Our trained “Weed-Watcher” volunteers of the Manchaug Pond Foundation will be on the water conducting the annual Aquatic Plant Survey. With the goal to seek out, identify, and record both native and non-native submerged aquatic plants, 7 volunteers on two teams will survey more than 50 points on the lake this year.
This afternoon Team 1 will be out surveying the northern half of Manchaug Pond and Team 2, the southern half, later in early September. Using a GPS, the approximately 50 locations in a grid pattern throughout the lake are sampled using the Cornell rake-survey method. The teams record water depth, identify plants present, as well as their abundance. Larger weed beds or reports from members and boaters are investigated by kayak with volunteers using mask and snorkel for a closer look.
“Early detection, coupled with a rapid assessment and a quick and effective response is viewed as one of the best and cost-efficient ways of dealing with problems,” the National Invasive Species Council reports.
The Manchaug Pond Foundation’s teams have been trained by Mass DCR’s Lakes and Ponds Program in invasive weed identification and by Lycott Environmental as to use of the GPS and mapping, the rake-toss method, and proper recording to work to prevent infestations of exotic invasive aquatic plants. Identification and monitoring of existing populations heads-off new invasive populations before they can take hold.
Watch for us on the water, and consider volunteering or to observe! Each team spends about 2 hours on the water, with individual team members following up on new plant identification, snorkeling areas of identification for a further look at weed beds, computer work recording data, and more.
If you want to observe a team in action or see something you believe maybe a problem, contact us and visit our Conservation section, Water Quality: NO Invasives! page. Be a field Weed Watcher for Manchaug Pond ~ all are welcome to come along!!