By: Donna Macalle-Holly
If you love to paddle and own your own kayak or canoe, you can help protect Lake Hopatcong by becoming a Water Scout!
Lake Hopatcong Water Scouts are volunteers who paddle selected areas of the lake to find, report, and remove invasive water chestnut. Scouts paddle an assigned area at their convenience as frequently as possible in June and July, but at least twice before the end of July.
Water chestnut is an invasive plant species that can quickly wreak havoc on lake ecosystems. Water chestnut is fairly distinctive in appearance. It starts with a seed that has four barb-like prongs, which can be transported from lake to lake by boats, trailers, waterfowl, and more. Once the seed embeds itself in the lake bottom (particularly shallow areas without much turbulence), a stringy plant grows toward the surface, creating clusters of leaves called rosettes. Each leaf is about two inches wide, serrated with an arrowhead shape. The rosettes can multiply quickly, with each producing up to 20 seeds.
Click HERE for more information on how to get started.