ALERT: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been observed in the south eastern end of the lake.  LEARN MORE


Annual Meeting on the waterfront of the home of Ted and Nancy Norman on Sunday, One hundred thirty members of the Skaneateles Lake Association gathered for its 2015 July 15th. After far too much rain on too many days, the event was held with not even a threat of rain.

Those attending had the opportunity to enjoy the view of the lake, meet old and new lovers of the lake, partake of refreshments and hear updates on the work of the SLA. SLA President, Paul Torrisi, welcomed all of the members noting that over 10 years ago a small group of citizens who were concerned about the lake water started a swell of concerned citizens that has resulted in the SLA of today.

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.

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.   Following Bill & Bob’s report, John Menapace, Milfoil Project Coordinator, shared with those attending that the Milfoil Team had put down 5 acres of matting over large milfoil patches identified by Bob Werner in the lake survey done last fall. John noted that the team would now start hand harvesting around the matting and in other areas that cannot be matted. SLA Board Vice President, Buzz Roberts, introduced the members of the Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards Team and shared the launches covered by the team and their schedules. Fran Fish gave a report on the current SLA membership and asked all present to please check the current member listing on the website and reach out to someone who was not listed, but who should be a member. Following these reports there were questions from those in attendance about lake issues including the apparent increase in foam and its potential causes, lake level, and erosion.

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.

Source:  Skaneateles Journal


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