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Towns Struggle with Aquatic Invasive Plants
An explosion of water chestnut is starting to choke the Sudbury River to the point it’s nearly impossible to take a boat out.

While water chestnuts plague the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers, Eurasian watermilfoil is thriving in some other local water bodies. Milford spends about $10,000 a year to have a contractor treat Louisa Lake with an aquatic herbicide and Westborough has used the same technique, but don’t see an end to the problem in sight.

The herbicide treatment in late spring wipes out the milfoil, but come fall it has grown back. Wayland’s Heard Pond aquatic plant harvester has made a huge difference over the past 10 years. In 2003, crews pulled 1.2 million pounds of water chestnut from the pond and over the years the haul has drastically dropped to 240 pounds collected in 2013.

 
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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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