Invasive Species Management

Most nuisance aquatic plants in New England are invasive, meaning that they are non-native to the ecosystem and threaten the diversity or abundance of native species. The best (and cheapest) method for controlling invasive species is to be proactive and keep invasives from ever entering the waterbody in the first place. This can be done by washing all watercraft before entering the waterbody, having a boat ramp monitor check boats for plant fragments upon entering and exiting the waterbody, and educating the public on the harmful impacts of invasive species, as well as teaching invasive species identification.

There are several forms of aquatic plant management, falling into four main categories: mechanical removalphysical alterationchemical management, and introduced biological predators.

Every lake is unique and therefore management plans must be tailored to meet the needs and constraints of each specific lake. Just because a management method was successful in one lake does not mean it will be successful in every lake.

How NOT to choose a management method (this applies to both invasive species and water quality management):

  • The cheapest method
  • The easiest method
  • The method with the most websites or most aggressive sales propaganda
  • Whatever seems the most practical at the time
  • The method Du Jour
  • Guess
  • Just do nothing
Image from Montana Science Partnership

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