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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Works with Partners to Control Water Chestnut

Region 5, August 23, 2013
A boat loaded with water chestnut ready for disposal
A boat loaded with water chestnut ready for disposal - Photo Credit: n/a

The Missisquoi NWR worked with the Friends of Missisquoi NWR and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to conduct control operations on water chestnut, an aggressive aquatic invasive plant this summer. Thanks to a $14,000.00 grant, the Friends of the refuge were able to hire two contract employees to work on refuge wetlands throughout the summer to remove water chestnut plants.


Water chestnut had been managed at low levels by refuge staff until the floods of 2011. In 2012, areas which had been relatively chestnut free exploded to near infestation levels. Additionally, these areas are the only known locations of this aquatic invasive in the northern end of Lake Champlain, making control on refuge lands critical to preventing the spread to other adjacent habitats. Thanks to the Friends and the funds provided through the State invasive species program the refuge was able to make great strides in controlling this species before it became unmanageable.

Working a total of 45 days and 536 man hours the contractors removed a total of 4,857 water chestnut rosettes from refuge lands. This is more rosettes than the refuge has removed in the previous three years combined. Through the efforts of the contractors this summer the refuge was able to make great strides towards reducing chestnut abundance on refuge lands as well as reducing the risk of this species from spreading into other areas of northern Lake Champlain.

Contact Info: Ken Sturm, 8028684781, ken_sturm@fws.gov