2006 EXPERIMENTAL SUCTION HARVEST PROJECT
When milfoil was discovered in 2001 it was decided to monitor it's growth. After a large increase in growth, it was decided in 2006 to try a method, other than chemicals, called DASH, Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting. This method uses a high volume jet water pump and large diameter hose. A diver removes each plant by hand and feeds it into the vacuum hose at the lake bottom. The entire plant, roots and all, are then filtered out in a large cloth bag at the surface.
The milfoil suction harvesting for 2006 is complete. As you may have read in the Newsletter August 2006, eighteen bags were removed on the first two days, and another 11 bags were removed a week later. Estimates are that over one acre of milfoil were removed.
The CT-DEP will now document the area, write a report and make recommendations. Below is a photo of one of the first plants removed, and a photo of George Knoecklein discussing the largest infestation area with Bruce Lockhart of Lockhart Enviornmental, New Milford CT, before the harvesting began.
Milfoil 2009 Update and News
As you may recall, the Crystal Lake Association, in conjunction with the Town of Ellington, applied for a DEP Grant in 2008 to hire a contractor to remove milfoil from Crystal Lake. The stipulation for the grant was that the money was to be used entirely for the effort of the project and not to purchase equipment etc.
The Town with assistance from the CLA ,applied for $50,000, which was a maximum per town, and the Town was to match $17,000 to give a total of $67,000 for the project. Unfortunately the grant was cancelled due to difficult economic times in our state, but the Town, feeling this was very important for our community and our lake, agreed to allocate the full $67,000.
At a May 18, 2009 Board of Selectmen Meeting(BOS), the Ad Hoc Crystal Lake Milfoil Committee was appointed. The appointment is to last for one year and consist of five members selected by the BOS from applications submitted. Five members from the CLA Milfoil Committee, who had been previously working on this project, were the members appointed.
In an effort to get this project started this year we have been meeting weekly in an effort to start the suction harvesting by August 2009. So if you see two large pontoon boats with hoses moving around the lake, they are just removing invasive plants.
The CRYSTAL LAKE MILFOIL COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES/AGENDA are now available on the Town of Ellington Website.
September 1,2009 NEWS We have just completed our suction harvesting contract with:
WATER'S EDGE RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT (WERM) www.wermllc.com of DANBURY, CT.
Referring to the GPS maps, we have removed 20 acres of Milfoil from Crystal Lake. This quantity exceeded the estimated 17.5 acres.
The clarity of the water and the efficiency of removal allowed us to complete our first pass over the entire lake.
September 29,2009. We have received our final Post Suction Harvesting Report from Dr. George Knoecklein.
The News is great. According to Dr. Knoecklein, "very little variable-leaved milfoil is in the lake." "all high and medium density plant beds were completely gone. The beds between the sand bar and the dam were reduced from high density to medium density beds." (see the map in the report)
He also stated, "it is probable that the biomass of milfoil remaining in the lake is in the order of 1% (one percent) of what was there prior to harvesting."
Dr. Knoecklein reminds us that milfoil management should be an activity conducted by residents who are familiar with the identification of the plant and how to remove it completely including the roots. There are alot of areas close to shore in several feet of water that would be easy to loosen from the bottom and remove.
Remember that all floating fragments must be collected also. Contact the Crystal Lake Association on this site, or call Bill Merson, 860-875-2750 for more information.
NOVEMBER 2009 The Ad Hoc Crystal Lake Milfoil Committee has presented their 2009 Progress Report to the Ellington Board of Selectmen. The Board complemented the Committee on the fine job they did and on the detailed report outlining the entire project.
The report has been uploaded to this site, and due to the size, was done so in Chapters, each one a separate PDF document. It is quite detailed and lengthy, so sit back, relax and learn about our milfoil removal process.
Town of Ellington Ad Hoc Committee for the Removal of Milfoil in Crystal Lake November 2009 Report to the Board of Selectmen
2010 Underwater Video