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Almost sunset - Photo courtesy of Don Yurewicz
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Photo courtesy of Tom Gross

QUICK LINKS

2024 Kickoff Meeting

June 29 at 9:00 am

via Zoom

All who may be interested in joining the

AIS Patrol are welcome!

If you are new please contact

Maria Gross or Don Yurewicz

Maria at maria.m.gross@gmail.com

603-491-3107 (cell) or 603-447-6068 (home)

Don at don.yurewicz@gmail.com

or 713-253-1211 (cell)

Aquatic Invasive Species Patrol

Photo credit: Don Yurewicz

WHO WE ARE

The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Patrol is a group of volunteers who monitor Conway Lake in canoes, kayaks, on paddle boards, or even while swimming/ snorkeling, checking for the presence of invasive plants and animals.

 

WHY WE VOLUNTEER

Invasive aquatic plants pose significant threats to lakes due to their ability to disrupt lake ecosystems, deplete oxygen levels, hinder native plant growth, and create hazardous conditions for recreational activities such as boating and swimming. The removal of these plants is challenging and expensive requiring mechanical removal, and/or chemical treatments like herbicides that may have ecological consequences.

 

Invasive species are primarily introduced to a lake by "hitching" a ride on boats and recreational gear.  CLCA's first priority is to keep them out of the lake by encouraging boaters to clean and drain their boats, and to check all boats that enter the lake to spot fragments attached to boats before they launch.  If they should make it into the lake then  early detection is critical.  Once introduced, invasive species grow vigorously and spread rapidly (see photos below) The sooner we spot them, the sooner we can begin remediation and stop their spread.  This is the primary mission of the AIS Patrol.

WHAT WE DO

Our goal is to collectively patrol the entire shoreline of Conway Lake twice a month for the duration of the growing season, usually July through September. Our volunteers are the "eyes" of Conway Lake and the more volunteers we have to monitor its 21 miles of shoreline, the less likely an invasive species will have a chance to become established.

We also monitor the lake for Cyanobacteria.  These microorganisms can produce neurotoxins, and under the right conditions can multiply rapidly creating blooms that can be a health hazard to humans, pets, and wildlife. This past year (2023) was the fourth year in a row that NH lakes have set a record for the number toxic cyanobacteria blooms.  Want to learn more about this risk? Tap the Cyanobacteria link to the left. To see active cyanobacteria advisories, alerts and warnings for NH lakes click here.  To watch an excellent presentation on cyanobacteria in New Hampshire watch this webinar by Kate Hastings from the NH DES: click here.

JOIN THE AIS PATROL

We need your help!  We welcome anyone who wants to join us and to help protect Conway Lake. You don’t need prior experience or knowledge. We will show you how we patrol and what to look for. We will also give you guides to help you identify the plants and animals in the lake. It’s a fun and rewarding way to enjoy the beauty of Conway Lake while playing an important role in keeping it healthy. To learn more about our training process, please click the Training Overview link on the left. 

 

You can also learn more about us on the AIS Patrol Blog:  

(www.conwaylake.org/ais blog)  The Blog is where we post the results of our patrols on the lake and where you can find detailed descriptions of native and invasive species, and helpful reference guides.

 

To join or if you would like more information please contact either: 

Maria Gross: maria.m.gross@gmail.com

603-491-3107 (cell) or 603-447-6068 (home)

or 

Don Yurewicz:  don.yurewicz@gmail.com

713 253-1211 (cell)

 

 

LOOK at the Growth Difference Between NATIVE vs. INVASIVE Water-Milfoil !

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NATIVE Water-Milfoil in

Conway Lake

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INVASIVE Variable Water-Milfoil from a Nearby Lake

Our Mission

Learn as much as possible about NH's native and invasive aquatic plants & animals, regularly patrol Conway Lake in order to identify and immediately address potential threats, and teach our communities ways we can defend the lake together.  To meet these goals, we strive to:

  • Learn to identify all native flora and fauna of Conway Lake.

  • Patrol the assigned zone(s) every other week from the end of June to early-mid October

  • Be accountable and notify fellow patrollers if patrolling is not possible at any time.

  • Mark suspicious plants using weighted floating markers and obtain GPS coordinates.

  • Share all patrol findings and areas patrolled at www.conwaylake.org/blog.  These patrols will be noted on a digital map of the lake to assure that all zones are covered.

  • Review patrol coverage in August and the end of September to assure that all zones are being checked.

  • Build awareness in the community by informing friends and neighbors about our efforts and the NH law to Clean-Drain-Dry ALL watercraft, trailers, live bait boxes, anchors, ropes, and fishing gear before launching into Conway Lake!

  • Attend relevant webinars offered by NH Lakes and Lake Stewards of Maine.

  • Aim to recruit one new patroller every season.

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