private residences/camps.
It was obvious that the Pond had an abundance of aquatic growth (very little lapping the surface except for the Lily Pods) and both Gregg and George judged that the growth has increased significantly in recent years. As long time residents they both did not feel the growth has significantly affected fishing, navigation or recreation. Their concern was future growth, what is causing the growth increase and should it be controlled, and if yes, what is best way to do it.
In the opinion of the observers the quantity of plants already in place indicates future growth will be significant and will have a negative impact on navigation and recreation in the future. Nutrient supply needs to be understood and water sampling and utilization of the Darrien Institute in Bolton Landing as well as the Prism, APIPP, in Keene, NY( Rt. # 73) was recommended. A number of harvesting techniques were discussed (hand harvesting, suction harvesting, herbicide application, mowing, etc.) Consideration should be given to Benthic matting in the dense areas if they become impairments to boat traffic and recreation. The pros and cons of this approach were discussed and sources such as Brant Lake and Lake George, who have experience and possibly mats to loan, should be consulted. Gregg wanted to know how Schroon Lake financed their Milfoil harvesting and were informed about the three Town’s financial support.
Vince Blando and Bill McGhie
Attachment to “Surveillance of Beaver Pond” dated 9/1/15
All plants found are beneficial to the environment.
Elodea Canadensis & Elodea Nuttalli: A source of food & habitat for fish, invertebrates & waterfowl.
Clasping Leaf Pondweed: Food for ducks, geese & graze for muskrats, beaver & deer.
Red Pond Weed Pondweed: Provides shade, shelter and forging for fish. Fruits are food for waterfowl.
Slender Pondweed: Important food & cover for fish and their fry grazed upon by muskrats, beaver & deer.
Common Bladderwort: Shade, invertebrate habitat and foraging opportunities for fish.
Fragrant Water Lily: Shade for invertebrates & fish. Waterfowl feed upon the seeds and the rhizomes are eaten by deer, muskrat, beaver and porcupine.
Pickerelweed: The large, edible seeds are eaten by ducks, while deer and muskrat browse on the foliage.