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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

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

The end of a season is the beginning of the next                                    Fran Rotunno Fish

The Milfoil Team has finished up the work of rolling up and picking up 5 acres of matting that were put down this year. The good news is that the mats remain in good condition and are able to be reused again next year. The work plan for the summer was facilitated by great weather for the Milfoil Team with warm weather and few stormy, windy or rough water days. Their work continues now with getting the boats and equipment cleaned, winterized and any necessary repairs made.

This week we have received a notice of the presence of Hydrilla in the south end of Cayuga Lake. This rapidly growing invasive vegetation is one we absolutely do not want to find its way into Skaneateles Lake. While we continue to have our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards on duty at the State Boar Launch on weekends for another week or so, our funding does not allow us to continue them 7 days a week or continue them at other launches. Our signs are up at each launch and we hope they will be effective at getting everyone who comes to launch to stop and before launching and sure their watercraft and trailer are clean, drained and dry of all animal and vegetable material and mud. Of course, even better, it would be great if all would learn to take the time to do so before they come to launch.

Many or our readers are beginning to get the exterior of their homes ready for the winter season. It is time to “batten down the hatches”. That is even more important for any of those whose “back yard” is the lake front. We should not be fooled into thinking the low lake level means we do not have to move things off the shore line and secure them from movement back to the shore (or the lake) by wind and rain or wave action. We have already had a “contact us” message this week about a raft that broke away and a request for any help we could give in locating it. It is wise to identify your ownership of any items you leave in the lake (e. g. mooring buoys) or equipment that you leave anywhere that the lake waters or wind could “reclaim” them to the lake. Good neighbors will generally get things back to you, but some identification helps to ensure that. We still have “Alex” as we have named him, a black metal silhouette of a dog on a spike with a spring who bounces around our “beach” and helps keep the geese away.   We put him on the “lost and found” section of our website 3 years ago, but no one has claimed him. He does not eat much, does not have to be cleaned up after, and does a pretty good job and we would miss him, but still if someone claims him we are happy to return him.

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Milfoil Boat: 9/12/16 Karen & Paul Black (2015 donation), 9/13/16 Greenfield Lane Association (2015 donation), 9/14/16 Deborah & William Delaney (2015 donation), Cate and Sally, Janet & Donald Frank, 9/15/16 Annette & Peter Becker (2015 donation), Mary & Paul Torrisi, William & Barbara Dean, George Ann & Edwin Bock, 9/16/16 Jackie & Steve Miron

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards: 7/20/16 Deb & Jim Tifft, 7/21/16 Mary & Michal Hearn, 7/22/16 Jeanne & Kenneth Hutton, 7/23/16 Darcy & Douglas Sedgwick, 7/24/16 Susan & James Solomon, 7/25/16 Virginia & Jeffrey Stannard, 7/26/16 – 7/29/16 Donations to the Hardy Fund made by an Anonymous Donor, Kristopher Scholl, Jennifer & Bill Mayo, Ellie & Chet Benoit, Robert J. Congel.

There are a number of additional individuals have made donations this year to support the work of the Milfoil Boat and Team. Those donations will be funding our early operations in 2017. In order to be fiscally responsible we must have those funds on hand in order to contract for the work we will do next year. The donations of these individuals will be specifically noted in our columns in the summer of 2017.

Please join us for 2016 at SkaneatelesLake.org or call 315-685-9106 and we will mail you a 2016 member registration form.

Source: Skaneateles Press

 

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

The Beautiful Lake and Quality of the Water ….the tagline for many, many rentals.       Fran Rotunno Fish

We have started to get a variety of inquiries on our “contact us” tab on our website, SkaneatelesLake.org. Some are from those who want to tell us about weed location that they think is milfoil or have concerns about something someone has done on lakefront property that “is not good” for the lake. Early in the spring we get inquiries from young people looking for employment as Lake Stewards. Some of the inquiries are quite unique including one from a young woman whose grandmother was listing her property for sale and wanted to know if the SLA could provide confirmation that the property included lake rights. We follow up on all the inquiries including in one case finding a job for a young man for whom we had no Steward position, but we did know landscaper who needed help. But, the most telling inquiry came to us recently from a woman who had rented a place for a week on the lake and contacted the SLA via the website to find out if it was safe for her children to swim in the water…did we have blue-green algae?

