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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Long-Term Management Plans for Exotic Aquatic Plants

If you’re thinking about managing that milfoil, fanwort, water chestnut, or any other exotic aquatic plant you’ve got growing in your waterbody, a new requirement must first be met: your lake must have a long-term management plan that outlines the problem, the goals of management, and what techniques will be used to achieve those goals.

In January 2006, the Department of Environmental Services and the Fish and Game Department entered into a Memorandum of Agreement about how exotic aquatic plant control projects, or any projects dealing with aquatic plant management, will be handled.

The purpose of these plans is to ensure that there is a strategic, well-organized process that is tailored to best manage growths of aquatic vegetation on a waterbody by waterbody basis. Most of these activities will employ concepts of integrated pest management (IPM). New Hampshire is not alone in this new method for coordinating activities associated with aquatic plant management. New York, Massachusetts and Vermont also incorporate systematic approaches such as this for planning purposes.

Once the waterbody specific management plans are created, they will lay the groundwork for ensuring that matching funds are earmarked for lakes scheduled for controls. They will also ensure that staff biologists have time allotted to work with individual lakes, and that all best management practices (BMPs) are being employed to reduce nuisance growths of exotic plant growth. It should be noted that the emphasis for control is still on exotic aquatic plants, and that matching funds will only be available for projects seeking to control exotic aquatic plants. Projects seeking to control native plants will still, however, need to have a management plan before any work is approved.

The Department of Environmental Services will take the lead in drafting the management plans, but it will include input from the lake residents, municipalities, Fish and Game, and other stakeholders in the health and integrity of the waterbody and its surroundings.

The management plans will include the following

  • The current status of the aquatic vegetation in the pond (Is it native, exotic, wide spread, localized, etc.).
  • The chemical, physical, biological, and ecological characteristics of the pond.
  • The designated uses of the waterbody.
  • The goals of aquatic plant management for that waterbody.
  • The desired outcomes of any management actions.
  • The possible control mechanisms based on all of these above referenced criteria.
  • The use of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.
  • The selected control strategies.
  • The monitoring plan following implementation of control strategies.
  • A schedule for control actions and monitoring.

In the spring of 2007, a total of 19 draft plans were prepared. Review the draft plans

A site visit by NHDES biologists is necessary to document landuses and special habitats around the specific waterbodies, in addition to gathering data on the plant communities, depth contours, shorefront uses, sediment composition, and other factors that will go into the plan.

If you are an individual that generally takes the lead for organizing exotic aquatic plant management on your waterbody, please contact Amy Smagula at (603) 271-2248 or for more information on preparing a plan for your lake if you do not see your lake listed with the draft plans.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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