ARGYLE -- The way Lynn Wilbur sees it, the growth of Eurasian milfoil has an effect on everything people do in Cossayuna Lake.
“Fishing, boating, swimming are all getting harder because the milfoil is strangling the lake,” she said. “This destructive weed affects the people who use the lake and the surrounding businesses and villages who benefit from the thousands of people who come to the lake every year.”
The Cossayuna Lake Improvement Association is reaching out for help in fighting the plant, and plans on spraying to control the weed for the first time since 1999.
“We know the residents are concerned, and we are trying to get as many homeowners and renters to donate to this as possible,” she said.
“We are also really hoping that fishermen and others who use the lake will be able to help us with this project, so we can do as good a job as possible,” she said. “This will help them and it will help us.”
The association will apply to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for permission to apply a herbicide, in pellet form, to the milfoil beds. If all goes well, and the weather cooperates, it will be done in late April, she said.
According to Wilbur, the lake was one of the earliest bodies of water in the region to be affected by invasive species, which have become an issue throughout the region.
“Last year the issue was very significant. I could not even dive into the water off my dock,” she said.
Even when the lake has been treated, Wilbur said, the work has been done on only 30 acres of the 659-acre lake, which is in eastern Washington County and is popular with summer residents and fishermen.
The association’s plan combines application of an aquatic herbicide with mechanical harvesting and small-scale dredging. The group owns a harvester.
The group has plans for treating contiguous areas for effective control.
“We can only succeed if we have the support of the surrounding community and that includes financial contributions to proceed with the plan,” Wilbur said.
Eurasian milfoil is a non-native plant introduced in the 1940s. It has become a problem in 43 states and threatens numerous lakes in upstate New York.
Wilbur said she knows some weeds are beneficial to fishing and pointed out the chemicals being used focus on milfoil.
Those interested in volunteering or helping fund the project should go to www/cossayunalake.com or write to CLIA P.O. Box 81 Cossayuna, N.Y. 12823.