Milfoil-free boats only, please

OK, boaters, listen up (again): Milfoil is bad. Milfoil can, and will, really mess up local lakes and ponds. And the fault, dear boaters, isn’t in the stars, it’s in ourselves.

And on our boats.

Recently, a resident of the Baboosic Lake area in Amherst found some milfoil in the lake.

Fortunately, that resident knew it wasn’t just some form of harmless aquatic plant. No, that resident knew it for an invasive species that was a danger to the lake.

And, fortunately, he knew to call the Baboosic Lake Homeowners Association which knew to call the state Department of Environmental Services which sent divers from its rapid response program to go into the lake, which they’ve done twice, to attack and eradicate the evil milfoil.

How bad is milfoil? This is what Amy Smagula, an exotic aquatic plant expert with DES, told The Cabinet: “If nothing is done, in three to five years they’d have a very hefty infestation, covering several acres.”

Try getting your outboard through that.

If you missed last week’s story, here’s how you spot milfoil: It looks like a squirrel’s tail in the water, with thick tubular shape, and feather-like leaves. Keep an eye out for it.

And for crying out loud, check your boats before you put them into the water anywhere. You can pick up milfoil from one lake or pond and bring it to another, like a virus.

Really, the onus is on us, the folks who use boats and the state’s waterways.

All DES can do is respond and sometimes, that response can come too late, which is no fault of the DES.

So, be wary, be careful, and be vigilant.