Field Season Winding Down

The weather has been staying warm, which keeps the lake water temperature high enough to still support aquatic plant growth.  However, day light is diminishing and plants are beginning to senesce.  We have snuck in a few more lake surveys these past couple weeks and might squeeze another last trip in next week.  The field season was cooperative this year and I exceeded my goal of 1/4 of the 148 lakes on my list.  As of today, we have surveyed 47 lakes at 119 public access points.

Fortunately, we haven’t found any significant infestations that were not already known.  We did find one small, and previously unknown, population of Alligator Weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) at one of the several boat ramps on Pine Creek Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.  The most common aquatic invasive plant we have found has been Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), which is not unexpected given its early date of introduction and long history in the state.

Soon the water will be too cold and the daylight too short for these plants.  They will die back and I will be forced to wait 9 months to find them growing again.

l37_s82_nativeveg-3
Abundant native aquatic vegetation at Ozzie Cobb Lake

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