TPCA Weed Watcher Report 8/5/17
Thanks to Jo Benedek, Jim and Anne Banghart, Roberta Schnoor, Patty Scholl, and Evie Hammerman for their continued participation in this important activity.
Plant growth in the Pond is similar to previous years with one exception. There are the usual areas of growth of native species of aquatic plants. These include bur-reed, watershield, white and yellow water lilies, pickerelweed, and bladderwort. All of these are rooted plants except bladderwort, which has been in somewhat greater abundance throughout the Pond this year, though not nearly as much so as in 2015.
Bladderwort is a free-floating plant which feeds on tiny animal life, such as fish larvae, water fleas, and crustaceans in the water. This characteristic allows bladderwort to thrive in very clear bodies of water which may lack the nutrients for other abundant plant growth. Because it is not rooted, it drifts with the wind and currents. It gets chopped up by powerboats as it floats just below the surface of the water. The amount of this plant which grows in Thorndike Pond varies quite a lot from one year to the next. The variations are caused by the volume of seeds left from the previous year’s plants, water temperature, food supply, etc. This is not a harmful plant to Thorndike Pond and is actually helpful as a food source for some fish and waterfowl. It can be removed by scooping it out of the water by hand, a rake, or similar method. Herbicides are not generally not recommended.
No invasive plants or animals have been identified in the weed watching program in the past year. Bodies of water throughout our area continue to be plagued by variable milfoil, the rapidly growing invasive plant which chokes out native species and interferes with swimming and boating enjoyment. We have our Lake Host program to thank for helping to keep our Pond free from this problem.