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Hydrilla was first found in Maine in Pickerel Pond in 2002 by a landowner. While that infestation has been successfully eradicated, Hydrilla has since been found in Damariscotta Lake, Davis Stream, and Woolwich Ponds.

Per Maine DEP:

Hydrilla is native to Africa and is considered the most problematic invasive plant in North America. Hydrilla was confirmed in a 46-acre lake in southwestern Maine in 2002. It is also present in nearby Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Hydrilla is a prolific weed that forms stems reaching up to 30 feet in length. It is able to dominate freshwater ecosystems quickly when fragmented by boat props and by way of winter buds, underground tubers, and surface runners. The aquatic weed also tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions including low light levels, high or low nutrient waters, and freezing temperatures. Hydrilla can not only out-compete native aquatic plants, it can infest a lake more aggressively than variable water milfoil, the most common invasive plant established in Maine.

Photo: Maine DEP. Drawing: University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

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