European Naiad Infestation Update

An Update from Sean Skillings:

Regarding European Naiad infestation


Released from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday shows the Milton Three Ponds European Naiad infestation made significant inroads from its Northeast Pond foothold into Milton Pond last summer.
John McPhedran of the state’s Invasive Aquatic Species Program will provide more detail tonight at a public meeting to be held at the Lebanon Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.
McPhedran said the purpose of the meeting is to explain what Maine and New Hampshire are proposing to do to eradicate the Naiad and hear any concerns from the public.
Maine DEP has invited residents from Milton, Lebanon and Acton to come and participate in the meeting, which is mandated since Maine has applied to use a herbicide treatment on part of Northeast Pond to get a handle on the infestation there.
The herbicide, with a brand name of Reward®, has the active ingredient diquat dibromide, which will be applied “via subsurface injection through perforated hose from a surface watercraft into a 41-acre area of Northeast Pond,” which comprises 685 acres all together.
According to data released to The Lebanon Voice, the area in which the herbicide will be used stretches along the east side of Northeast Pond toward the Salmon Falls River.
McPhedran said the area, which is all in Lebanon, has the “highest density Naiad growth that we have seen.
“It’s an area we removed manually (last summer) but determined we could not significantly reduce the population without the herbicide,” he added.
The application will be carried out in one day using a two-person team and a single surface water craft, he said.
The precautionary warnings for the treatment area once the herbicide is applied include
– drinking water restrictions for 3 days post application
– livestock/domestic animal consumption restriction for 1 day post application
– irrigation to turf and landscape ornamentals restriction for 3 days post application
– irrigation to food crops and production ornamentals restriction for 5 days post application.
McPhedran said the herbicide has no restrictions on swimming, but he would advise the public not to swim on the day of treatment. Boating should be OK, but he would again, simply advise against any possible contact with the treatment or treatment area.
He said advisories indicating the treatment area and when it will be applied will come later. Right now the timetable is for some time in July depending on plant growth and water flow.
McPhedran said after the application, Maine DES will monitor the herbicide levels in the area until it can no longer be detected.
New areas of infestation in Milton Pond include the coves above Trainor and Pleasant Point roads and at the norther-most tip of Pleasant Point in Lebanon; and just north of Depot Pond Road in Milton.
As far as the long-term prognosis on the Naiad in Milton Three Ponds, McPhedran said it was too early to tell.
“We are getting on this early, but we won’t know the long-term outcome for a few years,” said McPhedran, who added hopefully this year’s use of herbicide will be the only one needed.
“The objective would be apply one time, so in future years it can be controlled by manual means,” he said.
Those manual means include sucking the weeds our or laying down underwater tarps block sunlight the weeds need to survive.