Greetings All -
On January 28 Nick and I met with Marc Bellaud, president, and Pete Beisler, biologist at the ACT facility in Sutton, MA. Our purpose was twofold; to gather an understanding of the mixed results we observed in 2013 and to discuss a treatment plan for 2014.
Herewith is a very brief summary.
ACT observed similar results as we did in all of the lakes that were treated with the same formulation as Balch. A discussion ensued regarding how vulnerable research still is to formulation miscalculation and the predicting of actual results. They acknowledged that the formulation used in 2013 did not meet their expectation, and at two industry conferences they recently attended other contractors reported similar results. (btw ACT and other like contractors do not make their own formulations - these are purchased from other sources). Many factors go into the selection of a formulation. Those factors are too long to go into here but relate to herbicide dispersion rates, lake bottom, water flow direction and rates, wind exposure and many more. We learned that the basic research in aquatics is driven by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and that most of the research (& money) to date has been directed towards invasive species in the southern states and only in the past decade has more money and effort been applied to the northeast invasive weed situation. We discussed reasons other than the formulation that probably allow milfoil to survive after treatment. They essentially have to do with the make up of the lake bottom and the size/depth of the root system.
After lengthy discussion we have agreed to pursue a two treatment option for 2014. On June 12 (during the milfoil growth phase) up to 80 acres will be treated with liquid diquat, which is a quick kill herbicide. This will compromise the energy in the root system as it tries to grow and fight the effect of the diquat at the same time. This treatment does not kill the root system, just the foliage, so we know we will see regrowth towards the end of the summer.This is also being used to avoid the possibility of any (2,4-D) herbicide tolerance from developing. The expectation is that the NH side of the lake will be very suitable for the NH lakers to enjoy their summer water activities. (Not to worry Mainers - we'll be there with the DASH boat beginning late May). In September (date tbd) we will do another treatment to +/- 20 acres with the Navigate 2,4-D, which does effect the root system. The expectation is that the treatment should be very effective given a weaker milfoil plant. The treatment areas in each case will be finally determined by survey prior to each application. We believe, given our latest financial forecast that we can fund the added expense of two treatments. That said, please consider giving to the cause this season.
We also learned that we can do our own gps surveying for less than a $200 expenditure. Buying a hand held unit and using a free resource such as Google maps will allow us a tool to map the milfoil locations all season long.
Please feel free to share this with your community.
BLIMP | PO Box 0494 | E. Wakefield, NH 03830