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Pond Weed Clean-Up: A Neighborhood Effort

After answering several inquiries regarding our success at eradicating weeds from Sluice Pond and raising funds to establish weed control, I thought an article describing a successful process would help others in Massachusetts and New England. Buy Weed Online

A brief history-Sluice Pond is a 50+ acre body of water with approximately 165 homes that abut the pond. Sluice Pond, fed by the Cedar Brook and natural springs, is one of five ponds located 10 miles Northeast of Boston that meander in a “Strawberry Necklace” through Lynn, MA to the Atlantic. There is a public boat ramp in a northern cove at Briarcliff Lodge that enables the general public to access the pond for boating, fishing and swimming from their boats. Buy Weed Online

The pond has 12 deeded right of ways that each enable about 65 property holders on nearby parcels to egress (enter or leave the pond). These pond paths were once water access paths for cattle, which were deeded to neighbors when older farms and estates were divided into building lots. Basically, there is a good deal of access to the pond as a four seasons recreational resource for both the general public at the boat ramp and through deeded egress for neighbors via the paths. The same public access is true at neighboring Flax Pond, which has a public beach for swimming. These access points helped us to qualify for public funding. Weed Strains

Evaluation & Water Level

Last summer Sluice Pond was at the lowest water level in 20 years due to a new gate system that remained open and there was tremendous weed growth. Preliminary research (backed by the experts in the evaluation process) showed that some of the rapid weed growth might be due to the low water level, which enabled more sunlight to hit the ever present weeds on the bottom of the pond in a greater number of places than usual causing rapid growth along the shore.

This year the Sluice Pond Association designated a Gate Liaison who communicates regularly with the local water commission and the water level has been much higher. Consequently, there are fewer weeds visible than this point in the summer last year, even in the coves which are largely overgrown by now. No treatment for weeds has taken place yet. We continue to record and investigate water level weed control. Weeds are also plants and respond to fertilizer run off from abutters lawns, so we have initiated an effort to ask abutters to please not fertilize near the lake edge. Order Weed online

After several discussions regarding the abundant weed growth last summer, we called Aquatic Control Technologies, ACT (there are only two weed treatment groups in the state). ACT had been the choice in 2001 when the pond received a chemical treatment. ACT sent an evaluation team upon request, a free service. They went around the shoreline in a boat last November to inspect the weeds and to provide us with an evaluation of the types of weeds present. They gave us a preliminary estimate for the treatment. I wrote up a summary of everything they said including that we did not have Milfoil, a weed that has been treated successfully biologically with weevils that eat the weeds and die. Other weeds don’t have these biological solutions, like weevils that eat Milfoil.

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