Is This Invasive Aquatic Plant Making it Difficult to Enjoy MA Lakes?
Berkshire County summers are to die for. That may be a strong statement but people love spending their summers in the Berkshires. Most of the time it's not too hot and we get to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, and more all while taking in the breathtaking scenery that only Berkshire County has to offer. There's no denying that summer in the Berkshires offers something special and there are folks that have to deal with F.O.M.A. (fear of missing out) if they don't get a piece of the Berkshire County summer action.
Watch Out for this Invasive Aquatic Plant in Our Berkshire County and Massachusetts Lakes
One thing that can put restrictions on our summer enjoyment of lakes throughout not only the Berkshires but Massachusetts in general, is the invasive aquatic plant known as Water Chestnut. While Water Chestnut looks harmless, the non-native plant actually grows quite rapidly (see video below) and as a result (according to mass.gov) can hamper native vegetation and fish population. Water Chestnut can block sunlight from other plants that need to grow. In addition, Water Chestnut can even penetrate shoes with their sharp barbs. Swimming near these plants is something you would want to steer clear of. As a matter of fact, since water chestnut forms mats on the surface of the water, boating, fishing, and any recreational activity really, becomes restricted. You can get all of the details, hazards, and characteristics of Water Chestnut by going here.
It's Not All Gloom and Doom as Water Chestnut Can Be Controlled
There are methods to manage and eliminate Water Chestnut which you can check out by going here. As a matter of fact, for folks who enjoy Lake Mansfield in the southern Berkshires, the Great Barrington Land Conservancy has a Water Chestnut Control team (look for one in your city and town) and they are looking for volunteers to control and eliminate the invasive plant from Lake Mansfield. If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up by going here.