Milfoil infestation is rampant in NH, and our lake has not been spared. In fact, it was reported in 2008 that our lake had the worst infestation in the state, with over half of the 194 acre reservoir coated with milfoil.
It is believed that the milfoil species we have in the lake came from an overflow of Scobie Pond in Francistown, as a result of the Mothers Day Flood of 2006. In July of 2006, a sample was sent to NH-DES for DNA sampling and identification.The species was confirmed by November of 2006. This specific variety does very well in the acidic waters in NH. It will continue to spread, and grow up to 1 inch per day. Once reaching the surface, it will spread out along the surface, and continue to grow and spread. There is no known biological solution to prevent this variety from growth, though UNH is working on engineering a weevil to do so. This variety does not die from freezing, it will instead change to a cactus like state in the cold, and be ready to grow again when the warmer weather arrives. The only known State approved method of dealing with this variety in an infested area this size, is the use of an herbicide. In 2007, the State set their sites on addressing the issues up river first (Scobie Pond), with the intent of mapping out the infestation in our Lake during the summer of 2007.It is an expensive process, but with time and research, we expect the ongoing costs to be reduced.
Fortunately, this Association has been successful in raising funds from its members, and leveraging this to raise funds from the State of NH, the Town of Goffstown, and Enel North America, the operator of the Kellys Falls Dam.
Why us? Because there is no other entity that can coordinate the treatment of Milfoil. The Lake itself is owned by the State of NH, and the Dam is leased to Enel North America. Both the Town of Goffstown, and the City of Manchester have shoreline in the Lake.
The State of NH, through DES, is the only entity that can issue permits for Milfoil treatment, and it has to be performed exactly as directed. They do offer a grant program, whereby an organization can apply for grants (matching funds), but there needs to be an organization to apply for, and be awarded the grant – which is where NLA comes in. Furthermore, the Association provides a non-profit organization to receive donations on a tax deductible basis.