ATTACHED ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS ON WEED CONTROL FOR WOODRIDGE LAKE BY KEN WAGNER. THESE RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE WHAT WE BELIEVE ARE DANGEROUS CHEMICALS. TO VIEW THE RECOMMENDATIONS, PLEASE CLICK BELOW:
THIS 2007 STUDY BY ACT (SOLITUDE) IS JUST TWO YEARS AFTER CHEMICALS WERE APPLIED TO WOODRIDGE LAKE. THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT FINDINGS/RECOMMENDATIONS WE URGE YOU TO REVIEW. THESE ARE:
- THEY DO NOT RECOMMEND MECHANICAL HARVESTING BECAUSE IT TENDS TO SPREAD THE WEEDS,
- THEY DO RECOMMEND DRAWDOWNS BUT ARE NOT STRONG IN TERMS OF EFFECTIVENESS,
- THEY RECOMMEND USING CHEMICALS ONLY TWO YEARS AFTER THE LAST APPLICATION, AND
- THEY NOTICE THAT MILFOIL QUICKLY RE-ESTABLISHED ITSELF AFTER CHEMICAL APPLICATION.
TO OBTAIN THIS REPORT, PLEASE CLICK BELOW:
The State of Lake Kenosia 2013
A non technical summary of current environmental conditions in Lake Kenosia
The photo below illustrates the water and shoreline of Lake Kenosia with one of the buffer gardens (discussed in more detail, below) This report aims at condensing an extensive series of lake studies, lake management strategies and the current focus of the Lake Kenosia Commission in conserving Lake Kenosia, in a non-technical format. The goal of this report is to provide citizens of Danbury with a “snapshot” of the current water quality of the lake and the challenges that are being addressed by the Lake Kenosia Commission, in creating environmentally desirable conditions for recreation and natural beauty.
This annual report includes the same summary (from previous annual reports) of past studies of the lake and management options that have been completed over the past 30-plus years. A listing of significant recent events that will affect the quality of the lake follows this. The “State of the Lake” report concludes with a discussion of the challenges facing the community in managing the lake and the best management strategies that are being pursued by the Lake Kenosia Commission.
Background of Lake Studies
Lake Kenosia has been extensively studied over the past 31 years:
(Please note: The terms underlined in bold are defined in the Glossary section of the website.)
In 1980, the King’s Mark Environmental Review, comprised of an interdisciplinary team of 13 environmental professionals, conducted a field inspection and data review of the conditions of Lake Kenosia. They concluded that the lake is eutrophic, covered by extensive growth of aquatic plants and algae and is very susceptible for conditions leading to “accelerated eutrophication,” which occurs when runoff from human development increases the rate of aging of a lake by filling the basin with nutrients and plant decay that will cause the shallow lake to fill in.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 1980 conducted water quality tests that supported the King’s Mark conclusion that the lake is eutrophic. Field conditions in July 1980 verified the extensive growth of thick beds of watermilfoil and aquatic weeds.
In 1989 Lake Management Consultants conducted two water quality sampling rounds that included transparency (Secchi disk), plant density (chlorophyll a), and nutrients. This baseline study concluded that the lake is mesotrophic to eutrophic in character. This study also noted abundant overgrowth of the aquatic weed, Eurasian watermilfoil and moderate growths of algae. The study also determined that the bottom layer of the lake became devoid of oxygen, which causes “internal recycling” of phosphorus that is normally locked in the sediments to diffuse into the water, facilitating the growth of algae and weeds.
In 2000, ENSR Consultants conducted the most extensive keystone study of the lake. They determined that the phosphorous loading to the lake was over twice the recommended “permissible load.” This is a key cause of aquatic weed overgrowth and their survey verified the excessive growth of Eurasian watermilfoil along with a similar weed, coontail. In addition to extensive chemical and biological surveys on the lake, the ENSR study also quantified that the main source of nutrients in the lake enters from runoff from the extensive urbanized watershed (as opposed to the amount of nutrients that are recycled to the lake from the sediments). They determined that a 20- 25% reduction of phosphorous loading to the lake is needed to bring the lake below the critical loading limit. Finally, the study analyzed various lake management options to reverse the accelerated eutrophication of Lake Kenosia, including retrofitting storm drainage, suction harvesting, phosphorus inactivation by alum treatments and enhanced grazing of plants by introduction of weed eating fish (e.g., grass carp). Most of the management technologies are expensive.
