Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

A New Year Begins

At the January 3d Board of Directors meeting of the Skaneateles Lake Association plans for our 7th year of efforts to keep the waters of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure were defined.

Our Milfoil control program is being expanded with the purchase and preparation of another acre of Benthic matting so that we can increase the number of Milfoil patches we are able to mat and keep smaller patches from getting larger.

Our Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program will continue with Stewards being in place at the State Boat Launch daily and the Town of Skaneateles (Mandana) and Town of Scott boat launches on the weekends. We also will plan to have our Stewards in place if the launch at Glen Haven is improved with dredging and becomes more heavily used. We would like to plan to extend the period of coverage at the State Boat Launch through September. This would probably require looking for Stewards who are not students as so many of them become unavailable in late August. We are hoping we can find people in the community who would take on these temporary positions. Expanding the time period of coverage through September will also require more funding which can only be accomplished with more memberships. The State Boat Launch is heavily used by local, out of town and out of state boaters and it is essential that we protect the lake from invasive species that could be brought in from other bodies of water. As we stated previously, last year about 4% of the boats inspected by our Stewards came to the launch sited with plant or animal material on the watercraft or trailers….that is over 160 potential incidents of the introduction of other or additional invasive species into Skaneateles Lake. None of the plant or animal material removed was identified as being problematic but it only takes one.

The Board has set Sunday, July 9th for our 2017 annual meeting to be held in the “highlands” of Skaneateles Lake at the Niles property of Janet and Bill Stinson. The view of Skaneateles Lake from this property is the kind of view that inspires photographers and artists, but the view like so many of the views of the lake is a gift to anyone who has the opportunity to enjoy it. So mark your calendar today and plan to take the opportunity to enjoy the gift of this view on Sunday afternoon, July 9th from 5 – 7 pm.

Andy Zepp, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust gave a presentation to the Board on the Land Trust’s s Regional Conservation Agenda emphasizing Ten Conservation Strategies for the Finger Lakes Region to save the lands and waters that sustain agriculture, tourism and quality of life in the Finger Lakes. He noted that the strategies specifically focus on Skaneateles Lake. The Conservation Agenda will require extensive funding which must come from governmental entities/agencies, as well as, private donations. The Board of Directors of the Skaneateles Lake Association voted to have the Skaneateles Lake Association, Inc. officially support endorse the Land Trust’s Regional Conservation Agenda.

Our 2016 Membership Campaign has come to an end and while we are pleased with a slight increase in membership from 704 in 2015 to 720 in 2016, we are disappointed in the several hundred of those who benefit from the quality of water in Skaneateles Lake and yet have never contributed to the efforts of the SLA. The first group of people on that list of non contributors that is so disappointing is the group of owners of property with lake frontage or lake rights. But in addition to that group, there are also far too many who benefit from the lake as a source of recreation with all kinds of watercraft, as a source of customers for local business and contractors and, of course, as a source of drinking water. We encourage anyone in this group to visit our website and learn more about what we do to protect the recreational and drinking water source provided by Skaneateles Lake. We ask owners of rental property, contactors and vendors of property services to consider the business generated by those who come to Skaneateles because they are drawn here by this beautiful lake. All of these groups of people need to ask themselves what would it mean if Skaneateles Lake were not the treasure it is and then go to our website at SkaneatelesLake.org, click on the “become a member” tab and join us in our efforts. If you do not have access to the Internet please call 315-685-9106 as and ask for a Member Registration Form to be

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

It will take more (members) to do more!                           Fran Rotunno Fish

Milfoil Team Report: This past summer the Milfoil Team matted 5 acres of large milfoil patches. They also hand harvested small areas of milfoil around the patches and in other areas. The post season survey demonstrates good results, but smaller patches of milfoil are popping up. All milfoil anywhere in the lake has the potential for fragmenting and settling in to grow elsewhere in the lake.

Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Report: The SLS Stewards were on duty at the NYS Boat Launch daily and the Towns of Skaneateles and Scott launches and the Glen Haven Launch on weekends. They inspected over 4000 watercraft and trailers launching into the lake and 4% of those (160) came to the launch sites with plant or animal material on them that had to be removed. While none of the watercraft or trailers had the dreaded Hydrilla on them, it would only take one, launched when a Steward was not on duty, to bring Hydrilla to Skaneateles Lake. Please see July 25th 2015 article from the Skaneateles Press by Paul Torrisi on SkaneatelesLake.org under the News/Events Tab.

What the SLA Board would like to do in response to these two reports:

  1. Purchase the materials necessary (benthic matting and cable) to prepare an additional acre of matting to be used on the smaller patches of milfoil that are popping up. Cost – $10,000 – $15,000 – which equals 100 – 150 NEW members would be needed to cover the cost of just the purchase and preparation of the materials.
  2. Expand the hours and the season of days that Stewards are on duty. We are seeing many out of state boats being brought in by visitors, renters and those participating in fishing derbies. We have to have our Stewards on duty to ensure the watercraft and trailers brought to be launched are clean, drained and dry. Cost – $10,000 – which equals 100 NEW memberships.

If you are a waterfront owner, an owner with lake rights, keep a boat at a marina or club for use on the lake, if you kayak, paddle, canoe, or swim the lake, if your business has a customer base in people who come to/live in Skaneateles because of the lake or if you drink the lake water and you have not been an annual member of the SLA or have never been a member, now is the time to JOIN for 2016 and enable us to do more in 2017.

You can join the Skaneateles Lake Association online at SkaneatelesLake.com or call 315-685-9106 and ask for a registration form to be mailed to you.

Source: Skaneateles Press