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  • Writer's pictureDon Yurewicz

Training to be an AIS Patroller

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Welcome to the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Patrol of Conway Lake

Part of Conway Lake Conservation Association (CLCA)

“New Hampshire now has a total of 76 infested lakes and 11 infested rivers, most containing variable water-milfoil as the primary invasive plant, while others have fanwort, Eurasian water-milfoil and water chestnut. A new infestation is quite literally a boat ride away.” 2020 - Amy Smagula, Coord. NHDES Exotic Species Program

Our patrols are so critical. Thank you for joining!

Here is a brief introduction to getting started as a volunteer patroller:

Our goal is to patrol the entire shoreline of Conway lake twice a month for the duration of the growing season, usually June through early October. In order to track whether this shoreline is efficiently covered we have divided the lake into 17 zones, with patrollers assigned to specific zones. You will be asked to cover one or more connected zones of your choice. You will also be encouraged to cover some of the more sparsely populated areas of the shoreline and/or those areas of heavy boat traffic. We hold a kickoff meeting in the spring and a wrap-up meeting in the fall to review and develop goals, share new concerns, and problem-solve. You are encouraged to attend these and the annual CLCA meeting held each August.

We want everyone to feel comfortable knowing how to patrol and identify native plants and animals in the lake. To do this we offer training sessions to get you started. With trainings and practice on your own, you will learn to identify native species and how to distinguish them from the invasive ones.

Initial orientation will be on land with either Maria Gross or Don Yurewicz, AIS Patrol coordinators. This will entail:

  • Distribution of a variety of printed materials and detailed pictures about the lake’s native plants and animals.

  • Presentation of the tools used during the patrols.

  • Information about the AIS Patrol’s blog, its important role for patrol documentation and its function as a critical site for continual AIS education.

Second orientation will be on the lake in kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. You will practice ways to:

  • Recognize some native plants in your zone using your printed references.

  • Take samples of these plants for identification.

  • Set location buoys and practice the GPS system to be used by all patrollers when any questionable plants are found. This allows someone else in the organization to take another look. Questionable plants will be sent to NH DES to verify.

You may request as many training sessions as you need.

Thank you again for your participation and willingness to join the AIS mission.

Welcome to the Aquatic Invasive Species Patrol group!

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