Recent History of Lake Monitoring & Management
Lake Monitoring. The Kenosia Commission retained George Benson, a limnologist in 2005, 2007 and 2008 to monitor water quality and weed growth. In these years, Benson tested the lake water for key biological and chemical indicators. He documented dense and moderate growth of watermilfoil and coontail and blooms of green algae. Since 1999, the overgrowth of nuisance weeds has accelerated, reflecting the lack of active treatment of weeds since the 2003 ban on herbicides (see below). Additionally, the 2008 Benson report notes that the population of algae has shifted significantly to a species of blue green algae that is indicative of more rapid aging of the lake.
Herbicide treatment ban. In 2003, the Connecticut Department of Public Health ruled that application of herbicides (other than copper sulfate for algae) would be prohibited in Lake Kenosia due to the fact that the City sporadically uses the lake as an emergency water supply. The City had routinely conducted herbicide treatments with SONAR throughout the 1990s, which controlled the growth of nuisance weeds, particularly watermilfoil. This herbicide ban terminated this weed control strategy.
Lake Kenosia Commission goals. In 2006, the Lake Kenosia Commission re-defined its goals for managing the lake, focusing on weed management, and demonstration projects and public education. Monitoring will continue, and efforts to control the weeds will focus on watershed demonstration projects such as the buffer gardens at the Lake Kenosia Park, a feasibility study for introducing grass carp and grants to conduct projects to show how small steps can improve the quality of Lake Kenosia.
The buffer gardens at the Lake Kenosia Park. The buffer gardens are a demonstration project to bring beauty to the shoreline of the lake, promote biological diversity, improve water quality, and deter Canada Geese. They also preserve sand from the erosive effects of stormwater. For more detail link to the buffer gardens section of the website. The focus of this project is discussed below.
The State of Lake Kenosia, simply put, is aging fast. The scientific term for the aging of a lake is eutrophication. When a lake is aging fast, it is referred as “cultural eutrophication.” The evolution (or aging) of a lake from a deep-water body to a marsh is a natural process that is fueled by nutrient inputs from the watershed and the bottom sediments of the lake to the water body. These nutrient inputs (particularly phosphorus) fertilize the waters to allow the growth of algae and weeds.
The extensive studies of Lake Kenosia that are described here all document the extensive fertilization of the lake that has fueled the growth of nuisance weeds (watermilfoil and coontail) and algae. The sources of fertilization in Lake Kenosia are:
Runoff of nutrients from the watershed – Roads and parking lots accelerate the flushing of nutrients that would otherwise be absorbed by soil and vegetation. The watershed land area that drains to the basin of Lake Kenosia is very large compared to the area of the lake. Also, human development in the watershed since Interstate 84 was constructed has transformed open space areas to housing and commercial development. Both of these factors result in a large influx of nutrients to the lake from the land area that drains into it.
Recycling of nutrients from the bottom sediments – The bottom muds of the lake are a reservoir of decaying plant materials that include the nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients that were locked in their tissues. Every summer there is a release of these nutrients back into the lake water that “recycles” them into the water column making them available for new plant growth.
As a result of both sources of nutrients, Lake Kenosia is aging faster than it would have if human development in the watershed had not occurred as rapidly as it did in the last 50 years. The biggest manifestation of the human based nutrient flow to the lake is an overgrowth of rooted aquatic weeds, primarily coontail and Eurasian watermilfoil in the shallow water zone of the lake. Coontail is a native plant that grows naturally in North America. Eurasian watermilfoil is a plant that does not normally grow in North America, but was imported from Europe and has proliferated throughout many lakes in the US. Both are nuisance weeds, which interfere with recreational uses of swimming and boating. However, of the two weed species, coontail is ecologically more acceptable since it is part of the normal habitat of this part of the country and better suits its ecological role in Lake Kenosia. However, the large nutrient input to Lake Kenosia makes the overgrowth of these weeds a problem. The two species are “cousins” – anatomically and physiologically similar. Hence, the pattern of growth of these weeds in Lake Kenosia see-saws from year to year. For example, prior to 1989, watermilfoil dominated the lake. Then from the late 1990s to 2004, coontail was the dominant weed in Lake Kenosia, with only small pocket of milfoil. This may be attributed to a period of time when the lake was routinely treated with contact herbicides that had a greater effect of controlling watermilfoil until the 2003 ban of herbicide applications to Kenosia.
