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Maine Lakes

Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops

Greetings Invasive Plant Patrollers!

In 2022, LSM is offering both in-person, outdoor trainings; and newly-updated (live and recorded) virtual trainings.

Quick Links to Additional Resources

2022 Invasive Plant Patrol Training Schedule

This year, we are hosting the following live, in-person outdoor Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops! Take a look at the schedule below to see if we will be coming to your area (workshops are listed by county). Please find descriptions of both workshop types posted below the schedule. 

PLEASE REGISTER  HERE for any workshop/s you wish to attend.  

Belgrades (Kennebec); Tuesday August 16  – 9am – 11am Off Route 27N, 137 Main St, Belgrade Lakes; Live Plant ID

Rangeley Lakes Region (Franklin); Thursday August 18 – 9am – 11am at Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust Headquarters at 2424 Main St, Rangeley, ME 04970; Live Plant ID

Piper Pond (Piscataquis); Thursday August 25 – 11am – 2pm at 11 Juanita Lane, Abbot ME, 04406; Plant Paddle

Plant Paddles

Plant paddles are guided explorations that take place on and near the water. After a brief orientation on land, we paddle out to observe aquatic plants in their natural habitat, practice essential survey skills, and learn how to carefully collect plant samples for closer examination. Back on shore, participants move step-by-step through a process of: 1) determining if any of the collected plants are suspected invaders; and 2) learning how to identify the native plants that were found during the survey. This course is a perfect entry-level experience for those looking to get involved in the hunt for aquatic invaders, as well as for those wishing to start or expand their local IPP team. 

Live Plant ID Session

These workshops will be much like the live plant ID exercises that LSM has offered in the past as part of our classroom-based IPP 101 certification course. What’s new is that these sessions will be held entirely outdoors (possibly under open tents, depending upon the weather and other considerations). Participants will work their way through a series of learning stations studying and comparing live aquatic plant specimens–some of them invasive species; others, native look-alikes. Attendees will learn to hone in on key characteristics needed for identification: leaf arrangement, leaf margins, flowers, bracts, etc. This course is perfect for those who wish to sharpen their botanical skills while learning how to confidently recognize the invasive aquatic plants of concern in Maine, as well as a host of native species. (This course meets the plant ID requirement for IPP Certification)

Courtesy Boat Inspector Training

This 2-hour training module is offered as an optional “add-on” for all outdoor workshops. Attendees have the option of attending the first part of the training, the second part, or both. The two trainings have a one-hour overlap–covering fundamental plant ID–so staying on for the second part of the training only adds one additional hour to the overall session. Please let us know ASAP if you are interested in learning more about the CBI Training option.

Please remember to register here for any workshop you are interested in attending!

Invasive Plant Patrol 101 ~ Online Course

Participation in this course is required for anyone wishing to receive IPP certification

LSM’s Invasive Plant Patrol 101 online course is comprised of three parts:

      • Part 1 provides a general introduction to the threat of aquatic invaders;
      • Part 2 provides guidance for conducting an invasive plant screening survey, including discussion of tools and techniques; 
      • Part 3 takes a deep dive into Aquatic Plant ID with a focus on the eleven invasive aquatic plants considered to be most imminent threats to our state, and their native look-a-likes.

Participants who wish to recieve IPP certification must take (and pass) the short online quizz at the conclusion of each course section. The quizzes are optional for all others.

IPP 101 Part 1: Introduction to Aquatic Invaders in Maine

~Link to recording~
~Link to Quiz~

IPP 101 Part 2: How to Hunt for Aquatic Invaders

~Link to recording~
~Link to Quiz~

IPP 101 Part 3: Aquatic Plants; How to Identify Maine’s 11 Most Unwanted and their Common Native Look-Alikes

~Link to recording~
~Link to Quiz~


* The recordings will be UPDATED with the recently recorded 2022 sessions soon!

Certification Note: To become a fully certified IPPer you must receive a score 70% or better on all three quizzes and participate in one in-person IPP training (Live Plant ID or Plant Paddle).  If you are unable to attend an in-person event, please contact  to learn of an alternative way to meet the plant identification requirement.  Once you have fulfilled all of the above certification requirements, please complete this certification form and send it to

Training, Networking and Technical Support Opportunities

These first-come, first-served Zoom-based technical assistance sessions are open to all, but attendance may be limited based upon the session. Larger group and/or customized IPP team meetings may be scheduled by contacting Roberta directly at

IPPer Zoom Room

IPPer Zoom Room sessions are held regularly every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month starting in the spring of 2022 and continuing throughout the survey season. Some sessions will have a theme (to be announced in advance via the LSM e-news); other sessions will be more open ended. We welcome Invasive Plant Patrollers of all ages and abilities to drop in whenever you like to share your IPP experiences, ask questions, discuss challenges, collaborate on actions, or simply to be in the company of fellow lake stewards who share your love of lakes! Please register to join as many sessions as you like!

 August 10, August 24

Please note you must register for each instance separately.

Please find selected past recordings of these sessions here.

Aquatic Plant Botanizers’ Circle

Aquatic Botanizers Circle sessions are held regularly every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month starting in the spring of 2022 and continuing throughout the survey season. NO botany skills required, just some pictures of plants from your lake and a dash of curiosity! In keeping with the “teach a man to fish” philosophy of providing assistance, we will help walk you through the process of first, determining if you have found a suspicious plant; and next, identifying your plant. Please submit photos of any plants you would like to share at the session in advance of the session using the form below.

