West Haven woods will be wiped out because of beetle infestation

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WEST HAVEN - At Maltby Lakes recreational area, the freshly stocked trout are biting. That’s the good news.

The bad news? So is the southern pine beetle.

The Regional Water Authority that owns the recreation area said the park is open to fishing, biking, and trails.

The problem with the southern pine beetle, specifically for spruce trees, is that the beetle has made it to the state of Connecticut. This beetle contains what is known as the blue stain fungus, which provides feeding for their larvae, and stains the tree. When that happens, there's no cure for it. You can’t do anything.

So the Regional Water Authority made the difficult decision: 33 acres of spruce have to go. The original idea was to take out all of the spruces that had been impacted but, in order to quarantine the beetles, they also have to take down the trees surrounding the already infected trees. That means, they’re taking all of the spruces in many sections of the park.

Cutting the trees down pre-fungus means the trees can be sold for firewood, and the beetles won’t move from one tree to another. In the meantime, you have a few weeks to enjoy Maltby Lakes before it looks much different.