Are you passionate about West Hill Pond?
Do you want to prevent an invasion?
If so, then please help stop aquatic invasive species (AIS) from entering our pristine lake. Become a Volunteer Invasive Investigator!
The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will offer a training program in New Hartford on June 1 at 9:30AM in the 3rd floor conference room at the New Hartford Town Hall..
At the training, you will learn how to identify undesirable weed species, such as Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels among others. You will also learn to educate and advise boaters on proper boat cleaning to avoid introducing unwelcome aquatic species into West Hill’s water.
Aquatic hitchhikers can enter lakes in a variety of ways. Some travel on recreational boats and trailers, some are dumped into waters from bait buckets, and some attach to fishing equipment.
Why are AIS harmful? Once introduced, these invasives can reduce swimming and boating areas by forming large mats, clog boat engines, disrupt food chains for native species, and ruin access to good fishing.
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Invasive species are costly! Treating Eurasian water-milfoil (shown above), which can grown two inches a day and blanket hundreds of acres in short order, costs $300 to $500 per acre. So, for West Hill, prevention will certainly pay off!
Trained volunteers can serve as boat launch monitors at the state boat launch at the north end of the lake. They visually check out boats for unwanted hitchhiking plants or animals, advise boaters about cleaning and preventive steps and distribute educational materials. Last year, about 12 West Hill folks completed the DEEP training and volunteered periodically.
Please help keep West Hill pristine by signing up for the Volunteer Invasive Investigator Program. Email Mary_Hourdequin@comcast.net or call her at 860 523-9597 for more information. Or, contact DEEP Program Coordinator, Wendy Flynn, at firstname.lastname@example.org.