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Milfoil & Other Invasives
Our Milfoil Problem: What We've Done / Options for the Future

An important meeting was held on July 7, at the Gouverneur Community Center. The Milfoil Task Force and the Sylvia Lake Association Officers and Board members:
1.) reviews our (losing) fight against Eurasian Milfoil and  2.) presented our options going forward.


The mission of the Sylvia Lake Association is, in a word, "Water."

Since 2004, the website has documented the efforts of the Association members to combat the spread of the invasive Eurasian Milfoil in our beautiful lake. There are a number of strategies that have been employed over the years. The goal is appropriate "Aquatic Invasive Management."

To learn more about where we've been, in our effort to mitigate the invasive weed, use the search tool. Type "milfoil" into the search box, below.

Milfoil Mentions in SLA Meeting Minutes

In 2020, as a "last act" in her position as SLA Secretary, Lea Dickson compiled notes from the SLA Minutes from 2013 - 2020.


These notes contained all of the occurrences of "milfoil" from those minutes. In addition, this document contained the full report from Steve LeMere, Adirondack Ecologists, LLC. View this document.


Eurasian water milfoil is a weed. Native to Europe and Asia, it's now found across the United States. In the 1940's, milfoil was imported for people to use in their aquariums, but it soon found its way into lakes and ponds all over the country. Scientists say it's so pervasive it destroys native plants.

In ecosystems like Sylvia Lake, its growth is attracted to areas of nutrient-rich sediments. It is an opportunistic species that prefers highly disturbed lake beds and lakes that receive nitrogen and phosphorous-laden runoff, like from lawn fertilizers. Warmer water temperatures promote multiple periods of flowering and fragmentation.



Sincere thanks to everyone who has donated to the Milfoil Management Fund! Going forward, we know we’ll need to raise a substantial amount for ongoing management of the invasive Eurasian Milfoil in our beautiful lake.


We’re asking EVERYONE to contribute generously to the Milfoil Management Fund. We will be offering informational meetings, a “lake cleanup day,” and hands-on demonstrations on milfoil removal. Click the DONATE button to contribute to the “Milfoil Management Fund.” Give generously. Your contribution will help preserve the beauty of our lake for another generation.

From SLA Director, Bill Cook

In 2020 the Association contracted with Aqualogic to help manage the lake milfoil problem. Aqualogic successfully harvested several truck loads of milfoil plants over a two-week period and have been contracted for another week of harvesting next summer.The Aqualogic Team of four divers work from their pontoon boat at various locations around the lake. Each diver is certified in Advanced Open Water Diving, and in Weed Control Diving, and trained in Emergency Response. They are specially trained in underwater management of invasive species. We appreciate all those cottage owners who contributed money or their time and energy to support the harvesting of this evasive plant. We also encourage contributions to fund next year's harvest. 

Due to Covid concerns, Aqualogic did not work at Sylvia in 2021. They returned for two weeks in 2022.

The Fish & Game Committee members Gail Ferguson, Gary Scott and Mike Hatch reinstalled the outlet dam boards in early April shortly after the ice was out. We hope to avoid the extremely low lake level we experienced in 2019. 

Professor Brad Baldwin, St. Lawrence University, has been monitoring the health of Sylvia Lake (along with several other lakes in the area) over the past several years as an integral part of one of his environmental studies classes. He reported that Sylvia Lake is one of the Adirondack's more pristine bodies of water with excellent chemical qualities and balance. We benefit from the lake being mostly spring fed, deep and with no significant problems from septic tank leakage or farmland fertilizer runoff.

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