 August 3, August 17

Please note you must register for each instance separately.

PLEASE click here for directions on how to take a “readable” photo.

Submission Form for the Aquatic Plant Botanizers’ Circle
PLEASE click here for directions on how to take a “readable” photo.
Drop files here or
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    How to Lead an Invasive Plant Paddle Webinar

    Plant Paddles are guided explorations that take place on shore and on the water. They are a fun, informal way to learn about Maine’s native aquatic plants, as well as the invasive aquatic plants that threaten Maine waters. In this live webinar, Roberta Hill will provide you with everything you need to know about leading a plant paddle on your favorite waterbody. This webinar is open to all and should be especially valuable to those of you who wish to activate (or reinvigorate) an Invasive Plant Patrol team on your lake! There will be plenty of time for questions, answers, and for sharing ideas.

    ~Link to recording~

    Survey123 Webinar Training V.2021.1

    LSM’s IAP Screening Survey Documentation forms have gone digital! With the help of our friends at the Maine DEP, and all of you who piloted this new platform last year and provided us with helpful feedback, Invasive Plant Patrollers now have the option of recording screening survey data on their smartphones, tablets, or computers. Paper data forms are still perfectly functional and welcome, but for those of you who wish to go paperless, you now have a great new tool. Please attend this webinar featuring Becky Schaffner from Maine DEP to learn all about the app and how to get started!

    Becky will demonstrate the process of accessing and updating the digital screening survey form on Survey123, provide an orientation to each section of the form, and guide us through the data upload process which will allow users to view their submitted data online in near real-time. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

    Please join us for the training demonstration on July 8th at 1 pm

    ~Link to register for the live demonstration~
    For those who are not able to attend, a recording of this webinar will be made available.

    ~Link to additional information on Survey123~

    Advanced Plant ID Webinar Series

    Learn how to confidently identify milfoils, bladderworts, and common pondweeds to species level through this 3-part series presented by LSM’s Invasive Species Program Director, Roberta Hill.

    Special thanks to York County Invasive Aquatic Species Project Founder and Director, Laurie Callahan, for her extensive help in preparing these webinars.

    Advanced Plant ID Part 1 – Milfoils

    Recorded 8/5/2020 ~ Link to recording ~


    Advanced Plant ID Part 2 – Bladderworts

    ~ New updated recording will be available in 2022~


    Advanced Plant ID Part 3 – Common Pondweeds

    Recorded 8/19/2020 ~ Link to recording ~


    Special Trainings Focused Upon Recently-Confirmed Infestations

    The Hunt for Invasive Milfoil in Big Lake & How You Can Help
    ~Link to recording~

    The Hunt for Invasive Naiad in Lake Arrowhead & How You Can Help
    ~Link to recording~

    Each webinar is specifically focused on a particular invasive aquatic plant of concern: variable water-milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) confirmed in late 2019 in Big Lake in Washington County, and spiny naiad (Najas minor) just recently confirmed in Lake Arrowhead in York County. Both sessions will include what is​ currently known about the extent of spread ​in these lakes; the biology and typical habitat of the species of concern; the key features by which each species may be positively identified; how to distinguish each from a host of native look alike plants; and importantly, what to do if one finds any suspicious aquatic plants while out on the water.

    The sessions will be presented by John McPhedran (MEDEP) and Roberta Hill (LSM) in the form of a live online (Zoom) webinar. The trainings will be recorded, and ​a link to the recordings will be made available on the LSM website​, and to all interested parties. The live sessions provide an opportunity for questions and answers.

    Though some time will be devoted in each of the trainings to a discussion of the specific infestations mentioned above, much of the content will be more general, covering the fundamentals of each species of concern; how to spot it, and what to do next. For this reason, all who are interested are welcome to attend.

    June 16, 2020, the Downeast Lakes Land Trust Presents Milfoil in Big Lake: What is it and how do we respond? with guest speakers: John McPhedran (Maine Department of Environmental Protection) & Roberta Hill (Lake Stewards of Maine)

    ~Link to recording~

    The recent discovery of variable-leaf milfoil in Big Lake is a wakeup call for the watersheds of the Downeast Lakes region, which are threatened with the invasion of exotic plant species. These unwanted species can cause irreparable damage to fisheries and native ecosystems, and they can be spread unintentionally on boats, float planes, and even GORE-TEX waders! Join representatives from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Lake Stewards of Maine to learn about the planned response to the Big Lake infestation, as well as how to identify aquatic invasive plants, how to report outbreaks, and how to avoid accidentally spreading these harmful species.

    For more on Downeast Lakes Land Trust, please visit their website.

    Contact information

    Contact us at:     Phone: 207-783-7733       Email:

    Hours of visitation at LSM Office:
      Mondays 9:00am - 3:00pm         Wednesdays 9:00am - 3:00pm
      Thursdays 11:00am - 3:00pm       Or by appointment

    Our Mission

    Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) works to protect Maine lakes and to promote lake stewardship through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health.


    LSM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For 50 years, trained volunteers throughout Maine have donated their time so that we may all learn more about one of Maine’s most beautiful and important resources — our lakes.