Lake Quassapaug, Middlebury
Lake Quassapaug is a 296-acre lake situated in Middlebury, CT. The lake is heavily used for recreational purposes but has no public boat ramp. All boating activity comes from residents of the lake or visitors to the many clubs. Lake Quassapaug is home to Quassy Amusement Park. The park has a fleet of paddleboats as well as a beach for its visitors. A sailing club accesses the lake in the middle of the western shoreline. Middlebury Yacht Club has a beach at the southern tip. The northern half of the lake, including the eastern arm, is mostly residential. The western arm is heavily wooded with no housing.
Most vegetation is found in the arms and coves of the lake. The main body of the lake gets deep quickly as you move from the shoreline, making the main body too deep to support plant growth. Overall, Lake Quassapaug has a high species richness with 25 plant species being found. Two of the plant species are invasive: variable-leaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) and Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Eurasian watermilfoil was found only in the small southwest arm. It was growing in a dense variable-leaf watermilfoil patch along with purple bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea), watershield (Brasenia schreberi), and coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum). Variable-leaf watermilfoil was found in a majority of the coves and all of the arms of the lake. In many patches, especially the north and south western arms, variable-leaf watermilfoil grew in great abundance.
Six species of plants with floating leaves were found. The most abundant was watershield. White water lily (Nymphaea odorata) and yellow water lily (Nuphar variegata) could also be found in most sections of the lake. White and yellow water lily were dominant in the northern tip of the western arm where they were the only two species found. The other plants with floating leaves were found growing in fewer quantities such as spotted pondweed (Potamogeton pulcher), ribbon-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton epihydrus), and snailseed pondweed (Potamogeton bicupulatus). Five bladderwort species were found: hiddenfruit bladderwort (Utricularia geminiscapa), humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), common bladderwort (Utricularia macrorhiza), purple bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea), and floating bladderwort (Utricularia radiata). In both of the northern arms, all of the bladderwort species were growing together. Overall, twelve to fifteen species could be found in the shallow arms or larger coves of the lake making the lake very diverse in plant life.