In 2011, Lake Kenosia is characterized by “co-dominance” of the lake waters with some areas that were covered almost exclusively with watermilfoil (north -north east side, from the Lake Kenosia Park to the lake outlet at Kenosia Avenue) with the remainder of the shallow zone of the lake that has cover of dense growth of both coontail and milfoil. One significant exception to the dense shallow water dominance of these weeds is the park beach – which was relatively clear of weeds, following several years of suction harvesting. This project will be discussed in more detail, below.
In addition to Eurasian watermilfoil and coontail, which are rooted and grow to the surface of the water column, Lake Kenosia is also characterized by an assemblage of emergent aquatic plants – rooted in the sediments, growing through the water column and with leaves that emerge over the surface of the water. This includes water lilies and pickerelweed. These plants are not considered nuisances (do not interfere with recreation), do not massively overgrow the shallow water zone and provide a balanced ecological function for the lake (including cover areas for fish populations).
Finally, there is the growth of algae – microscopic plants and cyanobacteria that grow directly on surface water and do not have stems. Although they are individually microscopic, they grow colonially – joining into clumps or mats that float on the surface of the lake. Unlike the rooted weeds, which draw their nutrients from the lake sediments, algae are entirely dependent upon the nutrients that are in the water column. They are, therefore, more direct indications of the eutrophication (aging) status of a lake. The algae that are present in Lake Kenosia are indicative of an aging lake. This was noted in the 2000 ENSR Diagnostic Study and has been echoed by the Benson Environmental surveys of recent years. In the 2008 Benson survey, the report noted: the shifting trend from dominance of chrysophyte algae in the 1980s to blue-green algae noted in the 2008 Benson Environmental survey, and a notable increase in the density of algae colonies in the water. “Blooms” of algae can sometimes occur in Kenosia (as was documented by Benson in 2007) but algae growth in Lake Kenosia is still considered moderate for a recreational lake. The lack of a nuisance infestation of algae in Lake Kenosia is likely, due to the overgrowth of the rooted weeds, which are currently utilizing the vast reservoir of nutrients available for plant growth. However, successful control of the nuisance weeds that dominate the lake may result in increased periods of nuisance algal blooms in the lake. From a lake management perspective, this potential side effect” can be effectively controlled by application of copper herbicides that are still allowed for treatment in Lake Kenosia.
All of this characterization of the current state of Lake Kenosia leads to the point of lake management measures and the role of the community in improving water quality, shoreline and lake habitat and recreational quality of the lake. The Lake Kenosia Commission is Danbury’s advocate and watchdog for stewardship and lake management. Over the past several years, the Kenosia Commission has investigated several management techniques for the lake and has invested in pilot projects to improve the quality of the lake’s environment. Notable in these efforts are the following successes:
1. Pilot projects to evaluate non-chemical control of nuisance weeds, including hydroraking, benthic covers and suction harvesting. The most promising non-chemical alternative is suction harvesting. In 2008, the suction harvesting of the waters off the beach at Lake Kenosia Park (an area approximately 15,000 square feet) effectively maintained the bathing area at the park clear of nuisance weeds. This was documented by a pretreatment and post treatment snorkel survey by Kozuchowski Environmental Consulting and was independently cited by Benson Environmental Inc., in his 2008 lake-wide survey. The report of Benson Environmental observed that the park’s bathing area was the “weed free” exception to the coverage of all other areas of the lake by moderate-dense coverage of coontail and milfoil. According to the suction harvesting contractor (Lockhart Environmental), a bathing area like the one at Lake Kenosia Park could benefit from a few repeated years of harvesting, along with an oil containment boom (cleared daily of weed cuttings drifting in from other parts of the lake) to maintain the “oasis” condition of allowing the public to attain a weed free zone for swimming. Another three years of suction harvesting and evaluations of the performance took place to verify that this technique could be the non-chemical weed treatment of choice. If the continued success of this operation is verified, shoreline landowners including homeowners, the banquet hall, condominium owners, and the State boat launch may replicate the operation, to create additional “oases” of treatment.
