LACONIA — Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures, a team of divers from Aqualogic spent the days before Thanksgiving removing milfoil from the lower reach of Black Brook.
Scott McPhie of the Planning Department said the project was sponsored by the Conservation Commission and funded by a donation of $2,000 by the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association. He said the commission appreciates the generosity of the association and Pat Tarpey, its executive director.
Black Brook rises in Gilford, crosses into Laconia under Blaisdell Avenue, winds around McDonald's, passes beneath Union Avenue and empties into Paugus Bay at the Spinnaker Yacht Club.
McPhie said that several years ago work began to clear debris from the brook, and last year Aqualogic removed milfoil along the stretch between McDonald's and Union Avenue. With the donation from the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association, Aqualogic returned this year to clear the brook of milfoil from the bridge on Union Avenue to its mouth at the yacht club.
John Judd of Aqualogic said more than 400 gallons of milfoil were removed from the brook this week. The company uses a unique rig, designed by Judd, consisting of a vacuum held by a diver and powered by an engine aboard a small flatbed boat tethered to the diver. The diver, Judd's son, Dominic, uproots the milfoil, which is vacuumed directly into a bag, minimizing the risk that stray fragments will take fresh root.
McPhie said the section of the brook treated last year remains 80 percent clear of milfoil and the natural, indigenous vegetation has regenerated. He explained that as the water level rises in Paugus Bay, it backs into the mouth of the brook, carrying milfoil with it. Clearing the brook of debris and milfoil, he said, will improve its flow, reducing the areas of sluggish and stagnant water where milfoil thrives and countering the backwash from the lake.
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