Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

If You Think Eurasion Milfoil is Bad, Check This Out!

Paul Torrisi

The Skaneateles Lake Association, Inc. through its membership and generous donors has been fighting the invasion of Eurasian Milfoil in Skaneateles Lake since 2007. Nine years and over $2,000,000 later the potential environmental, recreational, and economic negative impact it would have created has been at least controlled. Although the invasive weed will never be completely eradicated from the ecosystem we feel with continued annual work (and money) we will be able to maintain the status achieved to date.

Not so with Hydrilla, if it ever enters and establishes a foothold in Skaneateles Lake! This invasive weed, originally from Korea, outcompetes native submerged aquatic vegetation and can quickly fill a pond or lake, growing in deep water up to 20 feet, thus choking off the near shore for swimming, boating, fishing and other recreational uses! It’s been located in the nearby Cayuga Lake inlet where it’s being treated with chemical herbicides the past few years and hopefully being contained. It is next to impossible to permanently remove otherwise. Because the Tubers or roots grow transversely under the lake bottom soil they are very difficult to hand pull by divers and resistant to current methods of benthic matting, such as the SLA is using for Milfoil control. We certainly can’t resort to chemical treatment in our precious water supply!

photo for 7.29.15 Skan Press article

Hydrilla Matted Over a Lake Water Surface

Hydrilla has been battled for years in Florida and elsewhere where many millions have been spent to eradicate and control, relatively unsuccessfully! It can grow very rapidly, up to a foot a day, and form dense mats under water and on the surface, potentially turning the pristine near shore area of a lake like ours into a smelly swamp with growth and decay of the vegetative matter!

SLA has ramped up its Stewardship Program in three short years, currently employing 8 staff to monitor various launch sites around the lake. Using inspection and educating techniques these dedicated young people are promoting prevention and control. Boaters are learning to CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY their boats and gear and anything that comes in contact with water!

We need to continue to escalate our Stewardship efforts and to keep Hydrilla and other invasives OUT of Skaneateles Lake. This takes money and lots of it!!

Increasing our annual renewed membership to SLA from about 600 the past two years to over 1,000 would be a terrific step in the right direction so we can continue to increase our support of these vital programs to help keep the lake “clear and pure!”

Go to to renew or start your membership and support, immediately!

The SLA thanks the following individuals for their additional donations in support of the Milfoil Boat and the Lake Stewards (names with an asterisk are those whose annual memberships and additional donations or a matching donation were received in the last few months of 2014):

Milfoil Boat Sponsors: July 17 Deborah & Joseph Paduda, Mark Allyn, Goffe Cottage, Mary Jane & Gary Lowery; July 20 John MacAllister & Lauren Moranz; July 21 Heather & David Wheat, Jane & Mason Howard, Demetra Vounas, Carolyn kaye & Donald Babcock; July 22 Christine Larsen & Vincent Dopolis; July 23 Deborah & Richard Hole, Ann Kilian, Jaime Tuozzolo , Joyce & Robin Jowaisas; July 27 Lori & James Ranalli, Patti & Marvin Langley, Lynne Boles & John Priest, Jennifer Sutherland; July 28 Candace & John Marcellus; July 29 Sara & Robert Neumann; July 30 Julie Scuderi, Deborah & James Tifft; July 31 Kathy & Paul Leone.

Steward Sponsors: July 16 Judy and Doug Robertson*; July 17 Mary Anne & John Winfield; July 18 Grace & Dan Labeille; July 19 Anonymous 3; July 20 Jill & Todd Marshall; July 21 – July 29 Jeannie & Henry Slauson.

Source: Skaneateles Press 7/29/15

Skaneateles Lake Association Celebrates its 5th Birthday at 2015 Annual Meeting

On Sunday, July 12th the Skaneateles Lake Association held its 2015 Annual Meeting on the lakefront of the home of Ted and Nancy Norman. Over 130 people were in attendance to visit with old friends while enjoying the beautiful lake view and meeting new folks from the lake community.

SLA President, Paul Torrisi, welcomed everyone to the meeting and shared a bit of history on the growth of the group from a small group of concerned citizens more than 10 years ago to the SLA of today. He emphasized the need for increasing our membership so that funding of our efforts is supported by more and more people via annual membership dues.

Fran Fish introduced our Onondaga County Legislator, Michael Plochocki. She shared with the assembled group that an article in the Neighbors West section of the newspaper indicated that the county legislature had funds available to support efforts that promoted tourism. Believing that there was nothing like the clear, pure water of Skaneateles Lake to promote tourists, the SLA submitted an application for the funds. It turned out the original source of funding that the SLA thought to exist, in fact, did not exist. However, Mr. Plochocki and the County Legislature Chairman, J. Ryan McMahon, III determined there was another source for the funding. Mr. Plochocki, who noted he had spent much of his youth at his family’ camp “just down the road”, presented the SLA Treasure, Robert Werner, with a check for $7,500 for the motor purchase.

Those attending heard reports on all of the efforts of the SLA aimed at keeping the water of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure. Dr. Robert Werner discussed several lake issues of concern recently, particularly the algae that people have been noticing in the near shore area in recent years. He noted that this was not unusual for other lakes and that the algae involved are not usually considered a problem. It is not the toxic blue-green algae that we have been hearing about in neighboring lakes. It may, however, reflect increased nutrient loading to the lake and if so should be watched.

Dr. William Dean summarized the activities of a “foam work group” organized by SLA to look into the causes and impact of foam on the lake. Bill pointed out that some foam was natural, but that we have been having what one would call excessive levels of foam in recent years. The fundamental reason for this is an increased presence of surfactants (organic compounds that facilitate the development of foam). The question yet to be resolved is what surfactants are we dealing with here and what is their source? Preliminary results suggest that the surfactants are not synthetic, man-made material, but instead naturally produced organic compounds.

John Menapace updated those attending on the status of this summer’s milfoil removal and control efforts noting that 5 acres of matting had been put down over large areas of milfoil growth and that hand harvesting of milfoil would not be started by the diving team.

Buzz Roberts introduced our Lake Stewards and explained their role in the prevention of introduction of other invasive species into the lake.

Fran Fish reported on the SLA membership noting that our total number of members at this point is a little behind where we were at this time last year. She asked those in attendance to go to our website, review the current member list and note anyone not on the list who should be. She noted that if each person in attendance was able to get one more person to join, the SLA membership would be well ahead of where it was at this time last year.

The SLA Board of Directors is appreciative to the following community members who made this meeting possible: the Norman’s for the use of their waterfront; Ann Kilian and the Greenfields for providing parking areas; the Mandana Inn and the Village Bottle Shop for generous consideration in pricing and Heather and Tim Carroll for the use of the Mandana Barn in the event of rain.

You can join the SLA easily at You can enhance your annual membership fee by paying it by check thus saving us the fee we would have to pay to PayPal for a credit card or PayPal account payment. If you do not have access to the internet call 315-685-9106 and I will send you a 2015 Registration Form and a return envelope.

Source:  Skaneateles Press