In addition, the Commission evaluated grass carp introduction as a means of grazing control of bottom weeds. However, the potential negative effects of backwater flooding due to clogging of the outlet structure at the Kenosia Avenue culvert, the possibility of inducing algal blooms and the unlikely prospect of the Connecticut DEEP permitting this work has removed this strategy from active consideration.
Finally, The Kenosia Commission has noted the documented success of the seeding of lakes in the Midwest with the milfoil weevil, which has recently been employed at Candlewood Lake. This would be a gradual long-term removal process that would selectively eradicate milfoil plants, whose stems would be destroyed by the weevil. The milfoil weevil is a native species and feeds exclusively on Eurasian watermilfoil. The selective and gradual removal of milfoil would allow a gradual re-colonization with plants that are less of nuisance weeds and may promote a better ecological diversity of plant life in the lake. Though it is currently too expensive to employ this method of control in Lake Kenosia at this time, we will continue to monitor usage of the weevil and its results.
2. The Buffer Gardens. The State of Lake Kenosia is characterized in 2013, by a great success in the City of Danbury’s buffer gardens demonstration project (see photo of buffer garden iat the beginning part of this report). Launched in 2006, the project utilized a Meserve Grant and collaboration with The Land Trust of Danbury to establish a small plot of grasses, shrubs and flowering plants that created a microhabitat, an environmentally attractive garden that flowers sequentially throughout the growing season. In 2007 and 2008, the initial plot was extended to cover an area that circumscribes approximately 20% of the beach area in the Lake Kenosia Park. In 2011, after the installation of Phase 3, the buffer gardens completely encircled the shoreline of the park and the beach. The gardens have been successful in discouraging Canada Geese – eliminating the water quality problems due to beach pollution with their feces – away from the park. They also provide a filtering mechanism for intercepting stormwater flow to the lake and filtering out nitrogen, phosphorous and other pollutants. In addition to these benefits, the buffer gardens have been shown to offer a surprising advantage in “holding” the beach from erosion after major storm events.
Historical comparison of water quality monitoring data:
In 2013, following the September 2012 monitoring of the Lake, the Lake Kenosia Commission conducted a historical comparison of the data collected from 1980 -2012. A graphical presentation of this data and a detailed discussion of the water quality parameters tested and the interpretation of the results can be found in the Water Quality Monitoring section of this website. Overall, the data for each parameter is too sporadic (5 samplings over 30 years) and the database is too small to draw conclusions about emerging trends at this time. However, the long period of monitoring provides a good baseline to compare to future monitoring periods. In this regard, the Lake Kenosia Commission has committed to monitoring the Lake at least once per year to create a database that will be long enough and frequent enough to establish trends. Five to ten years of monitoring results should allow the Lake Kenosia Commission to begin drawing conclusions whether the lake is
Photographs taken by Lake Kenosia Commissioner Steve Landau, September 2008
The photo on the left, illustrates the extreme erosive force of a severe storm that occurred in 2008 in the center of the beach area. The photo below exhibits the area immediately below the initial planting of the buffer garden after the same storm, exhibiting only minor erosion and a minimal loss of beach sand, demonstrating yet another benefit of the buffer gardens: financial. The September 2008 storm that caused the erosion was not a hurricane or an extreme event. Typically a storm such as this occurs a few times every year. Hence, the now-completed buffer gardens will, over time, save the City the cost of replacement sand for the beach.
In summary, there are a host of options for controlling weeds and beautifying Lake Kenosia. First of all, there are the expensive options that include in-lake alum feed systems or massive watershed stormwater control projects. These control methodologies are the most effective and time efficient methods for reducing nutrient inputs that would ultimately eliminate the massive weed growth that currently plagues the Lake. However these systems will be in the range of $1,000,000 to $ 5,000,000 and in this economic climate are not realistic options at this time. However, these aggressive in-lake or watershed-based treatment technologies should be considered the gold bar standard for the City of Danbury and the Lake Kenosia Commission to strive for in future years, when grants and/or Foundation funding becomes more available for such projects.
Short of aggressive nutrient removal systems, the options are limited to short term weed controls. In 2010, the Commission prepared the table below that identifies short term weed control options. In 2010, the Lake Kenosia Commission selected suction harvesting as the weed control option, but which would be limited to the Lake Kenosia Park Beach. Suction Harvesting was deployed in 2010, 2011 and 2012, which took place in June of those years. The suction harvesting successfully removed weeds from the bathing area in a manner that allowed a weed-free bathing zone from the beach to the dock. The success of the weed control was verified by a late season “snorkle survey” in late August or early September.
