Commission lays out plans to treat invasive plant in Lake Quinsigamond

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By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

Commission lays out plans to treat invasive plant in Lake Quinsigamond
The tips of aquatic plants were visible in the shallow waters of Lake Quinsigamond’s Half Moon Bay on Aug. 15. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

SHREWSBURY — An invasive plant species in Lake Quinsigamond will soon be treated. 

During the Lake Quinsigamond Commission meeting July 28, member Michael Paika said he’s heard concerns about an excessive amount of Eurasian milfoil in Half Moon Bay. 

“It seems to be a real nuisance,” Paika said.

The invasive aquatic plant is known to grow in dense mats. It can make recreational water activities difficult by choking boat motors and eliminating swimming opportunities. 

Municipalities have long asked boaters to check for hitchhiking milfoil plants on their vessels before and after spending time in a body of water in an effort to limit the spread of milfoil between rivers, lakes and canals. 

Once the plant is introduced to a body of water, however, it is known to grow rapidly. 

Commission Chair Peter Collins said herbicide treatment of the invasive species would begin soon. 

Collins said a bid was awarded and added that the commission was waiting for the contractor to sign the contract.

“It got off a little late,” he explained. “There was some confusion on some of the items on the bid because it’s a little more complicated than it has been in the past because of the different amount of tools that we can use to combat the invasives in the lake,” Collins said.

He said the commission was able to add a chemical which will allow them to treat the milfoil in Half Moon Bay. 

The process has been complicated, however, as Collins said the state is worried about a rare and endangered plant species from the Potamogeton family that has been found in Half Moon Bay in addition to some of the other areas of Lake Quinsigamond in the past. 

“This chemical has been shown not to have much effect on the plant family that we’re talking about,” Collins said.

Half Moon Bay is located on the southern end of Lake Quinsigamond, near where Route 20 passes the Edgemere neighborhood.

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