Variable Milfoil

Click here for excellent pictures of variable milfoil on the Maine Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program website.  If you click on the pictures you can see an enlarged version.  Note the redish brown color of the stem.  This is one of the ways to distinguish this plant from some of the similar looking plants native to our lakes.  The plant found in Great East was in about 4 feet of water and had not reached the surface, so there was no flower on the plant.

Variable watermilfoil is a submerged aquatic plant that has densely packed whorled leaves. It is usually found along the shorelines of lakes and ponds. Watermilfoil can grow in depths of up to 10-12 feet, forming dense mats near the surface of the water. The plant produces a spike-like flower that grows above the water’s surface from mid to late summer. It reproduces primarily by fragmentation. The plant can break apart very easily, and the fragments float to new locations and take root.  When the plant was pulled from Great East a fine net was used to scoop it up to prevent fragment from escaping.

About the Watershed Survey

 We are pleased to announce that the Great East Lake 2021 Watershed Report is finished and
available as a PDF link below. Many thanks to Jon Balanoff, the AWWA Executive Director, for
his perseverance in seeing the project through to this point.
We all know that our lake is very clear and clean, but the challenge before us is to keep it that
way for future generations. The survey identified many sites throughout the watershed that
threaten its present condition. Here is a quick summary of the findings:

           -25 sites were identified as having a high impact on water quality
           -97 sites were identified with medium impact
           -101 sites were identified with low impact

Of these 200+ sites, about half of them require no-cost or low-cost remediation. The other half
are more involved, more technically challenging, and will have a greater expense associated with
them. Please keep in mind that AWWA’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is available to assist
with remediation projects and property owners need only pay the cost for materials, not labor.

Letters and emails have been sent to all participating members informing them if erosion issues
were found on their property or not. If issues were found, members were provided with details
of the findings and suggested remediation methods.

If you do not receive a letter or email and would like to inquire about findings on your property
you can send your request to either the GELIA Watershed Committee email or the AWWA email
address listed below to request that information. Please provide your name, the property
owner’s name and the property address in your request.

We urge all property owners to read the report as it’s filled with useful information, helpful
remediation options and best practices for all kinds of issues. We also want to stress the
importance of addressing issues promptly should any be identified on your property.
Thank you again to all those who assisted with this survey and thanks to everyone for helping to
keep our lake as clean, clear and beautiful as we possibly can.