THE BELOW LISTED PRESENTATION IS BY DR. KEN WAGNER, THE CONSULTANT USED BY WLPOA
This is an extensive handbook to provide information on the biology and control of aquatic plants. This is sponsored by the industry which manufactures and distributes herbicides.
This is by Dr. Ken Wagner and is a Practical Guide to Lake Management for the State of Massachusetts.
To view this report, click on below:
This plan proposing the use of the herbicide, Floridone, was presented to the WLPOA in 2015.
To view the plan, click below:
source Getting Down in the Weeds:
Or Underwater Vegetation…If You Will
It’s easy for people to think of anything that grows under water as a weed. More appropriately, whatever grows down there is underwater vegetation. Most of the vegetation in DeRuyter Lake is native to the lake and contributes to the health of the lake and its fish population. Paul Lord helped many understand the lifespan of underwater vegetation by suggesting we imagine the bottom of the lake as lawns or gardens covered with water. Flowers, seeds, weeds, annuals, perennials, insects and everything else are there. Thinking of underwater vegetation that way, it is easier to appreciate the cycle of life occurring out of sight under the water before our eyes.
And with that bit of the big picture, it’s time to look at DeRuyter Lake’s underwater vegetation situation and introduce the initial effort of the foundation.
The first project of Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation is the informally titled “fish project.” Succinctly, walleye pike fingerlings are stocked in the lake in large numbers. Those pike grow quickly by feeding on the lake’s plentiful population of small bluegills and sunnys. The blue gills and sunnys eat a “bug” that feeds on Eurasian milfoil. Ergo, more pike, fewer sunnys, more milfoil eating bugs and less milfoil. Simple premise.
Several important facts are part of the story. This is a natural process. No chemicals. The cost is in a five figure league for a few years, not six or seven! And best of all, it has a proven track record. The milfoil won’t disappear, but it will be controlled. That isn’t too much to ask.
The specifics of how the theory works – in scientific terms – are contained in the two stories below. Essentially, you can read about the implementation of a natural means to the Eurasian milfoil abatement program developed by Paul Lord. The articles originally appeared in Tioughnioga Lake Association newsletters in the Spring of 2012 and Spring of 2013, respectively. Both articles were written by Mike Curran who serves as the chair of the Environmental Committee of the lake association and is a member of the board of the foundation. Pictures and illustrations have been added to the original stories.
Mike Curran leading an information tour for the foundation board.
Paul Lord uses a lawn rakehead on a rope to haul in vegetation samples.
A Synopsis of UNDER THE SURFACE: Paul Lord’s 2011 Biomass Study of DeRuyter Lake by Mike Curran.
A more common name for this study is: The study of Eurasian water milfoil growth and herbivore insect impacts in DeRuyter Reservoir. Paul Lord presented a program of his initial study results to the TLA membership a couple of years ago. His work goes on. I’ve condensed over 80 pages of text, data, graphs and charts into this brief article from Lord’s 2011 draft. It hits some of the high points TLA members are most likely to be interested in. The entire final report will be available electronically from the Environmental Committee when it is completed.
The purpose of the study is to establish a baseline regarding milfoil presence and its density. Collections of plant specimens were made on five different dates, the last of which was in mid-December 2011. These collections were to ascertain the presence or absence of milfoil herbivores and the impact, if any, on the Eurasian milfoil. The focus of the research is the development of protocols for the biological control of Eurasian milfoil. Previous work on eight Madison County lakes has established a connection between size of the sunfish population and the number of an important milfoil insect herbivore, the aquatic moth. This connection has also been confirmed by studies in Minnesota. These macrophyte moth populations were associated with reduced Eurasian Milfoil density.
The research also included collections of standard lake physical and chemical data as well as electro fishing in late June to determine what impacts sunfish have on milfoil herbivores. Lord’s electro fishing data summarized two years of collection work from 2008 and 2011. There were 14 plant specimens identified in the 2011 sampling along with one macro algae.