That inquiry prompted me to do some research on the various Skaneateles vacation rental sites on line. I knew there were many, but I was a bit surprised to find out how many. I reviewed many of them and was not surprised to note that each included the fact that the property was on or near “beautiful Skaneateles Lake” or the ad spoke to property being on or near the “clear beautiful water of Skaneateles Lake”. I recognized some of the properties and know they are beautiful, but certainly from the photos I could see they all had a certain charm and all of them sold “Skaneateles Lake” as part of what the experience of renting the property would include. I was pleased to recognize that a few of the properties are owned by those who are annual members of the Skaneateles Lake Association, but certainly not all of them.

It seems that if a property owner recognizes and advertises beautiful Skaneateles Lake and its clear water as a major amenity of a property, that that every one of those owners would see being an annual member of the SLA as a small cost of doing business.

As the Board of Directors of the SLA begins to develop our work plan for next year (matting and hand harvesting milfoil and maintaining Stewards at the major launch sites) that planning is done in consideration of the monies we have to fund the work plan. We look to all who live on the lake or have lake rights; all who generate income from property because of the amenity of lake frontage, lake access or just being in the lake community; all who use the lake for recreation; all whose businesses thrive because people come to this lake community to live, rent or just visit for the day; and all who love the lake to be annual members of the Skaneateles Lake Association. You can join the SLA at SkaneatelesLake.org or by calling 315-685-9106 and asking for a member registration form to be mailed to you.

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Milfoil Boat: 8/22 Marie and Joseph Grasso, Anna Marie and Carl Gerst, Ann Hinchcliff, Julie & Joe Scuderi; 8/23 Elsa & Peter Soderberg; 8/24 Deborah & Gary Hind; 8/25 Margaret Tourville, Debra Hurley & Ira Goldberg; 8/26 Kimball & James Kraus; 8/29 Cookie & Jack Helmer, Helen & Keith Simonelli; 8/30 Julie and James Moore; 8/31 Anonymous, Shadowlawn Lake Corporation, Patricia & David Stone; Mary Marshall; 9/1 Carrie Lazarus & Dave Birchenough; 9/2 Salli & Jim Tuozzolo; 9/6 Maggie & Ed Dienst; 9/7 Barbara & Myron Egtvedt, Deborah & Marty Hubbard, Jill & Todd Marshall, Norma & David McCarthy; 9/8 Jerry Gebo & Bill Rosenthal; 9/9 Carol & Alex Protasiewicz, Barbara Benedict & Duncan Wormer, Elet & John Callahan, Mandana Barn (Heather & Tim Carroll.

Source: Skaneateles Press

 

 

News from the SLA: There are some limits

Fran Rotunno Fish

Last week while Bob Werner was surveying the lake for areas of milfoil which could be included in the matting done next year, he and SLA Board Member, Bill Dean, had the opportunity to talk with a number of people who live on the lake. We received much positive feedback during those conversations in regard to the work we have done and the progress we have made in controlling the presence of milfoil. However, we do know that there are areas where the milfoil removal and control process has not been able to be carried out as successfully. Two of our board members recently spoke with a couple on the south end of the lake who stated that they had been members of the SLA early on, but not recently, because they thought the SLA had forgotten the south end of the lake. Because the SLA board is sensitive to the concerns of the entire lake community, it takes this opportunity to explain the limits of what we can do.

Everyone needs to know that our efforts to remove and control milfoil growth are done with sanction/permission of specific governmental organizations. The sanctions/permission we have is only for efforts related to Eurasian Milfoil and no other vegetation. While originally our work was done with permission from the DEC, more recently the NY State Office of General Services, who have jurisdiction over the bottom of the lake from the low water mark to the bottom of the lake, is coming into the picture.

The matting of milfoil that is done each year is first of all limited by the amount of matting we have, which is 5 acres and the time we have to put it down given the seasonal weather (winds/storms), water temperature, the size of the team and number of boats and equipment we can put to work each year. For the past few years, with the funds we raise from member dues and small government contributions, our work plan and manpower is one team of divers working with the 3 types of boats equipped to do the various work. The amount of hand harvesting we can do in a year is limited by the time it takes to get the 5 acres of mats into place. That time is very much dependent on weather and water conditions.

