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 


PLEASE READ: Herbicide Treatment expected June 15th

Below Is a link to the final notification for the Renovate OTF and Renovate 3 herbicide treatments of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum, EWM) in Lake Dunmore and Fern Lake during the 2016 season.

Dunmore Fern 2016 DEC Treatment Notification

Due to aquatic herbicide use in Lake Dunmore and Fern Lake with SePRO Renovate OTF and Renovate 3 (active ingredient triclopyr), authorized under Aquatic Control Permits #2016-CO2 and #2016-CO7 the following advisory water use restrictions are in effect for the entire lake and outlet stream.

Lake Water Advisory Use Restrictions:

June 2016 Herbicide Treatment Map

2015 State of Vermont Grant-in-Aid Report

Town of Leicester & Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association
Aquatic Invasive Species
Final Report 2015 


The 2015 milfoil abatement program was somewhat successful in helping slow the spread of milfoil in our lakes. We had prepared for increased growth by adding new equipment and staff, but nature taxed our resources. We barely kept up with the explosive new growth by season's end. We had suspected this might happen at our early strategy sessions and concluded that stopping new patches from expanding was a better use of limited resources than cutting the existing forests. We therefore marked the biggest patches with buoys asking the public to avoid them. This strategy would result in a holding pattern for the 2015 season while we applied for an herbicide permit for the 2016 season. The LDFLA board created a new AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) committee this season with a team that provides a wide range of skill sets. This adaptation was greatly appreciated and will enhance the efforts in the long-term.

Click here to read the full report.

Message from the President - Summer Ends with Glory

The peak season has come and gone, and what a season it was! We are so lucky to experience such a show on our lakes! In this update I’ll cover:

  • Milfoil activities
  • Picnic and Silent Auction
  • IT Project
  • Appreciation

Milfoil Activities

Milfoil crew activity continued through middle of September, with most crews disbanding at the end of August as members returned to school or other jobs. The focus of this end of season activity was to continue control of the new growth along shoreline and patches that appeared this season. Surveys of the milfoil growth on lakes were performed by Aquatic Control Technologies and Darrin Freshwater Research. The first was to assess the locations of deep concern (e.g. North Bay and The Spine, etc.) for density and area (acres) of infestation. The latter is a quantitative plant assessment to determine impacts of the current and future milfoil control operations. Both surveys are part of the 5 year integrated Aquatic Invasive Species plan and are requirements for the herbicide permit. You can see more detail in the milfoil article in this newsletter or learn more by contacting a board member. Lastly, on a personal note – I recently went kayaking on Big Bear Lake in California, and was shocked at the density of milfoil along some of the shorelines. We need to keep up our hard work to make sure that doesn’t happen to our lakes!

Picnic and Silent Auction

Wow! I hope all who attended the end of season picnic enjoyed the event as much as I did. The attendance was up by roughly 25%. The conversation was lively, diverse and full of smiles and laughter. Kudo’s to the volunteers who made this happen! The auction proceeds were on par with last year at just over $3700. Many thanks to both the donors who supported the event as these proceeds help fund milfoil operations and the volunteers who made it happen!

IT Project

As you may remember an information technology (IT) task force was set up last November to find a solution to help us connect and interact with membership more easily and in a more engaging way. After reviewing several alternatives and best practices for organizations like ours, the task force recommended a solution that was approved by the board. We’re in the initial phases of testing the new IT solution with a pilot group to see if it satisfies our objectives. We hope to implement the solution in early 2016, and will be contacting you as we do. One of our neighbors, Mike Waggoner, who has extensive experience in website development, has volunteered to support the development and implementation of this new tool.


I  want to end by thanking all of you for your support of our beautiful lakes! We’re an organization operated primarily on volunteer help. I feel honored to serve with such a talented and experienced board, active committee members and volunteers who help along the way with everything from collecting milfoil fragments, to stuffing envelopes, or to planning a community event. Thanks! Together we’ll keep our lakes thriving for generations to come!