Fish Count Survey
A species of a longhorn caddisfly was found that is not known and cannot be identified at this time. This DeRuyter caddis might be an exotic species. No North American caddis is currently associated with milfoil control. Two approaches are being pursued to determine its identification. DeRuyter Lake milfoil has not been a significant impediment to recreation in the last several years. This appears attributable to the caddisfly that was easily observable on the milfoil plants in June. This caddis was associated with significant damage to milfoil plants and kept the milfoil plants at a competitive disadvantage until late in the summer.
Two Species of Long Horned Caddis Fly
Milfoil bed development appears to be facilitated by sediment movement. Erosion is responsible for tons of sediment entering the lake and milfoil growth is profuse. The sediment plumes are associated with reservoir feeder streams in the south end of the lake. Storm water sediments bring in nutrients that encourage plant and algae growth.
Bad land use, lawns, unpaved roadways, wintertime salted paved roads and bare earth ditches surrounding our lake tend to abet sediment movement. These actions in turn raise concerns about salt, fertilizers and the use of ditching. Sidewalks, driveways, rooftops and even lawns facilitate the down slope of nutrients and pesticides into the lake. Salt use facilitates Eurasian water milfoil dominance.
Mechanical harvesting as well as chemical control have been used in many lakes around the county to try to control milfoil. Harvesting, if not done repeatedly over the course of a season, can result in denser growth. Because of the cost associated with this method of weed control, the TLA has opted to cut when the plants are at the peak of their seasonal growth – usually around the end of July. Unfortunately, insects living on the upper portion of the plants are killed. A little considered fact is that harvesting may kill four percent or more of the young fish in harvested areas.
Chemical applications as weed controls are very costly and their full, long- term environmental effects are not known. Cazenovia Lake suppression efforts worked well the first year of application, however, the decomposing biomass fertilizes new plant growth. Lake Moraine also uses a chemical application every few years. They have to reapply chemicals because the decaying plants fertilize new growth.
Milfoil weevils and midges were also studied in the collection of plant specimens. While insect herbivores are unlikely to eradicate milfoil in any body of water, they do have the potential to keep Eurasian milfoil from impeding recreation by keeping it from reaching the water surface. In some cases they help reduce the percentage of biomass in the plant community to single digits. While fish predation plays an important part in herbivore survivability, other forms of herbivore predation must be considered. Bats as well as predacious invertebrates, dragonflies, damselflies, hydras, water mites and flatworms are among possible limiting factors on herbivore counts.
larvae on stem
Paul Lord recommends stocking walleye fingerlings in addition to the fry currently stocked by the state every spring. That would ensure consistent suppression of insect eating fish (sun fish) and facilitate diversity of milfoil herbivores. The TLA will consider his recommendation and determine a possible course of action. Biomass harvesting will be done this summer according to word received from the Madison County Planning Department; extra harvesting may be required in the areas that are prone to heavy weed growth like the shallow south end of the lake and other areas Lord identified as problematic.
The estimated cost for the current general study is about $9,000 plus another $2,500 for electro fishing. Our share of the study costs were provided by Madison County. We expect the County will continue to fund additional study research through 2012. Expect to see Paul Lord at the lake this summer working on the next phases of the study.
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Finally: The Fish are Coming in June…all 50,000 of ‘em
By Mike Curran
The walleye fingerlings have been ordered – 50,000 of them and they will go into the lake in the middle of June. They will be raised by and delivered to the lake by Steve Sanford of the Sanford Fish Farm. Sanford will use a pond near Lincklaen, NY to raise the fish and he will certify their health before they go into the lake. After three years of study and research, we are underway.
Walleye fingering. Most 2″ – 4″ when placed in the lake in early August 2013. They should have grown several inches by late fall. The fingerlings were placed in the lake in a weedy shallow area on the peninsula near Shady Lane.
Three years ago Tioughnioga Lake Association (TLA) began to take part in and support a study to control Eurasian milfoil. The TLA worked cooperatively with the Madison County Planning Department, the major study support source. The purpose of the study, conducted by Professor Paul Lord from the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, was to determine the best way to control the growth and spread of Eurasian milfoil. The study consisted of various surface and underwater aquatic macrophyte surveys as well as three night-electrofishing surveys and an in-depth review of twenty-four years of water chemistry data from the New York State CSLAP program. DeRuyter Lake data was compared and contrasted to the findings of earlier studies from other Madison County lakes.
