Maine DEP reports a third invasive aquatic plant species in Cobbosseecontee Lake

July 14, 2020

Contact: David Madore, Communications Director (207) 287-5842

Two other invasive plants were found in the lake in 2018

AUGUSTA, July 14, 2020 - Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW) plant surveyors recently found a suspicious water-milfoil in Jug Stream, just downstream of the Annabessacook Lake dam. Suspected to be the invasive variable-leaved water-milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum), a plant sample was sent to a St. Joseph's College lab in Standish with the ability to confirm identification of water-milfoils. Luc Bernacki of St. Josephs College confirmed to Maine Department of Environmental Protection that the plant is variable-leaved water-milfoil, a prohibited plant species in Maine.

"Discovery of this plant in Cobbossee is not a complete surprise since it's been in upstream Annabessacook for several years, but it's still very disappointing," said John McPhedran of DEP's Invasive Aquatic Species Program. "The Cobbossee Lake community is fortunate to have three strong organizations - Cobbossee Yacht Club Lake Association, Cobbossee Watershed District and Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed working to protect the resource. Maine DEP joins them in rapid response to this new infestation."

Since the discovery, FOCW and Maine DEP plant surveyors and divers have surveyed for and removed the invasive milfoil in Jug Stream. During the week of July 13th, a contractor specializing in invasive aquatic plant surveys and removal will be deployed by Maine DEP to fortify the ongoing efforts. FOCW, with assistance from Lake Stewards of Maine volunteer surveyors, will expand their plant surveys into the southwest corner of Cobbossee Lake to determine if variable water-milfoil is established farther into the lake.

Infestations result in habitat disruption, loss of property values, diminished water quality, reduced fishing and water recreation opportunities and significant expense for mitigating these environmental costs.This recent discovery highlights the need for all users of Maine water resources to clean boats, trailers and fishing gear, drain live well, bilge and engine water away from waterbodies, and dry boats and gear before and after use.