Welcome to LSPA's Invasive Watch Program

The purpose of this program is to find and remove any aquatic invasive plant or animal before it spreads in Lake Sunapee.

The Invasive Watch Program consists of volunteers who are on the lookout for invasive plants or animals in the lake.

Volunteers perform a few surveys every year from July to September when swimming,  kayaking, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), or snorkeling in the water. 

These volunteers are the "eyes" of Lake Sunapee and the more volunteers we have to monitor the 30+ mile shoreline, the less likely an invasive species will become established. 

Click on the button below to see which invasive species are spreading in the Northeast and to learn more about them.

Each individual clam [Asian clam] can filter feed a quart of water each day stripping out all the microscopic organisms and plankton that make up the base food supply of the aquatic ecosystem.
— Amy Smagula, NHDES Exotic Species Program
Rusty crayfish devour so much underwater vegetation that food, shelter and spawning sites for other organisms are dramatically reduced.
— Sea Grant - Pennsylvania

Why the concern

  • Invasive plant and animal species out-compete and overwhelm native aquatic species.

  • They are primarily transported to waterbodies by "hitching" a ride on boats and recreational gear. Some invasive species are introduced from aquarium dumping.

  • Invasive plants grow rapidly once established and can form dense strands that take over and crowd out native plants.

  • Dense invasive aquatic vegetation can foul boat props and is not pleasant to swim in.

  • Shell deposition from invasive bivalves litter shorelines and can cut swimmers' feet.

  • Invasive bivalve excretion can increase filamentous algal growth leading to algal blooms.

  • Some invasive animal species are capable of disrupting the base of the food web which results in effectively starving native species.

  • Currently, there is no successful means to control or eradicate most of these species once established.