Invasive SpeciesEurasian watermilfoil

Myriophyllum spicatum
NOT FOUND by Rcrossman
2017-07-28
Waterville
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Cynthia and Rori
Peer reviewed by Rori and Cynthia
Field Notes
The sun was shining. There was a cool breeze. The pond looked pretty and clean. We saw cars consistently passing the pond, people around the pond, small dock and benches on shore. We saw birds, insects, cattails, lots of trees and grasses around the pond.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
We searched through our samples for the plant closest to milfoil, but did not find Eurasian watermilfoil. The plant that we found that most resembled it had a similar whorled leaf arrangement, but it did not have any leaflets, while Eurasian milfoil has up to 24 pairs of leaflets per leaf.
Photo of my evidence.
Our plant did not have feather divided leaf edges, like Eurasian milfoil. It had simple straight blade leaves.
Photo of my evidence.
Our plant had a bright green stem. Eurasian milfoil stems are reddish-brown to pinkish-white.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I did not find it
Scientific name:
Myriophyllum spicatum
Common name:
Eurasian watermilfoil
Sampling method: 
Weed weasel
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
Latitude: 
N 44.565296 °
Longitude: 
W -69.664939 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Habitat: 
Freshwater - In a pond or lake
Trip Information
Name:
Johnson Pond
Trip date: 
Fri, 2017-07-28 11:30
Town or city: 
Waterville
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Ecosystem: 
Freshwater
Watershed: 
Lower Kennebec
MIDAS Code: 

Comments

Greetings Rcrossman,

My apologies for the delay in reviewing your Vital Signs submission. I have been out on the lakes of Maine!

You are quite right in your findings: the plant you found is NOT Eurasian milfoil, for all of the reasons you explain and more. What you found is one of our native stoneworts. Stoneworts are colonial algae that resemble higher plants. It is hard to be 100% certain from your photos, but I believe this is a stonewort in the genus Nitella. If it had been a stonewort in the genus Chara, you likely would have noticed a distinct skunky smell. Chara (or muskgrass) is the only plant that you can easily identify by smell! Our native stoneworts are common in many of our lakes, ponds and streams. They provide excellent habitat for many critters who live in and around our waters.

Now that you know what a stonewort looks like, you should be aware that there is an invasive stonewort that is nearby but has not yet been found in Maine. It is called 'starry stonewort." This invasive stonewort can be recognized by the little white star-shaped reproductive structures that it forms.

I enjoyed reading your observations from your visit to Johnson Pond. It looks like a lovely place. Please keep up the great work, keeping a watchful eye out for aquatic invaders.

All the best,

Roberta Hill
Invasive Species Program Director
Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program

Do you have a guess for what you may have found?