LUKE MULLER, SURF 2017
Mentor: Dr. Theodora Pinou
Hello all, my name is Luke Muller, University of New Hampshire, Class of 2019. I am an Environmental Engineering major with a Sustainability focus. I have lived on Candlewood Lake for almost my entire life, and worked on several research projects on the Lake while I was in High School (e.g. Project CLEAR, Zebra Mussel monitoring). The environmental health and biodiversity of the Lake is very important to me because I would like to return and live in an environmentally safe place after graduation.
For this project, I worked with Dr. Theodora Pinou of Western Connecticut State University (Westconn), Larry Marsicano of the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA), and Emily Van Vlack, a student from Boston University. In June of 2015, 3,816 triploid grass carp were released into Candlewood Lake from 9 different release points. Amongst these carp, 50 of them had radio transmitters surgically attached to them, each with its own frequency when used conjointly with a radio receiver. Doing this, we can track the locations of the 50 fish throughout the lake. This information allows us to measure the fidelity of the carp, which in turn can determine if the carp are doing their job or not. Eurasian Milfoil is an invasive aquatic plant species originating from Eurasia, hence the name. When introduced to bodies of water such as Candlewood Lake, however, it can very easily overcrowd the native plant species, pushing them to the brink of elimination. Eurasian Milfoil is a large part of the carp's diet, meaning the addition of these fish will hopefully reduce the amount of milfoil growing in the lake.