Weed Watchers

Monitor the weed population of Lake Sunapee

The LSPA Weed Watch Program was started 12 years ago to help prevent invasive species from becoming established in the lake. This prevention program is important because it is very difficult and expensive to control an invasive species once it becomes established in a water body. According to the NH Department of Services, no large infestation of an invasive aquatic plant has yet been eradicated from a water body in NH. Depending on how bad the infestation is, swimming, boating and property values can all be negatively affected. What we learn from this troubling fact is that the best way to deal with invasive species is to prevent it from becoming established and spreading in the first place.

How Do You Survey?

During the months of July, August, and September, volunteers carefully look for any unusual plant growth and also take note of the native plants growing in their areas. Some prefer to snorkel while others use an aqua-scope (these can be loaned from LSPA) from a kayak or other watercraft. It doesn’t matter what method one uses as long as it is consistent and thorough. The area that is surveyed is entirely up to the volunteer. Some volunteers cover the entire survey area where they live while others concentrate on smaller sections of the shoreline. After each survey the volunteers complete a shoreline report to record plant growth found and any other observations such as water clarity. Three reports are preferred throughout the summer as plant communities can grow rapidly in some instances over the short growing season. Each volunteer receives a weed watch kit that consists of pictures and helpful plant identification information. For more information please call the LSPA office at 763-2210 or email at lspa@lakesunapee.org


Click here to see the whole map (PDF) of Lake Sunapee and Weed Watch Areas.

Click below for a PDF file of your section of the lake.


Weed watch report in Excel Format

Weed watch report in Word Format

Above is the report form for you to fill out and e-mail to Sue as an attachment.

If you are unable to open the Excel Report Form, you can use the Word Form.

2009-2011 Aquatic Plant Survey

This survey was completed to acquire a comprehensive list of aquatic plants currently growing in  Lake Sunapee and to look for any exotic species. The results of the survey can be viewed in an Excel or PDF table format.  This information is being provided to help weed watchers identify plants growing in their survey areas.  For pictures of these plants, please click on Maine's Interactive Field Guide link found below.

Additional Resources:

Welcome to the New Hampshire Lakes Association

NH LAKES is a statewide, nonprofit, member-supported organization dedicated to protecting New Hampshire's lakes, which are integral to the quality of life and economic health of the State.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service - Exotic Species

The DES Exotic Species Program coordinates activities associated with the control and management of exotic aquatic plants, as well as activities associated with the implementation of education programs and volunteer plant monitoring programs.

Maine's Interactive Field Guide

This online field guide is an excellent source for information and pictures of native and invasive aquatic plants. The guide was created by Maine's Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP). The VLMP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality.