Billings Lake, North Stonington - 2005


2005 Aquatic Plant Survey of Billings Lake

Transect Data | Water Data

Billings Lake is a 97.4-acre natural waterbody with a concrete dam, which raises the water level by 10 feet. A number of houses have been built on the western side of the lake, and most of them are occupied only during the summer months. The rest of the lakeshore is forested with the exception of a camp on the northeastern side. The state maintains a boat ramp on the lake, and power boats are allowed. The lake has a maximum depth of 33 feet and a mean depth of 14 feet.

Vegetation was abundant in shallow water during our September 2005 survey. Because much of the shoreline was rocky and steeply sloped, it is not conducive to plant growth. The invasive variable-leaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) was the most abundant species. The plant grew all around the lake but was most abundant in water 6 feet deep or less, especially in a cove on the eastern side and in a large very shallow area at the southern end of the lake where it occurred with white water lily (Nymphaea odorata), yellow water lily (Nuphar variegata), sedges (Carex), and a number of submerged species.

The invasive fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana) was also abundant along the lake’s western side and in the cove on the eastern side alongside of southern naiad (Najas guadalupensis). Many other species occurred in small, widely scattered patches. These included spotted pondweed (Potamogeton pulcher), snailseed pondweed (Potamogeton bicupulatus), and Robbins' pondweed (Potamogeton robbinsii). Several species were limited to very shallow water otherwise free of plants especially areas around several small islands. These species included waterwort (Elatine species), golden hedge-hyssop (Gratiola aurea), sevenangle pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum), needle spikerush (Eleocharis acicularis), shore quillwort (Isoëtes riparia), and brown-fruited rush (Juncus pelocarpus). The least found species, western waterweed (Elodea nuttallii), humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), purple bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea) and floating bladderwort (Utricularia radiata), grew as individual plants or very small patches throughout the lake. Watershield (Brasenia schreberi) and little floating heart (Nymphoides cordata) were found in small patches in the northwest part of the lake while little floating heartwas also found in the southeast part of the lake.