Did you know… a single fragment of Eurasian milfoil can multiply into 250 million new plants in one year!
Invasive Species: Invasive species can be plants, animals, insects or organisims that are accidentally or intentionally introduced into a habitat that cause harm to the environment or health. The rate and risk of invasives over the years is increasing due to human population growth, environmental alteration, movement of people and equipment. One of the greatest risks we face on Schroon Lake/River are “hitchhikers”, invasive aquatic plants and organisms that are on a boat when it launches. Once established, invasives can quickly become widespread due to lack of natural control and high reproductive ability.
Invasive species not only negatively impact the look and enjoyment of our waters but also the way it functions. Infestations degrade habitat, diminish count and variety of fish and wildlife, even creating a toxic environment. ESSLA’s mission, in a cooperative effort with state and local agencies, is to protect the Schroon Lake/River region from the negative impacts of non-native invasive species. Our programs provide surveillance, harvesting, education and boat washing stations to achieve these goals.
Eurasian Water Milfoil
is a submerged perennial grass that can reach heights of 20 feet. Plant fragments easily break off and can be transported from lake to lake via boats and trailers, starting new populations, degrading habitat and reducing recreational access. Once established, it spreads easily, grows quickly and is difficult to remove. The densely growing grass entangles boat propellers, interferes with swimming and fishing and negatively impacts the natural aquatic habitat. ESSLA utilizes physical harvesting by professionals to manage milfoil infestations.
How do you tell the difference between good milfoil and bad milfoil? Here’s how…
(Myriophyllum sibericum) – Beneficial native offers shade, shelter and foraging opportunities for fish
Usually 7-10 leaflet pairs per leaf
Leaflets are widely spaced
Leaves are rigid around stem when out of water
Green stem that does not branch near surface
(Myriophyllum spicatum) – Harmful Invasive forms dense mats near surface that entangle boat propellers and interfere with swimming
Usually 12-21 leaflet pairs per leaf
Leaflets are closely spaced
Leaves collapse around stem when out of water
Reddish stem that branches near surface