Indian Lake, Sharon
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Indian Lake is a private, 205-acre lake along the border between Sharon CT and Millerton NY . The southern and eastern shores of the lake are bordered by paved roads and permanent homes while the western shore is less developed. In recent years, the invasive aquatic plant Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian Watermilfoil) has become a major impediment to recreational use of the lake. In 2007, the milfoil weevil (Eurychiopsis lecontei) was introduced to the lake in an effort to control populations of this plant. During this introduction and the following years, frequent mapping of three Myriophyllum species was preformed, but it was not until 2009 that all the other species found were identified and mapped.
Our July 2009 visual survey of Indian Lake yielded twenty-two species of aquatic vegetation which included three invasives. The dominant invasive, Myriophyllum spicatum, which is also the most prevalent plant in the lake, grows to the surface in a continuous patch throughout most of the southern half of the lake in water that is one to three-meters in depth as well as a band near the eastern shore at the same depths. A similarly dense patch exists near the middle of the western shore, and sparser patches occur intermingled with other plants throughout the majority of the northern arm of the lake. Also present in the northern arm is Myriophyllum heterophyllum which sometimes occurs in small dense patches and at other times is mixed with other plants. The least common invasive species, Potamogeton crispus, was found only as single plants growing up through mats of Myriophyllum spicatum in the southern section of the lake. Because Potamogeton crispus is most prevalent in the spring and then dies back during the summer, substantially more of this species could have been found if our survey occurred earlier in the year.
In general, the remaining aquatic vegetation followed distinguishable patterns. The edge of the south-eastern cove has dense Ceratophyllum demersum mixed with Ranunculus longirostris , Elodea nuttallii, and Potamogeton zosteriformis . Continuing along the southern shore the mixture becomes mostly Elodea nuttallii and three very similar species of broad-leafed pondweeds: Potamogeton praelongis, Potamogeton richardsonii, and Potamogeton illinoensis. The southwest corner of the lake is remarkably bare, with only the floating-leafed Nymphaea odorata and Brasenia schreberi along the very edge, and intermittent individual plants dotting the lake bottom. The southern half of the western shore is a mix of the same two floating-leafed species as well as Elodea nuttallii and Potamogeton zosteriformis, praelongis, richardsonii and illinoensis. This patch abuts the large aforementioned bed of Myriophyllum spicatum.
The northern arm of the lake is characterized by a mix of the four aforementioned Potamogeton species, Vallisneria americana and Elodea nuttallii occupying most of the middle of the arm that is unoccupied by Myriophyllum sp. Along the edges Nymphaea odorata, Brasenia schreberi, Potamogeton natans and Spirodela sp. blanket the surface while many species of Potamogeton and Utricularia grow underneath and at the edges.
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