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Paul Smith’s College plans return to Norwood Lake for more milfoil work

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NORWOOD - Norwood Lake Association officials say that following Paul Smith’s College’s recent work to tackle the Eurasian milfoil issue in the body of water the invasion is likely under control for the rest of 2014.

This does not mean, however, that the school’s work is done in Norwood.

“Paul Smith’s is sending another team over to address the variable leaf milfoil. (Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute Executive Director) Dan Kelting contacted me and said they would be sending over another team and they will test it and confirm that it is variable leaf,” Norwood Lake Association President and Mayor James H. McFaddin said. “They will advise us if we should hand pull it or do otherwise. ... We’re looking forward to that and I expect it to be very soon.”

Several months ago, the association approached the school about partnering with them and the village of Norwood in controlling the Eurasian milfoil that was discovered in 2012.

Through a study conducted two years ago, a St. Lawrence University student found a persistent milfoil issue in the water. It led the Lake Association to hire Aquatic Invasive Management (AIM), LLC, to conduct a survey in July 2013 and remove the milfoil.

The work showed that the plant was prevalent in parts near the end of the lake.

“They have remediated the Eurasian water milfoil for this year. So we won’t have to do any more on that. The Eurasian water milfoil is considered a much stronger strain and much more important to get out of there,” Mr. McFaddin said. “We consider the Eurasian water milfoil controlled for the year but we still have work to do to be complete.”

A 2013 study by Clarkson University said that if left unchecked milfoil could cover 80 percent of the water in 10 years, causing property values to drop 20 percent, also affecting boating, fishing and swimming.

Mr. Kelting said that his group will likely be returning to Norwood in the very near future.

“After the crew that was up there training, we have another crew that does plant mapping. They will be coming up there to basically map all of the aquatic plants. (That will be done) by the end of this month,” he said.

He said with the upcoming variable leaf labor there may only be one option.

“Norwood Lake is really part of the river so there is a lot of water that flows through there,” Mr. Kelting said. “The other option may be chemical control, but with this water that would not be possible and hand pulling is really the only viable option.”

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