Highland Lake, Winchester

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2004 Aquatic Plant Survey Map of Highland Lake

(1.6 MB, .pdf Format*)

Transect Data (257 KB, .pdf format*) | Water Data

   Highland Lake is a natural lake that was raised 10 feet with the construction of a dam. Maximum depth is 63 feet, and mean depth is 24 feet. The shoreline is extensively developed with houses, and the only forested area that remains is part of Burr Pond State Park, on the west side of the lake’s southern end.

   The 445-acre Highland Lake has a rich community of aquatic plants. A total of 16 species were recorded during a 2004 survey. Of these, three were invasive species, including both Eurasian water-milfoil and variable-leaf milfoil. Myriophyllum spicatum has become a concern for lake residents, and an herbicide was applied in 2004 to reduce its abundance. Historically, the lake water level had been reduced during the winter to reduce aquatic plant abundance.

   Perhaps in part because of the June pesticide treatment, the most abundant aquatic plant observed during a September survey in 2004 was Vallisneria americana. The species was particularly abundant in shallow coves, where it occurred with small patches of Potamogeton perfoliatus, Potamogeton gramineus and a Sparganium species. Large areas of the lake bottom were covered by Charaphyte algae, all around the lake.

   Highland Lake is composed of three basins. A state boat launch exists at the lake’s northern basin. Patches of Vallisneria americana and Najas flexilis were found in the northern basin. Most of these plants were confined to water less than six feet deep. Some plants of Myriophyllum spicatum and Myriophyllum heterophyllum were found in deeper water – up to 14 feet deep.

   The middle basin of the lake supported patches of Vallisneria americana and Najas flexilis along both the western and eastern shores, with one moderately large patch of Myriophyllum spicatum recorded on the east side and patches of Potamogeton amplifolius on the east side, just north of the narrow connection to the southern basin.

   The lake’s southern, and largest, basin supported patches of Vallisneria americana and Charaphytes, but few other species were found outside of one cove on the west side, where many species of submerged plants were abundant. In this cove, Potamogeton perfoliatus, Najas flexilis, the invasive Najas minor, Ceratophyllum demersum, Utricularia vulgaris, and both milfoil species all occurred with Vallisneria americana and the floating-leaved species Nuphar variegata.

Find Common Plant Names

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Species recorded in our 2004 survey of Highland Lake. Click on plant to view herbarium mount. (invasive species in bold).
Isoetes echinospora
Potamogeton amplifolius
Potamogeton gramineus
Sparganium sp.
Vallisneria americana


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