NEK lake celebrates 5 years Eurasian milfoil-free

Legion of volunteers conducted intensive eradication campaign

Shadow Lake

by the Shadow Lake Association

The Shadow Lake Association (SLA), in cooperation with the town of Glover and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is celebrating the removal of Shadow Lake from the state’s infested waters list after successfully eradicating the Eurasian watermilfoil.

The aquatic invasive species was initially spotted in 2011 by a boat wash greeter, who identified a suspicious plant on a discarded fishing line. The greeter informed a Vermont Invasive Patroller (VIP) from the SLA, who immediately alerted DEC. Following a swift survey of the lake, DEC staff confirmed an early infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil.

Under the guidance of aquatic biologist Ann Bove, then the DEC’s Aquatic Invasive Species program lead, the SLA board and a legion of volunteers embarked on an intensive eradication campaign. Their efforts paid off, and by 2018 the invasive species was believed to be completely eradicated.

However, in accordance with state policy, a further five years of observation was required to confirm the lake’s new milfoil-free status. In 2022, after a prolonged and suspenseful wait, Shadow Lake was officially removed from the infested waters list.

The achievement was commemorated on July 15 with a lake-side celebration. The SLA expressed gratitude to the many individuals, DEC personnel, and the town of Glover, whose unwavering support played a pivotal role in this conservation success story.

Special recognition was given to Shadow Lake resident Christine Cano for her instrumental role in the eradication effort. To ensure future success against aquatic invasive species, the SLA urges Vermonters to make use of greeter stations, clean, drain, and dry vessels and related equipment before entering a water body, and to advocate for adequate funding for water protection programs. Prevention, they emphasized, is the key to preserving our water bodies for generations to come.

Categories: Environment