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Fertilizer Ordinances Protect Lakes
The Moultonborough Milfoil Committee has removed more than 50,000 gallons of invasive variable milfoil from Lake Winnipesaukee over the last five years, vastly improving the lake experience in the affected areas. However, in 2015, we received several reports from citizens concerned about weeds in areas of the lake where weeds have not been found before. In many cases, these weeds have been identified to be native plants.

The state of New Hampshire prohibits the removal of native aquatic vegetation from lakes and ponds without a permit. In fact, if native plants are removed, the disturbed area becomes more vulnerable to being infested with variable milfoil which spreads faster and becomes much denser than the native plants.

When fertilizer is used near the lake, phosphorus enters the waterbody in storm runoff. Phosphorus is a nutrient for milfoil and other aquatic plants. In addition, it can create algae blooms, turn the water green, cloud the water, cause odor problems, and deplete the oxygen for fish and other species, effectively suffocating them.

The state of New Hampshire mandates that no fertilizer except limestone be used within 25 feet of the lake. The town of Moultonborough's zoning ordinance is tougher, requiring that no fertilizer except wood ash or limestone be used with 50 feet of the lake.


 
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Controlling Curly-Leaf Pondweed - Curly-leaf pondweed is a unique invasive aquatic plant that begins growing in late fall and continues to grow under the thick ice. In the spring curly-leaf is typically the first plant to appear and the effects of the die off in summer increases the phosphorous concentrations which in turn provide the necessary nutrients for algae to grow.


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