Clear Lake, Guilford
2006 Aquatic Plant Survey Map of Clear Lake
Transect Data | Water Data
Clear Lake is a private 20-acre body of water located in both North Branford and Guilford just south of Route 80. It has a maximum depth of nine feet and an average depth of six feet. Water is transparent to the bottom in the spring but clarity becomes limited by “tea” coloration in the summer. A small stream feeds it from West Lake to the Northeast and the lake drains via a small stream in a northwesterly direction into the Branford River. A small dam raises the lake level approximately two feet and an outlet board can be pulled to lower the lake one and a half feet. The east and west shores consist of steeply rising unconsolidated bedrock. It is heavily developed with residential homes along the north, south and west shores and sparsely developed along the east shore. Most homeowners have left trees and natural vegetation along the shore. All homes utilize wells and septic systems. Many homes are converted summer cottages and have antiquated septic systems. Street drains empty into the lake at several locations and a significant sand bar has developed at a drain on the southwest shore. Clear Lake has been managed for nuisance aquatic vegetation for decades. Filamentous algae are annual problems require applications of copper sulfate. Lily pads have been controlled in many years with hand pulling, cutting, and herbicides including 2,4-D, fluridone and glyphosate. At approximately five-year intervals nuisance submersed vegetation primarily snailseed pondweed (Potamogeton bicupulatus) has been controlled with herbicide applications of diquat dibromide or fluridone.
Aquatic vegetation occurs primarily along the north, south and east shores. A protected area along in the middle of the eastern shore has been maintained as a conservation area by the Clear Lake Improvement Association and contains a majority of the aquatic vegetation. Here the emersed plants include watershield (Brasenia schreberi), yellow water lily (Nuphar variegata), and white water lily (Nymphaea odorata). Beneath these plants the bottom is covered with snailseed pondweed and minor naiad (Najas minor). A patch of snailseed pondweed occurs along the south shore, and sporadic areas of minor naiad are present elsewhere.