Fran Rotunno Fish
Skaneateles Lake is open and people are jumping in…docks are being put in, the fishing and recreational boats are out there, kayakers and paddlers are enjoying the beauty of the early season on the lake, and soon, I am sure, we will see water-skiers in wet suits showing off their skills.
Do not let this peaceful early season scene erase from your memory the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) of the fall of 2017 that defied the community’s long held belief that our lake was safe from such an event. The ingredients for another HAB remain the same: warm water, a stable water column, sun and nutrients in the lake. The only ingredient we can control is the nutrients.
Responding to the HAB, the Skaneateles Lake Association develop a draft 4-part Action Plan in October 2017 and several community members with specific expertise to share jumped in and joined, spending many days and long hours with our board members community to get the specifics of the plan outlined and the cost estimated for Nutrient Management component of the SLA Plan. With the announcement from the Governor that there would be state funding in the future for HAB Action Plans, our SLA effort became even more important as the data collection portion of our Nutrient Management Plan would provide significant support for state grant funding applications. There will be more detail about all of this in our Newsletter which will be mailed out at the end of May and our 2018 Annual Meeting on June 30th.
Our Watershed Community Citizens Task Force has already held the first of its planned forums to educate the watershed community. A forum on using Native Plantings to Improve Water Quality was held in April and on June 6th at 7 pm at the Skaneateles Hight School Auditorium you can jump in and join the forum on Harmful Algal Blooms & Water Quality with guest speaker and HAB expert Dr. Tim Davis.
Right now, every resident of the Skaneateles Lake watershed has the opportunity to jump in and join the effort to control the nutrient level of the lake water: reduce lawn areas, plant native plants especially on the lake front, set your lawn mower at 2.5 – 3 inches (or have your lawn service do the same), leave lawn clippings in place to enrich the soil and encourage root growth which promotes soil retention and filtration (clippings DO NOT create thatch), protect your trees (do not tunnel mulch) as they are terrific filters of water, test your soil as most soil in the watershed does not need fertilization (testing kits available at the Skaneateles Town Office), avoid or limit the use of chemical pesticides, check with your septic service provider re an appropriate schedule for septic tank service depending on the size of your tank and your household, check out the grants available for septic system replacement or upgrade, and if you have waterfront, rake the leaves off your shoreline so that the higher summer water does not take them into the lake.
We are going to have other volunteer positions available for community members to conduct tributary and stream monitoring. Information about these positions will be on our website and you could jump in and join in this active role to collect the data we need to plan for effective preventive interventions.
Plan to jump in and join Mid-Lakes Navigation’s celebration of their 50th Anniversary on June 2nd. The event is not only a celebration of Mid-Lakes, but also a benefit for the SLA.
Please plan to jump in and join us at the SLA’s 2018 Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 30th from 5 – 7 pm at Lourdes Camp. Details are on our website (SkaneatelesLake.org) under the News/Events tab
Finally, if you live on the lake; if you boat, swim, kayak, sail or paddle the lake; if you fish the lake; if you drink the lake water; if the lake draws customers to your business; or if you just love the lake, shouldn’t you be a member of the Skaneateles Lake Association? Jump in and join today. You can join on line at SkaneatelesLake.org or call 315-685-9106 for a registration form.
Please thank the following for Sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day: Amy & Christopher Neumann, Sally & Robert Neumann, Victoria & Richard Meyer, Tacie & Roland Anderson, Jennifer Sutherland, Gretchen & Buzz Roberts, Marjorie & Kenneth Blanchard, Louisa & John Cohlan, Deborah & Edward Brennan, Libby & Arnold Rubenstein, Laurel Moranz & John MacAllister, Donna & William Davis, Dawn & Lew Allyn, Mary Ellen & Joseph Hennigan, Elsa & Peter Soderberg, Jeannie & Henry Slauson, Janet & Bill Allyn, Candace & John Marsellus, Maclaren & Rochelle Cummings, Elmer Richards & Sons, Jane & Peter Hueber, Nancy & Douglas McDowell.
We have many who have co-sponsored our Milfoil Boar, sponsored a Steward and contributed the Hardy Fund and we will be listing them in our next news article.
Source: Skaneateles Press