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Billings Lake is a 97.4 acre lake with a concrete dam. The majority of the lakeshore is forested, with the exception of a camp on the northeastern side and some residential development on the western shore. The state maintains a boat ramp on the lake, and power boats are allowed. The lake has a mean depth of 14 feet and a maximum depth of 33 feet. There are several varying islands around the lake.
The CAES IAPP vegetative survey was a resurvey from 2005 (2005 Survey). This year 25 species were found compared to 18 species in 2005. The same two invasive species, Myriophyllum heterophyllum (Variable milfoil) and Cabomba caroliniana (fanwort) were present in the lake.
M. heterophyllum is the most dominant species and was found growing in the entire lake in depths of up to 24 feet of water. It was the only plant growth that occurred on the small island in the middle of the lake. This was an increase since 2005 when the plant was mainly found in the southern portion of the lake with only a few patches around the shoreline. M. heterophyllum was present on 76 % of the transect points, compared to 66 % in 2005.
The other invasive species, C. caroliniana, also increased since the previous survey. In 2005, the invasive plant was found in small patches in the coves and along the shoreline. This year, C. caroliniana expanded to several patches throughout the lake with a rather large patch in the southern portion.
In the southern portion of the lake, Utricularia purpurea (purple bladderwort) expanded from the few small patches present in the previous survey to form one large patch. Nuphar variegata (yellow water lily) and Nymphea odorata (white water lily) also increased in abundance in the southern point of the lake.
Species found in this year’s survey that were not recorded in 2005 include: Callitriche species (water starwort), Ceratophyllum echinatum (spineless hornwort), Ludwigia species (primrose willow), Najas guadalupensis (common waternymph), Potamogeton foliosus (leafy pondweed), and Utricularia macrorhiza (common bladderwort). In the southern portion of the lake, a large patch of U. macrorhiza was established along with a few small patches scattered around the shoreline. Callitriche species was found in one small patch along the southwest shore near Transect 7 along with a larger patch of N. guadalupensis. C. echinatum was present in one small patch on the eastern shore on Transect 1. Ludwigia species and P. foliosus occurred in widely scattered patches along the lakeshore.
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Species recorded in our 2013 survey of Billings Lake. Click on plant to view herbarium mount. (invasive species in bold)