A Shout-Out to all Invasive Plant Patrollers!
We are all aware of the threats that invasive species present to our lakes. Our Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program on Lake Pennesseewassee gives us partial protection against invasives carried by visiting boats. To increase protection on all of Norway’s lakes, LAON began its Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) program in 2019.
We now have 4 teams, one on each of our lakes. The teams are made up of volunteers who have attended our “Plant Paddle” trainings sessions where samples are collected, and an easy technique is utilized to determine if a plant is invasive. We then sectored the lakes and volunteers selected areas they would patrol. Our current teams and the IPP sectors are shown below.
We did an official survey in the first week of September 2023 and, fortunately, did not find any suspicious plants. While IPP can’t prevent an invasive from entering a lake, it does serve as an early warning system to find a problem in its beginning stages, so solutions are more manageable.
Invasive Plant Patrols are an excellent way to have many “eyes on the lake.” We always look for more volunteers to help patrol and fill in gaps in our coverage. We plan to have a Plant Paddle this summer for training newcomers on how to identify invasives, and we welcome back our patrollers if they wish to refresh their skills.
Lake Stewards of Maine conducts all-day plant identification seminars, they also hold zoom meetings on specific topics. Info can be found on their website under IPP heading.
If you like to go out on the lake and would like to help keep invasives out, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click below to download our IPP sector maps: