Moody Pond Challenge begins today

The harvesting of Eurasian watermilfoil begins on Moody Pond in Saranac Lake. (Photo provided — Friends of Moody Pond)

SARANAC LAKE — Summer is here, and the harvesting of Eurasian watermilfoil is underway on Moody Pond.

The nonprofit Friends of Moody Pond, with the help of dedicated neighbors and community support through our 2020 Moody Pond Challenge, raised the funds necessary to launch the initial phase of control and possibly eradication of this unwelcome and potentially devastating invader. On June 28, a team of divers from Invasive Dive Solutions were on the pond to begin pulling and bagging the unwanted milfoil early in the seasonal growth process.

Working with Brian Greene, the aquatic invasive species coordinator from the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, the Friends of Moody Pond are in the unique position, for the first time in APIPP’s multi-year history of monitoring milfoil removal from Adirondack lakes, to establish a baseline survey of Moody Pond vegetation before the harvesting began.

Members of the group were trained in the use of Survey123 software. By using individually assigned GPS coordinates, direct visualization techniques, dredging rakes and aquascopes, 40 separate locations were assessed with the results directly uploaded into a database. By summer’s end, this can be repeated and progress documented.

Eurasian watermilfoil won’t be gone by summer’s end. Divers will need to return in the fall to reassess and harvest again if necessary. It may be years before full control is obtained, but every year should be a little easier for the gains of the summer before.

The 2020 Moody Pond Challenge raised $22,000. The expense of the early summer dive team will be $15,000. The Friends of Moody Pond are preparing for another round of fundraising.

The 2021 Foil the Milfoil: Moody Pond Challenge launches today and will conclude on Aug. 7. The online auction will return, as will the celebratory ice cream social, and the Friends of Moody Pond are hoping even more teams will join in the fun and community spirit.

Find out more about Eurasian watermilfoil and participate or donate to Moody Pond Challenge through the website, friendsofmoodypond.org, and by following the Friends of Moody Pond Facebook page.


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