At the 2012 Labor Day meeting of the lake association, the membership received a final report from Paul Lord titled, “2011 Eurasian Water Milfoil Growth and Milfoil Herbivore Insect Impacts in DeRuyter Reservoir.” One of the major conclusions of the report was that if walleye fingerlings (2” – 3”) were stocked along with the current walleye fry (pin head size) stocked by the DEC, there would be constant suppression of insect eating fish (mostly bluegills and sunfish) and, ergo, success in the effort to facilitate diversity and expansion of insect eating herbivores. Fingerlings have a much better survival rate than the walleye fry. The fry seem to become fish food. Electro fishing results concur with that conclusion. The walleye fish count in the lake is very low.
Last fall TLA President Richard Alter, a representative from Lebanon Reservoir (where the walleye fish stocking program was successful in the recent past) and I met with staff of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation in Cortland. We briefed them on the study findings and our plan. We told them that we believe this plan will increase the walleye survival rate and population and consequently have a significant impact by reducing the bluegill/sunfish population. These walleyes, as they grow will eat the small bluegill and sunfish and have a positive impact on the survival of a strong herbivore insect population. The herbivore insect population appears to biologically control milfoil. They eat the milfoil.
At the Sept. 2012 meeting of the TLA, the membership passed a resolution to support Paul Lord’s study recommendations and authorized the expenditure of up to $5000 per year of the three-year program with the proviso that other entities (Madison County (in for $5000 annually) and the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation) (in for $10,000 annually) agree to participate in the implementation of the study… recommendations at an estimated cost for just the fish of $20,000 per year. They did. That $60,000 minimum nut is out there.
The project has received commitments from the Madison County Planning Dept. to participate in the fish stocking program and its progress. There are funding commitments as well from the Town of DeRuyter, the Town of Cazenovia, the Town of Fabius and the Onondaga County. The newly established Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation has committed to raising $13,500 a year for this project. The Foundation’s ability to fulfill its commitment to this project will depend in large part on generous, tax-deductible contributions from lake association members.
In the long view, after the three-year stocking, there will need to be continual monitoring of the progress. Additional stocking will depend upon the findings of new weed surveys and electro-fishing results. Future program costs will be contingent upon fish (walleye) survivability. The total annual cost of this program is estimated at $35,000 – where the fish stocking costs are picked up as described and additional expenses covered by these or other entities. This program is environmentally safe and is a prudent step toward control of the milfoil based on in-depth scientific study.
This natural method to control milfoil will be used in conjunction with our current weed harvesting program. Hopefully, the extent of weed harvesting needed will be reduced as the milfoil growth is under control. At the moment, weed harvesting is not enough to control an almost out of control aquatic weed vegetation problem and Paul Lord suggests improper or poorly timed weed harvesting may exacerbate the milfoil problem.
Thanks to the many contributors to the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation, this project will finally be underway. It is important that all of the TLA members support the ongoing efforts by the TLA and the foundation. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated, whether it be $25.00 or $50,000+. The best thing we can say to each other and the community at large is that we all are part of the team that supports our unique opportunity to get a hold on the problem of the invasive Eurasian milfoil.
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AIM (AQUATIC INVASIVE MANAGEMENT) IS THE COMPANY THAT HAS WORKED WITH THE UPPER SARANAC LAKE FOUNDATION TO CONTROL MILFOIL VIA DIVER ASSISTED HARVESTING. THE PROGRAM STARTED IN 2004 AND HAS PROVEN TO BE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL. WE HAVE ATTACHED THE 2013 REPORT WHICH DESCRIBES WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING AND THE DOCUMENTATION ON THE SUCCESS.
DIVER ASSISTED HARVESTING IS A PROGRAM THAT CAN BE EFFECTIVELY USED AT WOODRIDGE LAKE AND WHICH IS COMPATIBLE WITH BIOLOGICAL CONTROLS.
TO VIEW THIS REPORT, PLEASE CLICK BELOW:
THE CONNECTICUT DEEP JUST RELEASED ITS 2014 GUIDEBOOK FOR NUISANCE AQUATIC VEGETATION MANAGEMENT. WE HAVE ATTACHED IT TO THIS POST. THIS GUIDEBOOK LISTS WAYS TO MANAGE THIS VEGETATION AND WHAT NOT TO DO.
PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE GUIDEBOOK.