Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Boaters: Please Avoid Areas Marked with Pink Ribbons

Volunteer Water Scouts are scouting Lake Hopatcong in search of the Water Chestnut, which is an aggressive Aquatic Invasive Species.

photo of Water-Chestnut plant

Water-Chestnut plant

Last week, scouts located water chestnut in locations where the plants have been previously found, near Liffy Island. The scouts on June 20 marked the 50 rosettes in both locations, and on Wednesday, June 21, when the water was calmer, a second group of scouts, trained in proper removal of water chestnut, hand-pulled the plants.

The water chestnut is an invasive plant species that can quickly wreak havoc on the Lake Hopatcong (or any other lake’s) ecosystem. The water chestnut is fairly distinctive in appearance. Each leaf is about two inches wide, serrated with an arrowhead shape.

The rosettes can multiply quickly, with each producing up to 20 seeds (which can remain dormant for more than a decade). The result is a lake surface covered in green, and a body of water deprived of sunlight and, therefore, aquatic life.

photo of Water-Chestnut plants on Lake Hopatcong

Water-Chestnut plants on Lake Hopatcong

Plants that are discovered at an early stage can be removed before going to seed. Therefore, the bulk of the search for the water chestnut takes place in June and July. The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is constantly seeking volunteers who can be taught to identify, mark and remove these plants.

Visit the Foundation’s volunteer opportunities page and choose water scouts in the volunteer opportunity drop down menu.

When boating on Lake Hopatcong, please do not fish or anchor near the two marked areas near Liffy Islands. The areas are well marked with sticks and tape. The goal is to prevent recreational lake users from accidentally transporting the Water Chestnut plants to other areas of the lake.

Not familiar with Water Chestnut? Learn more HERE.