Please avoid weed markers in Attitash

Typical invasive weed marker (can be any color).  Please keep away.

Typical invasive weed marker (can be any color). Please keep away.

Lake Attitash weed watchers are finding a few invasive milfoil weeds in the lake and are marking their locations with 6-inch-long colored floats. Boaters, skiers and fishermen are urged to keep away from these floats to avoid disturbing the weeds or dislodging the floats. Most of the weeds have been found in the cove where the dam is located, on the north side of the lake.

When the milfoil plant is cut or broken, small pieces can float away and take root elsewhere in the lake. Eventually, this weed can take over large areas, making fishing and swimming unpleasant. The milfoil also crowds out beneficial native weeds, which are necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem in the lake for fish and other organisms.

The association spent about $60,000 in 2012 to eradicate milfoil plants in the lake. The money came from private donations and funding from the towns of Amesbury and Merrimac. In 2013 and 2014, a smaller number of milfoil weeds were detected in the lake and removed. Some regrowth was anticipated, but monitoring and removing weeds as quickly as possible is expected to keep them in check.

The association is making arrangements to remove the newly identified milfoil using specially trained divers and equipment. Only trained persons should attempt to remove these weeds, since failure to use the proper techniques can cause further spread.