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- PRESS RELEASE ---
From the Maine Department of Environmental Protection
For Immediate Release
Second Invasive Plant Found in Cobbosseecontee Lake
New plant seen in Maine for the first time
AUGUSTA, August 15, 2018 — On the heels of the recent discovery of Eurasian water milfoil, Maine Department of Environmental (DEP) has confirmed growth of another state-prohibited invasive aquatic plant in Cobbosseecontee Lake in Manchester. The plant, European frog’s-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), is native to Europe and northern Asia and is a popular water garden and aquarium plant. First intentionally introduced to a water garden in Canada in 1932, the plant was found in a New York river in 1974 and continues to expand its range.
The Cobbossee find is the first known growth of this plant in Maine. European frog’s-bit grows best in shallow, slow-moving water and sheltered coves which is where it was found in a cove and stream inlet in the northeast corner of the lake. The plant is well-established in the cove and stream, suggesting that it has been there for several years.
“Admittedly, this latest discovery it’s a tough one-two punch for Cobbossee Lake. We don’t know how the plant arrived in the lake but we have already begun the challenge of managing it,” said John McPhedran, DEP Biologist. “The plant was discovered August 10, surveyed August 13 and removal began August 14. I am confident that DEP's collaboration with Cobbossee Watershed District and Friends of Cobbossee Watershed will result in reducing this infestation. But we also need to be realistic: real control will require continued commitment and will occur over years, not days or months.”
In addition to reminding boaters to clean, drain and dry watercraft, trailers and equipment before launching and after removing from every waterbody, Maine DEP stresses that plants and fish from aquariums and water gardens should never be dumped into a stream or lake. If aquarium or water garden plants are no longer desired, throw them out with the trash.
On July 19,2018 our Cobbossee Annabessacook Milfoil Project plant survey team found suspicious plants while surveying the north end of Cobbosse Lake near Lakeside Marina. A plant sample was taken and immediately shared with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection invasive aquatic plant team. The plant was identified as Eurasian Water Milfoil and DNA confirmed on August 7, 2018. DEP is heading the rapid response process, and have been diving to get a handle on the number and location of plants, as well as removing ALL suspicious plants found. The Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed teams have been assisting DEP by routinely surveying and marking the locations of suspicious plants for DEP to remove.
Eurasian milfoil is more aggressive than variable milfoil, which has been plaguing nearby Annabessacook lake. Though we had been worried about the spread of variable milfoil in the southern part of Cobbossee it goes without saying that the discovery of Eurasian milfoil in the northern part of Cobbossee was a shock. The FOCW will be doubling down with our efforts, altering our plans a bit to survey the known area in and adjacent to, the marina, so that we may find plants as they emerge. We will continue to work closely with the Maine DEP and the owners of Lakeside Marina to prevent further introduction of invasive plants as well as stop those that have already been introduced from continuing to grow. We intend to manage this situation as swiftly as possible.
Have you been lucky enough to catch Maine Life with Erin Ovalle, channel 6 on Saturday or Sunday mornings? In their words, "Maine Life is on line, on air and on the road, highlighting and celebrating all things that make Maine the best place to live and work!" Now we have a surprise for you. Click on the Maine Life link below that will take you to their website. Open the clip labeled MaineLife-S3E15. Wait out the ads then note that first segment!
Congratulations to everyone at Lakeside and the 88 teams of fishermen who supported this very special cause! For a complete review of the tournament including some great photos, visit their website: www.lakesidelodging.com. Meanwhile, enjoy some of our random photos!
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