There are other conditions that control the areas where we can put down mats. Areas where the lake bottom is very rocky are very difficult to mat as the divers cannot get the mats down flat enough to do the job of “killing” the milfoil. Areas where the bottom is very sloped are also difficult to mat, again because of the inability to get the matting secured in its position against the lake bottom. Finally, areas that are very “silty” are either impossible or difficult to mat as the divers’ vision is compromised the first time they put a foot on the bottom of the lake due to the silt clouding the water and impairing the view needed to safely continue to work. Another important principle we follow in our work plan is to focus on the largest patches, regardless of location, as they have the greatest potential for propagating more milfoil.

Unfortunately, the south end of the lake has many areas where both matting and hand harvesting very difficult to do because of the topography of the lake bottom or the amount of silt on the lake bottom.   So it may of concern to some that we are not directing as much specific action on the south end of the lake or are not directing it to an area of significant milfoil growth in the south end of the lake.   However, it must be noted that any milfoil growth control and removal anywhere in the lake is of benefit to the entire lake as all milfoil is a potential propagator of more milfoil.

We hope that these explanations will make it clear that our lake wide efforts benefit all of the lake community. We look to all with a vested interest in the lake to be annual members of the SLA, providing input in guiding our future work and financial support via the annual SLA member registration fee.

It has come to our attention that there may be individuals who are dealing with milfoil and, perhaps, other lake weeds with their own method of “harvesting.” This involves using a boat to drag an old spring mattress on the lake bottom to pull weeds out. Unfortunately, this method has a very poor outcome. First of all it creates thousands of fragments of milfoil which can send out roots and implant wherever it lands on the lake bottom and second of all, depending upon wind direction, it leaves a collection of milfoil on someone else’s shoreline to deal with.

You can join the SLA at SkaneatelesLake.org or by calling 315-685-9106 and asking for a member registration form to be mailed to you.

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Milfoil Boat: 8/5/16 David Graham, 8/8/16 & 8/9/16 Carrie Lazarus and David Birchenough, 8/10/16 The Bryce Family Foundation; 8/11/16 Christine & James Hueber, Steve Mott, Randy Cobb & Jackie Brown, Linda & Russell Ruthig, Joyce & Robin Jowasis, 8/12/16 Jill & Kurt Rosell, 8/15/16 Jackie & Steve Miron, 8/16/16 & 8/17/16 Deborah & Edward Brennan, 8/18/16 Lorraine Rapp & Jeffrey Kirshner, Lynne Bales & John Priest, Jennifer Sutherland, Lynne & Dave Curtin, 8/19/16 Kathy and Paul Leone

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards: 7/13/16 the Kelly Family, 8/14/16-8/19/16 Gretchen & Buzz Roberts

Source: Skaneateles Press

 

 

The Work and Planning is Ongoing

Fran Rotunno Fish

The Skaneateles Lake Association Milfoil Crew has completed the component of the 2016 season plan that involves laying down 5 acres of matting on large, defined milfoil patches. The areas that were matted this year were defined by a survey of the lake done by Bob Werner last year during the late summer and early fall. While the boat Bob uses to do the survey is equipped with a camera and instrumentation that facilitates the survey, he also checks areas of concern that have been brought to our attention by good neighbors to the lake who keep their “eyes on the lake.” In between the time the mats have all been put down and the time they can begin to be rolled up (approximately 8 weeks), the Milfoil Team does hand weeding in areas around the mats and other areas of the lake where the lake bottom does not facilitate the use of matting. There are areas on both the southwest and east side of the lake that are being hand harvested this year. About 8 weeks after the first mats were put down the Milfoil Team begins to roll them up in the order they were put down so that each area is matted for approximately 8 week. After the mats are all rolled up the team goes back to each site and picks up the rolled mats using the pontoon boat that specifically equipped for lifting the wet, very heavy rolled mats.

