Milfoil chokes the life out of lakes and property values.
Milfoil is a rooted, submerged, aquatic plant found naturally in lakes and streams. There are five native Maine varieties that are part of the natural vegetation. It is the two non-native varieties that cause all of the trouble. Variable leaf milfoil is already present in 27 Maine lakes systems, including streams. Eurasian watermilfoil, the more aggressive colonizer of the two, has been found in several Maine water bodies.
It is thought that many invasive aquatic plants were aquarium plants that got transported here innocently. Now that the plants are here, they can reproduce by fragmentation. When a disturbance like motorboat or fishing lure passes through a colony of plants, the chopped up pieces are each capable of forming a new plant. Milfoil can move from lake to lake on a propeller, trailer, fishing gear, or anchor.
Non-native plants are a threat because they do not have the natural checks and balances of a healthy ecosystem. Without limitations, they outgrow and eventually choke out the native plants and disturb the balance of the food web.
The best solution is prevention. KLA raises funds in order to act quickly, in event of an invasion, and keep our lake clean.
The best solution is prevention. Once milfoil invades a lake it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to eliminate. You can help protect our lake by being vigilant.
Check your boat, trailer, and gear every time you put them in the lake Even little pieces of milfoil can start a colony. All boats, including kayaks, paddleboards, etc. need to be inspected when they are moved from lake to lake.
Use the boat launches with trained milfoil inspectors. The Town of Waterford and KLA staff the Keoka boat launch to make sure that thorough inspections are done.
Get your annual milfoil sticker. The sticker fees help cover the costs of prevention.
Never introduce non-native plants to the lake. Something as simple as dumping water from your aquarium or houseplants could start an infestation.
Patrol your shoreline. Know what your shoreline looks like and take pictures. If you see changes report them to an LEA or KLA officer. Know what milfoil looks like and watch for it.
Never use pesticides or herbicides. This problem needs to be solved by those trained for it. Do not try to do it yourself.