Greeter Program Catches New Invasive

Cabomba Carolininia (Fanwort) was found on boat from out of state, and kept out of our lake — at least for now.  This wonderful story is best told in a series of emails.

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From: Wanda Vaughn, Lake Fairlee Greeter
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2018 8:30 PM
To: [Joe Taft and Josh Mulhollen, State of VT]
Subject: Different Invasive?

Dear Josh and Joe,
I found this weed on a trailer entering Lake Fairlee this afternoon. It seems like a slightly different plant than our Eurasian Watermilfoil. The owner was last in Baddacook Pond in Groton, Massachusetts one week ago.
Although the boat was otherwise very clean, and I removed all the visible weed from his trailer, I still told the owner that I found a suspicious weed and needed him to go somewhere to wash his boat and trailer in hot water if he insisted on entering the lake. He did leave and was gone over an hour to a car wash. His boat and trailer had been washed well on his return.

When I got home tonight and back to cell and internet service I looked up Baddacook Pond (LINK) and did discover they are working on invasives Fanwort and Variable-leaf Watermilfoil.

What are your thoughts? I have the specimen at home if you decide you would like it mailed. I am hoping I just over-reacted to Eurasian Watermilfoil or a non-invasive plant I’m just not familiar with yet. I look forward to your reply.

Yours,
Wanda Vaughan
Lake Fairlee Greeter


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[click on images for larger view]

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From: Mulhollem, Josh
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 12:56 PM
To: Wanda Vaughan [and others]
Subject: RE: Different Invasive?

Wanda,

I am hesitant to say for sure based on the photos, but I suspect that you indeed found fanwort, Cabomba carolininia. You are correct that Baddacook Pond is dealing with a sizable population of this species, so it’s certainly possible. And it doesn’t look like dried up Eurasian watermilfoil, or anything else that we typically see coming off boats.

First of all, this is an outstanding catch by you, as Vermont is one of three states east of the Mississippi that has yet to have a confirmed fanwort population. Kudos on a job well done. Secondly, would you or someone from the Association be able to mail me the specimen? I’d like to dry to rehydrate it and take a closer look.

Josh

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[The sample was bagged and mailed, and a week later this arrived from an environmental scientist who specializes in Aquatic Invasive Species Management]

From: Kimberly Jensen
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2018 8:30 PM
To: Wanda Vaughn
Subject: Different Invasive?

Hi Wanda,

Excellent Catch! Josh asked me to identify the sample that you provided, thanks for sending it along. I added some water to the specimen to get a better look and it is indeed Fanwort, Cabomba carolininia. The opposite branching pattern is hard to miss. It’s amazing that adding water livened the specimen, demonstrating how viable these plants may stay after a length of time. We truly appreciate your outstanding efforts to search, find, question, and then prevent the potential introduction of an aquatic invasive species into Lake Fairlee. Your diligence shows exactly how the Greeter Program and Greeters like you, are the best front to stopping potential new threats to Vermont’s waterbodies. Thank you so much for your hard work.

Please be sure to send me any other questionable specimens, we trust you will be on guard!

Best,

Kim Jensen

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From: Wanda Vaughan
Date: August 21, 2018 at 11:15:23 AM EDT
To: Kimberly Jensen, Joe Taft, and Josh Mulhollen
Subject: Re: Different Invasive?

Dear Kimberly and Josh,

I am so grateful it got intercepted.  Any of our Greeters would have done the same thing. I can’t believe it lasted a week on a trailer axle that traveled from Massachusetts.

In review, every cell in my body wanted to tell this boater to not come into our lake AT ALL.

I did follow protocol by taking off all the specimens I could see and the boater did go to the Bradford Car Wash to wash the boat and trailer in hot water.

However, in the future could I tell a boater they could not come in the lake?  This boater was already annoyed but he did do what I asked.  What are your thoughts?  I am so scared I missed a tiny piece and it is now in our beautiful lake.  Thank you again for all the support your office provides us.  I am back in my Kindergarten classroom and will miss all of you.  See you next May!

Wanda

Good evidence that our greeter program is working!

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