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Endangered fish discovery halts milfoil treatment in three Moultonboro locations


July 07, 2010
MOULTONBORO — Milfoil treatment in three areas of town has hit a snag after the discovery of an endangered fish species.

Peter Jensen, chair of the Milfoil Committee, told the Board of Selectmen during Thursday's meeting that the milfoil treatment in three locations was halted after Fish and Game discovered an endangered fish in those areas.

Jensen said Fish and Game had located Bridle Shiners, an endangered species of fish, in two locations in Greens Basin and in Lees Pond.

Treatments have been completed for other areas including Krainewood, Suissevale, Hanson Cove, and other parts of Greens Basin.

Jensen said the town had already paid for and secured permits to use herbicide in those locations as part of a widespread effort to manage milfoil around Moultonboro's shorelines.

Jensen said the chemical itself does not harm the fish, but he has heard from Fish and Game that the fish hide in the milfoil to avoid predators such as bass.

Selectman Betsey Patten said in previous discussions with Fish and Game she has heard a position that milfoil is "a beneficial weed."

Fish and Game's website describes milfoil as an "aquatic nuisance" and provides tips for stopping its spread.

Jensen said Fish and Game contacted the company that was going to apply the herbicide that it could be subject to legal action if it did not cease its scheduled application. The treatment provider subsequently backed out of doing the scheduled treatment.

Jensen said the permits cannot be refunded, though they are good through Sept. 30. Jensen said the Department of Environmental Services will be contacted and options will be discussed with Fish and Game, such as doing treatment after the Bridle Fish are done spawning.

The Board of Selectmen also voted in favor of the intermunicipal agreement between Moultonboro, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro for the purchase and use of a shared DASH unit for pulling up milfoil.

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