DEP declares Pleasant Lake milfoil-free

CASCO — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has announced that the once-infested Pleasant Lake in Casco is now free of variable-leaf milfoil, and officially off the state’s list of infested water bodies.

“Removing Pleasant Lake from the list shows how committed volunteers supported by a state-run effort can out-gun one of the most persistent aquatic plants to infest Maine lakes,” said Andrew Fisk, director of DEP’s Bureau of Land and Water Quality, who made the announcement last month. “The Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association undertook a multi-year, methodical program of hand-pulling plants and laying barriers along the pond-bottom.”

“Since this plant had been present in Pleasant Lake since 2001, what this group has done is remarkable,” adds Fisk. “What you are seeing here is a very effective state program that has helped build a strong statewide network of more than 1,500 volunteer citizen scientists to help battle invasive plants which are a real threat to Maine’s lakes and ponds.”

Thirty-three lakes in Maine remain on the list of water bodies infested with invasive plants. The only other lake to be removed from the list was Great East Lake in Acton in 2006, when volunteers removed some variable leaf milfoil before it was allowed to take hold.

Efforts to prevent, detect and manage aquatic invasive plants are made possible by boater participation in the Maine Lake and River Protection Sticker program.

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