Case Study: Controlling Milfoil In Lake with ProcellaCOR

large lake management

Site Description

Location: Fairlee, VT

This is a 500-acre waterbody in Fairlee, VT. While much of the surrounding area is undeveloped, parts of the lake are lined with residential homes. Two children’s camps are located along the lake and rely heavily on the water resource for activities. A large resort and golf course are also located at the southern end. The lake is used for year-round recreation. In the winter months, the lake serves as a large hub for ice fishing and skating. In the summer, the lake is extremely busy with boating and swimming.

Despite the popularity of the lake, it has suffered from poor water quality conditions, harmful algal blooms, and invasive Eurasian Milfoil growth since the 1980s. Starting in May, peaking in June and lasting through late September, invasive milfoil growth impedes fishing, clogs boat motors, and poses dangerous swimming hazards. It also negatively impacts native plants and wildlife by disrupting the ecological balance of the ecosystem.

The local lake commission and the Town of Fairlee are very invested in the health of the lake. Over the last 40 years, many solutions have been considered for the management of milfoil. In fact, in the late 1980s, the lake was the first lake in Vermont to ever receive treatment with aluminum sulfate, which limits water quality imbalances by binding with excess nutrients. Other additional solutions include hand pulling and suction harvesting, bottom barriers, boat inspections, and herbicide applications all under permits issued by the State. However, none of these have provided the long-lasting results that were desired.

Scope of Work

Application of ProcellaCOR for highly-selective management of milfoil.

Project Description

In 2019, ProcellaCOR, a new plant management technology, became available in Vermont for the selective control of invasive aquatic weeds. Leveraging new mechanisms to specifically target the unique growth processes of undesirable species like milfoil, ProcellaCOR facilitates long-term aquatic plant control without the need for a yearly application. ProcellaCOR’s incredibly low application rates allow for a 100-1000x reduction (compared to other aquatic herbicides) in the active ingredient necessary to successfully control the invasive and noxious aquatic weeds.

Another benefit of ProcellaCOR is its Reduced Risk classification by the EPA, meaning it can be applied to lakes and ponds without impacting the native plants or interfering with recreation. Children, pets, and wildlife can actively enjoy waterbodies managed with ProcellaCOR without risk. These unique characteristics, coupled with the long-lasting results, made ProcellaCOR an exceptional management tool for Lake Morey.

In June 2019, the SOLitude team used an airboat to apply ProcellaCOR to roughly 40-acres of target shoreline areas where milfoil growth was most prevalent. ProcellaCOR can only be applied by Certified Specialists, who ensure it is utilized in an efficient and responsible manner as required by the label. Immediate observations indicated that the application was a success. Likewise, follow-up survey data illustrated that of the annual survey points, the frequency of occurrence of milfoil was reduced from 22% in 2018 to less than 1% in 2019. Further, the milfoil percent cover at those same survey points dropped from approximately 5% in 2018 to almost 0% (0.04) in 2019.

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