Right now Bob Werner is surveying the lake to identify large areas of milfoil that should be matted next year….the work of controlling milfoil is continuous and so is the work for planning that control. Later this summer and in the fall and winter, the SLA Board of Directors will be meeting to plan what the milfoil control work plan will be next summer given our financial status. The Board will also be discussing the ongoing efforts and need for new efforts to get more and more people who benefit from this lake to be members of the SLA. It is predominately the ANNUAL membership dues that drive the scope of our work plan. In the past we have repeatedly reached out to all lakefront owners and owners with lake rights. We are pleased to have increasing support from those who just love the lake and value the quality of the lake water as a source of drinking water. However, we know that far too many are not and have never been members of the SLA despite the fact that they benefit from the lake as lake front/lake rights owners, regular recreational users of the lake or businesses which thrive because this beautiful lake is an incredible source of customers both for what they sell and what services they provide

There are 3 components to being a good neighbor to the lake, JOIN ANNUALY, KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE LAKE AND CONTACT US VIA OUR WEBSITE IF YOU THINK YOU SEE A PROBLEM AND ASK YOUR NEIGBORS AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE LAKEFRONT OR LAKE RIGHTS PROPERTY OR USE THE LAKE FOR RECREATION AND FELLOW BUSSINESSES TO JOIN NOW AND EVERY YEAR. We can’t do it without all of you.

You can join the Skaneateles Lake Association and become our mission by going to SkaneatelesLake.org to complete your registration and pay your annual dues or you can use the form in our recently mailed newsletter. If you would like a registration form mailed to you please call 315-685-9106 and leave a message with your name and mailing address.

The SLA thanks the following individuals and organizations for their additional donations in support of the Milfoil Boat and the Lake Stewards:

Milfoil Boat Sponsors: 6/27/16 Sidney Devorsetz; 6/28 & 6/29/16 Beecher Graham & Jonathan Brodock; 6/30/16 Ann 7 Gary dower, Margaret Bersani, Ann & David Lee, Patricia & William McAvoy; 7/1/16 & 7/5/16 – 7/8/16 & 7/11 -7/12/16 The Kaufman Foundation; 7/13/16 Sharon & Steve Songer, Eleanor & Ben Ware, Maureen & Joseph Wilson, Robert Scheer; 7/14/16 Johanna 7 Gianfranco Frittelli; 7/15/16 Nancy Douglas, Barbara & Jed Delmonico; 7/18/16 Deborah & Richard Hole, Deborah & James Tifft, Joan Christy & Tom Bersani, Noreen & Michael Falcone; 7/19/16 Candace & John Marsellus; 7/20/16 Jason Slottje; 7/21/16 Janet & William Davis; 7/27/16 Louisa & John Cohlan; 7/25/16 Donna & William Davis; 7/26/16 Hobbitt Hollow Farm, Alice & Ned Houser, Ursula & David Hutton, Lynn Lenihan; 7/27/16 Lake Farms LLC, Carol Krumhansl & Jeff Roberts, Lisa and Michael Wetzel, Carolyn Kay & Donald Babcock; 7/28/16 Amy & Christopher Neumann; 7/29/16 Rochelle & Mac Cummings; 8/2/16 Libby & Arnie Rubenstein; 8/2/16 Marjorie & Kenneth Blanchard; 8/3/16 Christine Larson & Vincent Dupolis; 8/4/16 Lynn Cleary & David Duggan.

Steward Sponsors: 6/21 Barbara & William Dean; 6/22 Mary Socci & Peter White; 6/23/16 Finger Lakes on Tap; 6/24/16 Christine & Robert Pierce; 6/25 & 26/16 Taci & Roland Anderson; 6/27/16 Mary & Paul Torrisi; 6/28/16 Paula & Edward Conan; 6/29/16 Jacqueline & Charles Giancola; 6/30/16 Patty & Marvin Langley; 7/1/16 Jean & John Vincent; 7/2/16 Robert Parsons; 7/3/16 Ann Kilian; 7/4/16 Kathyrn & Robert Flagliarone; 7/5/16 Suzzane & David Nagle; 7/6/16 Sharon & John Paddock; 7/8 – 7/12/12 Contributions to the David Lee Hardy Fund from Sandra Attleson, The Hardy SFamily, Margaret Sennett, Mary and Frank Szczech, Deborah and Jim Tifft, Marianne Lont, Nancy Murray, Patricia Orr, Mary Sennett & Robert Leiss, Mary & Paul Torrisi, Barbara & Robert Amsler

Source:  Skaneateles Press