PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is advising the public that Meshanticut Pond in Meshanticut State Park, Cranston, will receive a treatment to control infestations of invasive weeds including variable water milfoil, algae, fanwort, and sacred lotus next week. The weed control treatment is specifically targeted for the weeds that infest the pond and do not harm fish or other aquatic species.
Solitude Lakes Management LLC has been contracted for the weed control. The treatment will be applied on Tuesday September 28, 2021. Signs will be posted with information about temporary water use restrictions. There is no restriction for fishing and boating. During treatment, users should avoid impeding the applicator staff. Neighbors and other park users should not allow domestic pets to drink from the water for at least three days.
Sacred lotus is a highly aggressive, invasive species that threatens a healthy balance of native plants, impedes fishing and boating opportunities, and will be costly to manage over the next several years. First documented in Meshanticut Pond in 2018, the lotus patch is believed to have been growing for about five years. DEM believes that an area resident – unaware that planting in a pond is not allowed and of the plant's noxious nature of rapidly spreading – released the lotus in the pond. DEM has held several community harvesting events to remove the plant from the pond.
Weed infestation is a nuisance to anglers, boaters, and swimmers and can affect proper management of freshwater ponds for wildlife. To help control the spread of invasive species, the use of external felt-soled or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing water in any freshwaters in Rhode Island is strictly prohibited. This includes any waters shared with adjacent states in which Rhode Island fishing regulations apply. The transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on boats, vessels, other water conveyances, vehicles, trailers, fishing supplies, or any other equipment is also prohibited. For more information or to purchase a fishing license, visit www.dem.ri.gov.
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