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Suspected second invasive species found in Norwood Lake

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NORWOOD — Efforts to remove invasive Eurasian milfoil from Norwood Lake have led to the discovery of an unidentified plant species that also is believed to be invasive.

Aquatic Invasive Management LLC, Au Sable Forks, has completed a survey of the 400-acre lake and has begun hand-harvesting the troublesome Eurasian milfoil.

During their survey, workers discovered a half-acre patch of an unidentified plant.

“They were not absolutely sure what it was,” said Norwood Mayor James H. McFaddin.

Aquatic Invasive Management sent samples of the plant to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for identification, but results were inconclusive.

Mr. McFaddin said the plant likely will flower in August; more samples can be collected then, and it will be easier to identify.

It is suspected that the plant is another type of milfoil, the fast-spreading aquatic plant that led to the cleanup efforts in the first place.

“If that comes back as milfoil, I would call it a moderate problem,” Mr. McFaddin said. “It means we have to remove it.”

Milfoil is common in many New York lakes, ponds and rivers. Left on its own, it can choke out life and make a boating or fishing difficult. It was discovered in Norwood Lake in small amounts last year.

Except for the discovery of a possible second milfoil species, the results of the lake survey were promising, Mr. McFaddin said.

“We feel at this point that we came out of it pretty good, because there wasn’t a large growth in the lake of the Eurasian milfoil,” he said.

The early detection and slow growth means the plant’s spread can be kept in check, but it will take yearly harvesting sessions to keep it from becoming a problem, Mr. McFaddin said. Complete eradication is nearly impossible.

“We’re dedicated to keeping Norwood Lake clear of this milfoil,” he said.

The discovery of a possible second invasive species could prove financially taxing. Mr. McFaddin said proceeds from the annual Norwood Lake Regatta in August will be dedicated to cleanup efforts.

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