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milfoil history

Since 2004, our Sylvia Lake Community has responded to the threat of Eurasian Water Milfoil.

Scroll down and click the years to see the web pages created after our various events...

2013 - Summer movement of the mats.

Thank you to all the volunteers.

2012 - In the summer of 2012, the benthic barrier mats were moved and the community effort continued. St. Lawrence University student Frances McNierney mapped, using GPS coordinates, the infestation of milfoil and curlyleaf pondweed around Sylvia Lake. 122 areas were identified along the shoreline. Tthe best we can hope for is minimizing growth and treating areas where swimming and navigation might be impaired

Click here to read the full summary report...

The Sylvia Lake Officers and Board continue to view infestation by invasive weeds as one of the top priorities in keeping our lake healthy. We can not eradicate milfoil or other invasives, but we can try to keep them out by educating lake users and residents.


2004 - Community "Harvest" September 4, 2004

2004 - Community "Harvest" September 18 - 19

The community held two hand harvesting sessions in September of 2004. Volunteers from the Sylvia Lake community, along with the Gouverneur Fire Department Dive Team, targeted the Eurasian Milfoil in Sylvia Lake.


2005 - At the Spring Association meeting, June 17, 2005, the guest speaker was Tom Beschle of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. On June 1, 2005, Tom Beschle spent 3 hours on and around Sylvia Lake, reviewing our milfoil situation. On June 17, 2005, he reported his findings and offer suggestions at the Sylvia Lake Association meeting. The findings confirmed that we have a milfoil problem and the Association was congratulated on our efforts to curb it, agreeing that hand harvesting was the best way for our small lake.

2006- Community "Harvest" September 16, 2006

The week before the harvest, Lea Dickson and Dave Lockwood met and toured the lake with DEC agent Tom Beschle to identify the locations of the worst of the milfoil infestations. This proved to be along the west shore of Sylvia, from Dodd's to Gotham's. Lea divided the divers into two teams, one to start from Dodds and the other from Gothams.

2007 - Community "Harvest" July 28 - 29, 2007

Concerned residents again acted on behalf of our community to battle the invasive Eurasian Milfoil weed on Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, 2007.

Divers came from Buffalo to volunteer their skill in the effort. Bob's Market in Fowler provided sandwiches for the divers.

2007 - Weeder Winders are
and made
by Roy Smith

Click here or the thumbnail to see the full cartoon...

2008 - Residents and campers are encouraged to hand harvest in the area in front of their properties.

2009 - Enter the Barenthic Mat strategy...

A new strategy for battling invasive water weeds is a benthic barrier. A Benthic Barrier is a mat installed on the bottom of a lake or pond to stop the growth of rooted aquatic plants.

These mats work best in a small area, such as along Sylvia Lake's shallower shelf along the shore. The Association received DEC approval for the placement of the mats for the 2009 season.


2010 - August, 2010 ...was rainy day benthic barrier mat moving day. Thanks to SLA President Sandy Kraker for organizing the event and to Gale Ferguson for providing his boat and documenting the activity with photographs. And also our gratitute to Evan Kraker, Mark Scott, Alex Carpenter, Roger Miller for their work on our behalf.

2011 - The barrier mats were moved and many helped "harvest" milfoil on Sunday, August 7, 2011.