Variable-Leaf WaterMilfoil

Invasive Milfoil Control Project Showing Results

Variable Milfoil is extremely invasive, with the capability of completely destroying any lake or pond by filling the area with rapidly multiplying plants once established.  The plant is able to propagate with as little as one tiny filament of stem or leaf. It can be easily transported from one body of water to another in a crack or crevice of a boat or trailer. Control efforts are important because, left unchecked the impact of milfoil can affect not only wildlife and recreational activities, but also significantly lower property values. 

Invasive milfoil has been identified in two areas of Lake Christopher, the Mill Cove, the Pumphouse Cove, as well as the Outlet across the road from the boat ramp. The Community Lakes Association (CLA) has made steady eradication efforts to eliminate this menace for years. State funding, along with lesser, but important funds from the Towns of Greenwood and Woodstock, Spruce Mountain Wind, and donations from CLA members has enabled a more intensive and focused effort. 

In 2017 the CLA initiated a new approach to the milfoil problem in Shagg Pond by applying for, and being awarded a grant from the State of Maine DEP to hire New England Milfoil, a commercial diver and equipment using Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) method to attack heavily infested areas of milfoil. The plants are hand pulled by the diver, making sure to remove as much of the root material as possible, and then they are sucked into the harvester hose. The harvest is discharged into net bags, drained, loaded onto the DASH boat, and then hauled away to an approved dump site. The alternative method for areas with fewer, smaller, and/or single plants far apart from each other is to drop a single diver in the water with a catch bag. Incorporating this system resulted in a four-fold increase over the harvest in 2017 with 8,890 gallons of milfoil harvested, versus 2,200 gallons 2016. 

In spring, 2018, Donnie Porter, CLA Milfoil Coordinator, submitted a grant request to the State of Maine DEP and a grant of $14,266 was awarded for the 2018 project. The grant requires the CLA to be responsible for raising $11,000 for the project. 

We have contracted with New England Milfoil for 4½ weeks to use this process again this year. Our 2018 goal for Lake Christopher is a total purge of Milfoil. We anticipate that Shagg Pond will require at least 3 more years of harvesting. Each year will result in less plants harvested, but more acres cleared.  

Monetary donations are greatly appreciated, but volunteering your time is just as valuable to our cause. To be a volunteer contact us at:


If you would like to contribute to the cost of this effort, please send your donation to:
Community Lakes Association, PO Box 91, Greenwood, ME 04255. Please earmark it for the Milfoil Fund.
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