Basics of Hand Picking Milfoil

Picking Milfoil - A very basic guide.

With milfoil reduced, in some places, but still actively present in both lakes. I've been reminded that it would be a good idea to submit frequent entries and notes on the finer points of picking milfoil for those who haven't yet experienced the joy of aquatic pest removal. 

Picture yourself wearing a mask and snorkel in shallow water within easy reach of the bottom. You can also do this while wading (no mask or snorkel required). The accompanying drawings are crude but should suffice to illustrate the how-to of this.

Approach the plant to within easy reach taking care to not disturb the bottom silt which will hinder visibility.

Step One: Gently reach behind the plant with your palm towards you and your fingers pointed downward and slightly spread.

Step Two: push your fingers into the bottom behind the plant stem (as far as you can, if necessary, and pull towards you. Your fingers should be below the root crown of the plant .

Step Three: Whenyou have the bottom of the stem in your grasp, pull it upwards out of the bottom. Use your hand as though it were a rake. 

You should have the plant, roots and all, free of the bottom. At this point, if you have a fine mesh bag of some sort you can gently place it inside. You can also gently ball the plant up the plant and place it in a net or container, held by an assistant, or in a kayak or canoe along side of you. I know someone who uses a colander. Make sure to collect any stray fragments that may have come off the plant.

Remember, you will have accomplished something. Any plant you remove is gone from the lake and will not reproduce through fragmenting, rhizomes or budding. Just make sure you put your removed plants in a place from which they cannot be moved back into the water by flooding, rainfall, erosion or accident. A compost bin with solid or close meshed sides would do. Ideally, it should be at least 100 feet from the water,but many of you might not have that luxury so ask a neighbor if they have a spot or contact the lake association. 


Remember you can report milfoil at 


Loon pics and more storm stuff

Hi all,

Lets start with a couple of wonderful pictures of our Silver Lake family sent in by Tom O.

Storm news is good in that we didn’t have another one today, it looks like it all went south of us. Saturday’s storm left damage we are just hearing about. Lots of trees down just off the lake, and the island lost a couple of its tall ones too.

In the lost department we hear that Songa is still missing a couple canoes. If you have any idea where they are, please let me or someone there know.

On the found side, we have a double kayak paddle, and this lovely yellow whatever it is pictured below. We also have a dock floating from north to south and back along 53. Mike

Goshen Dam Loons!


WOOHOO again

by LDFLA Blog Admin

Hi all,

I spent almost an hour in the woods today off Goshen Dam watching the pair act like they may have had a chick be seeing nothing. The shot below was the giveaway as the mate came from quite a ways out to try to feed a tiny fish to the back end of the loon floating near the nesting raft. It didn’t draw a chick out but I just kept shooting and hoping.

I never did see the chick through the binos but when I blew up the picture below

I could clearly see the little head peeking out. There had been 8 canoes floating out there for a couple hours so maybe that accounts for the shyness. There were 2 eggs in the nest so there may be another chick hiding under there, I hope so.

Hopefully one of my kayak owning friends can get out and take a hard look at the nest soon and see if there is a clue there. We need to get those signs too and eventually drag the raft up on shore to keep it from getting waterlogged. Raft can wait but signs need to come out asap.

Another giveaway was the mates reaction to a kayaker coming a little too close. Even with the loss of the nest here on Dunmore, this has turned into a pretty good year. Mike


quick update

by LDFLA Blog Admin

Hi all,

Sally took a paddle around Goshen Dam and Sue W. walked Silver Lake and both nests are still occupied and both had the mates nearby. The folks checking for loonwatch tomorrow have something to look forward to.

I took a trip back in time last weekend and visited with two old (OLD) friends at Lower Lead Mountain pond Me. The best we could remember was that the last time the three of us were together was ’74 and it was at the same place. It’s significant to me because it’s the first place I remember hearing a loon call, probably 10 or so years before that. The guy that lives there says they have had a single most of the last 40 however many years and one did show up just after I took the picture below.


Steve N. get the award for paying attention and getting this series


of pictures showing


our eagle snagging a little breakfast in North Cove.


He said it came up with a dead fish. Thank you Steve.



Loonwatch Day



by LDFLA Blog Admin

Hi all, Next Saturday morning is statewide loon count. Volunteers all over the state try to get on all the lakes and ponds at the same time to try to get a fairly accurate number of the loons we have. John & Kathy will cover Silver Lake, Allon & Maryanne will paddle Goshen Dam, and John and Xu will look at Mud Pond for us. Is there someone on Fern Lake who would enjoy paddling it or is there someone with a good view of the length and breadth who needs an excuse to look out the window a number of times between 7:30 and 9:00 AM. We are interested in loons primarily of course but also any eagles, peregrines, or ospreys who may wander by if you recognize them. You don’t need to be an expert, just do the best you can. Please let me know if you are a Fern Laker who can participate or even a non-Fern Laker willing to go for a paddle on Fern that morning.

AND, we like to do Lake Dunmore with 3 boats with 2-3 observers on each boat. We could use another boat and could use 3-4 (5-6?) more sets of sharp eyes to ride along. We meet just outside South Cove at 7 and it takes us about an hour and a half to sweep up the lake in formation. So, do I have a boat willing to help us out? And, would you like to come along as an observer? Your own binoculars would be a bonus but we do have an extra pair or two for someone who needs them. Let me know asap and we’ll work out where to meet/get on, whatever. I do hope to hear from at least 3 of you.

No loon news from me today but Henry D. who covers 9 (I think) lakes and ponds in Southern Vt. reports 6 chicks hatched with 2 loon pairs still on the nest. He says it could be a record year for his area. Because ours are second nestings, I’m guessing the 25th plus or minus a couple days before we know the results of Silver Lake and Goshen Dam.

Kathy’s flower was a chicory, not hickory as my auto spell checker decided. The spell checker checker missed it on the re-read.

And because you were nice enough to read to the end, you get to see Sue W’s otter. It is in fact in Otter Creek and therefore not our potential egg stealer. Mike