Cayuga Inlet Hydrilla Eradication Project: Management Plan

A management plan summarizes the current year's efforts and looks forward to the next season. It speaks broadly to all aquatic plant management techniques commonly used in NY and elsewhere, as well as why the Hydrilla Task Force has chosen the current treatment regime. It covers the decision making process and our commitment to adaptive management. It is updated for annual changes and specifics, but the broad tenets are set by the initial publication. 

Managing for any invasive species is never a static process. Cayuga Inlet's eradication project is constantly being revised to suit this infestations and waterbody's particular needs. As the task force learns more from others' experiences  and successescontrol methods, the current standings of the hydrilla population, and its reproductivity (tubers, etc.), the plans for management are able to evolve.

Control Strategies

Herbicide treatments of endothall and fluridone were selected after much consideration and consultation with national experts. Many other control options were considered  but not chosen at this time.


Monitoring water quality, beneficial aquatic plants, and hydrilla is an important component of the hydrilla eradication project. Monitoring involves observing and recording the presence and abundance of specific aquatic plant species, hydrilla reproductive tubers, and residual from any aquatic herbicides used.

Water Monitoring

Water quality monitoring will be conducted during and after herbicide treatment. The three main reasons for water quality monitoring are:

  1. Environmental protection (DEC sites)
  2. Drinking water safety (TCHD sites)
  3. Adequate levels in order to be effective (concentration sites for Task Force and herbicide providers)

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requires water sample 1/2 mile from the ends of the treatment area. Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) requires extra sampling between the treatment area up to and at Bolton Points drinking water intake. Throughout the entire herbicide process, monitoring occurs within and well-outside the treatment area to ensure that the chemicals do not exceed the DEC permitted concentration (or drinking water MCL), escape further, or impact the Bolton Point drinking water supply.

Herbicide concentrations are monitored by the Task Force and herbicide providers during the application within the treatment area to determine if ideal concentrations are being achieved. If not, this information is used to guide adjustments in dosing. Concentrations are then continuously monitored post-application at multiple locations to track the decay and possible transport of the herbicide until it can longer be detected.

Much of this monitoring is not required by permit, however; the Task Force feels it is critical to be able to determine the effectiveness of the effort, allow for informed decision making about future year's treatments, and to address public questions/concerns. All water quality results will be posted on this website as soon as they become available.

Plants/Tuber Monitoring

Though not required, plant monitoring is a large part of the eradication process. In both Cayuga Inlet and the lake (mostly southern shelf), plant surveys occur every year to determine the presence/absence of hydrilla, record all species presence and abundance, and to detect any unintended impacts on the aquatic plant community. In part, the effort will be to track hydrilla growth in the inlet to determine the optimum time for herbicide application

Tuber monitoring is not required either but without it there is no way to determine the efficacy of the treatment regime. Studying the longevity of the tubers (how long they lay dormant, etc.) allows for further understanding of how long the eradication effort will need to last.

Last updated July 26, 2019