Hudson/Marlborough – The Fort Meadow Commission announced the City of Marlborough and Town of Hudson began the drawdown of Fort Meadow Reservoir Oct. 15. The four-foot drawdown will continue for 15-20 days. The lake level will be kept down through the winter and begin refilling March 3, 2015.
The purpose of this year’s drawdown is to allow for control of invasive weeds and the Asian Clam, removal of sand from storm drains, and repair of walls and beaches. Each of these activities is described in more detail below; permits are needed for some of these activities.
1. Weed control – Residents may wish to take advantage of the drawdown to manually remove weeds from the drawdown area. No permit is needed. The weeds collected should be disposed of outside the lake in a manner which will prevent them from washing back into the water or decomposing on the beach and leaching nutrients back into the water. A good hard freeze and no snow cover for a few days will kill the weed roots that are exposed helping control some of the remaining invasive weeds. Problem weeds this year are Eurasian and variable water milfoil and Fanwort.
- 2. Asian clam control – The past drawdowns seem to be having an impact on the Asian Clam (corbicula fluminea) population introduced a while ago. The good news is that this clam is at the northern boundary of its range and seems to be keeping itself in check and not reproducing as fast as predicted. The drawdown will allow for freezing the clams that are exposed and keeping their abundance in check. They live an inch or two below the sand layer and will not survive a freeze.
- 3. Removal of sand from drainage pipes – The Marlborough Department of Public Works, Street Division, will be inspecting the street drainage pipes that enter the lake throughout the drawdown period, however any issues and/or potential problem areas may be reported to Tom Temple, assistant commissioner of operations at 508-624-6910, ext. 7200.
- 4. Minor repairs of walls and beaches – Residents are encouraged to do repairs to walls, add sand to beaches, etc., while the water level is down, however residents will need a generic permit. Any new construction or expansion of a wall will require a new permit. To apply for either the generic permit or new permit, or for further information, contact the Marlborough Conservation Commission, 508-460-3768, or the Hudson Conservation Commission, 978-562-2020.
As in the past, residents are required to remove docks from the water for the winter. Those with additional questions should contact the Fort Meadow Commission at 508-481-0590.