Many communities are being great stewards of their local lakes and working to manage, and therefore reduce, the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species (AIS). A variety of methods (biological, chemical, or mechanical) can be used to eradicate, contain, or suppress AIS populations. These methods are often long-term programs that last years while incurring significant costs. In 2018 APIPP partnered with the Adirondack Park Agency and Loon Lake Park District Association to create a monitoring program to help local communities assess the effectiveness of their management programs. Since then, nine lakes have participated in the program by collecting data to help them better inform their management of AIS.
Loon Lake (Warren County)
Upper and Lower Chateaugay Lakes
This ongoing project is a true partnership between APIPP and the local groups—typically a lake association or community group—that are leading the aquatic AIS monitoring. APIPP provides the resources and training, and the local organization provides the people power and time.
APIPP commits to:
Working with the local organization to set up a monitoring program
Setting up the monitoring locations on the lake
Providing the software to record observations
Training the volunteers on how to monitor
Storing and analyzing the data collected
Writing up an annual report
The local community commits to:
Participating in the program for a three- to five-year period to track the trends of plant growth and assess their management effectiveness
A core group of volunteers to be trained
Monitor the locations once a year
Help review and provide input on the annual report
Example of monitoring locations and Eurasian watermilfoil abundance in 2022 in Upper Chateaugay Lake.
The overall process of the Lake Management Tracker program is based on a modified point intercept survey. Point intercept surveys are a standard monitoring protocol to assess the species richness, distribution, and abundance of aquatic plants. APIPP created a standard operating procedure (SOP) for this that focuses on visual and rake observations of the invasive species of concern and native plants. The general workflow is:
APIPP and the local organization identify areas within the lake to monitor. These include the areas where management occurs and other priority areas of interest.
A grid of monitoring points is established. These are the locations that will be visited each year.
APIPP trains the volunteers on how to follow the SOP and identify AIS.
Once a year the volunteers visit each location and record their observations using an ESRI survey123 app.
APIPP reviews, analyzes, and organizes the data into an annual report showing the overall status of AIS and trends over time.
The local organization uses this data to inform and direct future management of AIS
Example of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) frequency over time in Upper Chateaugay Lake.
APIPP views the Lake Management Tracker program as a critical part of an adaptive management plan. APIPP encourages all local organizations that are managing AIS to have an adaptive management plan for AIS that sets the goals, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation process. APIPP can help communites facilitate meetings to create their own adaptive management plan.
Examples of past reports from lakes that have participated in Lake Management Tracker: