On June 21 Jim Straub and Tom Flannery from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) joined us for a Weed Watcher Training event. In preparation of this meeting weeds were collected, photographed and mapped throughout the lake using scuba gear the weekend of June 9-10. The training focused on teaching us how to identify the plants that are growing in Lake Archer how to prevent more non native invasive weeds from being introduced into the lake and the different methods of treatments. They also distributed several informative brochures (and offered to send more for those who are interested) including one focused to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers (the universal symbol and tagline to remind boaters to be conscientious about preventing the spread of invasive weeds from one body of water to another).
The good news is that we only found one non native invasive species and one nuisance native weed. The bad news is that the non native weed that has been introduced to our lake is really bad and can completely take over a lake quickly.
Non Native Invasive Weed
Native Nuisance Weed
The Native Clasping Leaf Pondweed is the only other weed at this time that is of concern. Although it is native, it can be a nuisance. This weed is found throughout the edge of the lake in small amounts, however, it can become more dense. We ask that everyone harvest these pondweeds manually if you find them in front. Use a small hand spade to get it out by the roots. This plant will not fragment and regrow so it is okay to remove. Dispose of it upland.
Good Native Lake Weeds
The Fern Pondweed is the predominant weed throughout the lake and is found virtually everywhere. This is a good weed and the density is probably saving us from being invaded as it blankets most of the lake with a thick cover and is coated with silt dust. This plant should be left in place and not disturbed except in the immediate swimming area in front of your property. As a side note, the lake bottom is mainly silt with the exception of hardpack on the west shore along Oak Point and the narrow shallow area from the sunken island to the narrow part of the lake. This is neither good nor bad, just an observation.
The Coontail Pondweed is the second most cited native weed. This is also a good weed and should be left alone.
There are many other native weeds that were found in small quantities and do not pose a threat to the lake.
The Wrentham Conservation Commission also cautioned against allowing fertilizer run off and dirt to get into the lake (as it can throw off the amount of phosphorous in the lake and unintentionally fertilize the weeds).
The DCR representatives expressed the importance of hiring an independent consultant to conduct a professional survey. The survey will inventory and map the lake for weed growth and other environmental factors. This includes GPS coordinates for invasive growth so we can monitor and treat effectively. They will also provide an unbiased third party to recommend the best approach to address the findings. The Board will be selecting a consultant shortly based on the recommendations from the Invasive Weed Committee. We will update you as we proceed.