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


Fall Work for the SLA and Watershed Residents       Fran Rotunno Fish

The Fall Season is upon us.

The Milfoil Team is picking up the last of the 230 mats totaling 6 acres that have been deployed over large patches of Milfoil earlier this past summer. First mats down are the first to be rolled up and removed. So, at this point we are working on the last mats that went down. We need to leave them down for 6 – 8 weeks for effective control of the Milfoil. It is difficult work that needs a reasonably calm lake to be done.

We are also beginning the process of planning for next year. Bob Werner and Bill Dean have been out surveying the lake at depths where milfoil can grow. They do this with sonar equipment attached to Bob’s boat that records the vegetation as they pass over it. All the data is sent for analysis to a company that uses the GPS location of the boat and synchronizes the location with the underwater image so that we can locate the patches of milfoil. Once the patches are identified statistics on the size and depth of the patch are developed. The largest patches are prioritized to be matted in the following year. It is a process that takes a lot of time (and we need to note that is VOLUNTEER TIME) and again requires calm conditions on the lake to do the work.

Many of our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards have gone back to school or college, but we have great senior stewards out there continuing their work to protect the lake from invasive species that are not just physically unattractive but also are potential risk factors in the development of harmful algal bloom.

Our entire SLA Board and its committees are continuing to investigate programs and techniques to prevent algal blooms and our committed community HAB monitoring volunteers are keeping their eyes on the lake, reporting and collecting specimens. We have had some smaller, but still ugly algal blooms, but thankfully as I write this no major ones that have not quickly dissipated. Lesson is clear – cyanobacteria are out there in the lake and just the right mixture of conditions of water condition, temperature, sunlight and nutrients can bring them to a head.

Along with all that we have been giving one on one advice and reference resources to individual residents for their specific problem or issues.

The Fall season also brings work for our watershed residents and we urge you to carryout a Fall workplan that helps to protect the lake water, your property and the property of other.

As you clean your yards whether on the waterfront or elsewhere in the watershed, please do not rake leaves or grass clippings into the lake, any tributary, or any roadside ditch. Large amounts of phosphorus are released from their decomposition….large amounts ….and raking or blowing them into the lake or any water that ends up in the lake adds to the nutrient load of the lake. Please mulch those leaves and grass clipping and mulch them well. Leave them on the lawn to promote its health instead of promoting disease in the lake. On our property we have so many leaves that we rake a good portion of them onto a tarp. Dump them on the driveway, mulch them like mad and then use them to put a “winter coat” on our plants. If you have a compost pile then you have another resource for reusing them. It takes a little effort on the part of all of us in the watershed to take care of the lake and its water. So be a guardian of the lake and take the effort.

The high-water level and the wind storm last week put many people out on the lake or calling neighbors (and calling the SLA) looking for the property they had lost to the lake. There were parts of docks, floats, kayaks, etc. loose on the lake and people out looking for them. Remember, your loose item on the lake is not just at risk to loss or damage, but other people’s property is at risk to damage from it. Please be sure to move all possible items far from the shoreline as both the winter and spring storms can be waterfront thieves. It is a good idea to put identification of some kind on anything that you leave out during the winter even if has always been secure in years past. If you have a mooring, consider removing the mooring buoy and sinking the chain part way.   If you do not do this, put some ID on the buoy and check to ensure the chain and buoy connection are secure.

The final part of the Fall workplan for the SLA Board of Directors is to look at our finances and plan what we can do in 2020. While this SLA Board is all volunteer, the SLA is a business that has all the expenses of any business. It also has the responsibility to only contract for work for which there are funds to pay for it. That means that the final part of the Fall workplan for all of our watershed residents is to ensure that you have paid your annual SLA dues for 2019. We simply cannot do what we do without you. In the next few weeks we will be sending reminders by email or letter to all whose annual dues are overdue.   Help us make that list smaller by joining today. You can join online at or you can call 3125-558-3142 for a registration form.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer