Cliff is REALLY worried about Spiny (Brittle) naiad and its super tiny seeds that are just coming into season and will be floating in the thousands over the next 5 weeks. His biggest worry for Conway lake is that these seeds can travel with ease on any water craft or tool if not washed and dried.
Cliff just gave Don and me a mixed batch of Native and Spiny naiad. That is the way he finds it where he is currently harvesting in Milton Three Ponds in Lebanon, Me—about 1.5 hrs south of Conway lake. It’s right on the border between Maine and New Hampshire. The plants can grow intermingled (!) and they look REALLY similar except for the serrated teeth along the Spiny’s leaf edges. You can see the teeth but it requires a careful eye—Carry a loop or magnifying glass with you on your patrols! Remember that this plant can come in 2 varieties that look exactly alike except for their color. One with a green stem/green leaf and the other with a dark purple stem/darker purplish leaves.
Conway lake has a lot of “Naiad” everywhere … For the rest of the summer, during any patrol, we need to be sure about what we are seeing in any given clump. Both native and invasive might be there.
As this invasive thickens and grows taller during the season it will develop a more resistant feel to the touch (and actually feel spiny or brittle) but in its younger stage that signal is not there. Know that this invasive plant can reach 6-8 ft in height whereas the Native naiad will be no higher than 1-2 ft, at most. (Same story with the invasive and native milfoils, isn’t it.)
Cliff inspected Snow Brook last week (Zone 11, grid 18) and was alarmed by what he saw right up near the bridge. It was a good size clump of bright green plants, looking like the Native naiad but he couldn’t be sure until he saw a sample from different parts of the clump. It was all Native naiad.
Please come to visit either Don or me to see what the young Spiny naiad looks like. We also have samples of the Native naiad for comparison. Below is a sample of a young Spiny naiad.