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Sunnyside Lake

Contracting Party: Sunnyside Lake Association (SLA)


AIM conducted a lake-wide diver survey of Sunnyside’s invasive plant population.  The survey served as a barometer for the success of the SONAR treatment.  Our findings showed a large, expansive population of extremely young plants.  This would indicate that the root and plant fragments that were not completely killed by the chemical treatment resumed growth immediately.

Interactive map of the invasive plant growth found in the 2012 survey


The Sunnyside Lake Association elected to do another SONAR aquatic plant herbicide treatment in 2011.  Hand-harvesting was put on hold due to the cost of the treatment and limited budget available.


This year AIM found a large scale infestation of young-regrowth and remaining old growth plants in the lake covering roughly half of the available lake-bottom. When our team first began work there in 2009 in the fall much of this growth was subsided and less visible until underwater. In the mid-summer season of 2010, the milfoil was growing rapidly out of control.

The Sunnyside Lake Association was able to fundraise enough money to have two weeks of harvesting done by our two-diver crew.  In the first week, the crew set a new per-diver harvest record with 490 bags pulled (roughly 12,250 lbs or 55,000 plants). In the second week of work they shattered that record with 625 bags pulled (15,625 lbs or 71,250 plants).

The lake is still heavily infested. Due to the clarity of the water, shallow and small size of the waterbody, silty bottom sediment and abundance of nutrients (many due to the chemical treatment that resulted in thousands upon thousands of decaying plants left in the waterbody), the lake is the ideal growth medium for milfoil. However, as we remove ton upon ton of plant matter, we also reduce the nutrient load. As we gain control of certain areas and work out from them we continue to prevent the spread and reduce the population.

At the end of the work in 2010, AIM presented a new method to the Sunnyside Lake Association to put into play in 2011. It would establish lake-wide control and suppression in one season and would allow for maintenance work to commence at a much reduced cost in 2012. The SLA will be fundraising and seeking grants to cover the cost as we approach the 2011 season, and, hopefully we will have their lake under control once again by next fall.

2009: Our first job outside the blue line

This contract consisted of one week with a two diver crew on Sunnyside Lake, a small kettle pond in Queensbury, NY. Since the lake is located outside of Adirondack Park Agency (APA) jurisdiction (ie: outside the blue line), the SLA was able to get permits to use aquatic herbicides. The fact that the lake has such slow turnover made it ideal for sequestering the chemicals and keeping them at high concentrations. The chemical of choice was Sonar.

In 2009, the SLA contacted AIM to see what we could do to help. The Eurasian milfoil had re-emerged in full force just a year after chemical treatment. Using a two diver team we were able to remove a large percentage of known growth at a much lower cost than lake-wide chemical treatment.