The Dive Team – What Do They See?

The people who pull invasive weeds in our lakes are wonderful people. They spend hours of their time working to make our lake stay the way it is. They spend lots of time pulling invasive milfoil and if they don’t do it, our lake will be different. The problem is that a little bit of the weed will fall to the bottom and set roots. That piece was either brought in by a motor boat or a motor boat chopped up a plant and then the pieces floated off somewhere. Pulling the weeds is an effective way to deal with these plants but it takes time.

Below is a picture of milfoil and it looks like stuff that you don’t want to walk on or swim through. This is a small patch and if it is allowed to grow, it comes to the surface and clogs the waterway. You don’t want to swim there! Milfoil can grow at a rate of 1 inch per day, and propagates by root, fragmentation and seed. It naturally fragments when the waters get colder. It can grow to around 15ft long. Yuck.

The people on the dive team work hard but they also see some pretty things. Below are some native plants that actually show that the water quality is good. Also in the picture are some strands of milfoil, the things that look like tubular weeds, and these are not pretty to see, they have to be pulled.

As they are on their dive, they have seen these Chinese Mystery snails. They were brought from Asia and placed in the waters near Boston by people who liked to eat them. They have gotten to Lake Wentworth but are not thought to be horrible. The only time that they seem to be a problem is when there are too many of them and they float to the surface dead, wash up on shore then smell very bad.

The green object on the rock is a fresh water sponge and it is actually great to see these because they only grow in clean water.

Sometimes turtles are seen and they wander around on the bottom, looking for their meals of grasses and other things.

Sometimes they swim right at you. These painted turtles are harmless and the ones you see in the spring sitting on logs, basking in the sun. They do this in the summer, too, but not in the same numbers because the water is warmer. In the spring, they warm in the sun, go and feed until they get too cold and return to the log in the sun to warm up. Then, they repeat the process.

All of these pictures are care of Colin Ross who is one of the divers on the Dive Team. Thank you Colin.

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