Hydrilla - An Invasive Water Weed
In 2017, Authority staff confirmed the presence of hydrilla in the Manasquan Reservoir. Hydrilla is a highly aggressive submersed aquatic invasive plant. If left unmanaged, hydrilla has the potential to clog water intakes, impair water quality including dissolved oxygen, inhibit recreational activities, and impact habitat for fish, waterfowl and other wildlife within the Reservoir and wetlands.
SOLitude Lake Management was hired in August 2017 to survey, assess, and map the extent of hydrilla and other problem weeds in the Manasquan Reservoir and adjacent wetlands. The Authority received the SAV delineation report in November 2017. The survey report indicates that hydrilla was observed at 65% of the survey sites in the Reservoir. The complete 2017 Manasquan Reservoir SAV Delineation Report is available here.
Based on this information, the Authority hired Princeton Hydro in April 2018 to prepare an Aquatic Plant Management Plan for the Manasquan Reservoir. The results of this three year project will be available in 2020.
2019 Manasquan Reservoir Boat Launch Hydrilla Treatment
In June 2018, the Authority initiated a 4-acre pilot herbicide application to manage the hydrilla infestation at the Reservoir boat launch using the herbicide Sonar H4C. This application will be repeated in2019. Additionally, a 6 acre area in the Northwest corner of the reservoir will be treated using the product SonarOne.
Both herbicides, Sonar H4C and SonarOne, are slow-release pelletized formulas containing the active ingredient fluridone. The EPA Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides states that fluridone presents a negligible risk to human health and the environment when applied according to its legally allowed uses and label directions. Following treatment with Sonar there will be no water use restrictions for water consumption, fishing, fish consumption or swimming. While the label carries a restriction for irrigation for concentrations above 5 ppb, the anticipated herbicide concentration in the water inside of the pilot area will vary slightly. Herbicide concentration monitoring will be conducted within and outside the pilot area. The Authority expects the results outside the pilot area, and specifically near the intakes, to be non-detectable at <1 ppb.
A total of 4 herbicide applications will be made from mid-May through July. The NJ licensed pesticide applicator for this project is SOLitude Lake Management. Signage will be posted at the boat launch during and after application. The Authority has developed educational signage to post in the same locations.
Manasquan Boat Steward Program
In an effort to stop the spread of invasive species and educate boaters, a Boat Steward will be providing voluntary inspections at the Manasquan Reservoir Boat Launch on weekends and holidays during the summer of 2019.
What is a boat steward?
The Manasquan Reservoir Boat Steward is here to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) through providing boat inspections and educating boaters. The boat steward will provide a voluntary boat inspection to help you find any plant fragments on your boat, and teach you how to clean, drain, and dry your vessel.
Why is this program important?
A full AIS plant can regrow from a quarter sized fragment. Inspecting boats and removing plant fragments from entering the water is a preventative measure that can preserve ecological health and save time and money on removal efforts. Similar programs have been implemented with success across lakes and reservoirs in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and several other states.
What information is the steward recording?
The steward will ask questions regarding where your boat last launched and where you may launch next. They will also record if any AIS were found on your vessel. This is only meant to help determine the routes of possible AIS spread between water bodies, and no personal information will be taken. Please ask the Steward any questions you may have on AIS or boat inspections.