Residents chip in to clean up Fox Hill Lake in Ridgefield

RIDGEFIELD — Some members of the Fox Hill Lake Association are shelling out hundreds of dollars to help treat the lake’s overgrowth of marine plants.

After retaining Pond and Lake Connection, a Brookfield-based lake management company, to conduct the treatment, association President Manny Silva solicited homeowners to opt in to treat a half-acre of their own lakefront property for roughly $320 each.

The company plans to treat 10 acres of the 26 ½-acre lake with an herbicide known as Clipper, which is safe for humans, fish and wildlife. The cost totals more than $7,000. With contributions from about 10 lakefront homeowners, it will be able to treat an additional 5 acres.

“The association has been going on for over 30 years to upkeep the lake,” Silva said. “We have a number of invasive plants … and if we don’t take care of these things, the lake will be a swamp.”

Fox Hill Lake is home to dock weeds, elodia and lily pads, which, despite being “beautiful on the surface,” are “the main culprit” behind the current overgrowth, Silva said. Also prevalent on the lake’s surface is a haze of yellow-green algae.

“In the past we used carp to take care of the submerged plants, but they don’t do anything to kill the lilies,” he added. “On the bottom, they look like a snake with several heads.”

The company will visit Fox Hill Lake on June 30 to conduct the treatment in a single day, and within two weeks, the lily pads are expected to die out. Silva hopes the treatment will also prevent “late-summer algae” from growing on the surface so lake goers can enjoy it to the fullest.

Although the lake is privately owned by the 60-member association, the town owns some areas of open space around it, giving the public access where residents can participate in boating, fishing, paddleboarding and other aquatic activities.

alyssa.seidman@hearstmediact.com