Officials see results with lake treatment
TRI-COUNTY AREA—Lamoka Lake’s chemical weed treatment appears to be helping to ease the nuisance plaguing lake shore residents. Taking place in late May, Lamoka Lake underwent a $96,000 chemical treatment to help stop the spread of the invasive species Eurasian Milfoil. While the treatment does not target the growth of excessive native plants, the treatment combined with the weather conditions appear to be keeping weeds from becoming as big a problem they have been in recent years.
“[The chemical treatment] was done in May and it met with some good success,” Lamoka-Waneta Lake Association (LWLA) President Terry Allison said. “It’s for Eurasian Milfoil, it’s not for all the weeds. We have had in the past extremely high growth of our native plants, but we are not allowed to touch our native plants due to [Department of Environmental Conservation] (DEC) regulations.”
Allison said the treatment applied the chemical Renovate to Lamoka Lake only.
“There are different types of weeds, and they each have their own growth cycle,” Allison said. “We have already been through one growth cycle of a particular weed, it came and it went. [...] When we do the treatment, we try to get there as soon as the sprouts begin to appear with the milfoil. We have people who go out and check all of our quadrants and they determine where exactly the milfoil is, and those are the areas we treat.”
Allison said the lake is broken up into more than 100 quadrants, but only the ones that have the invasive species were treated. She said not only are the chemicals working well to combat the invasive species, but the native plant growth has also been down as well due to the weather so far this spring and summer. Allison said while three or four weeks of continual hot weather could cause more growth, so far, Lamoka Lake has been in better shape this year.
“We have a low growth of the native plants,” Allison said. “This is my opinion and I am not a scientist, but I think it has to do with the amount of rainfall we have been getting. We have had to keep opening the dam and washing the water out because we have way too much water. We keep having fresh water on a frequent basis so the lake is not stagnant, and we have a lot of high winds this year on a continual basis it seems. The weather pattern is different and I really think the weed growth has a lot to do with the weather that we have.”
Meanwhile, on Waneta Lake, plans are in place to install an aeration system at the north end of the lake in August of this year. Allison said the treatment should cost $112,000 and will move oxygenated water to the bottom to help reduce growth. She said the DEC has signed off on the project and does not involve chemicals, instead dealing with the stagnated water.
However, the conditions are expected to remain unchanged on the lake from previous years. “They are not as bad as they were last year at the current time, but we are not into the prime growing season,” LWLA board member Terry Fisk said. “I expect it will be [as bad as last year] because we haven’t done anything on this lake this year.”
Fisk said the aeration project going in later this year will not have any effect this summer because it will be past the growing season by the time they start. He said the only thing that can be done to remedy the coming situation this year is for homeowners to rake the weeds, pulling them out of the lake instead of letting them float on top.
“Coming next year we hope the aeration project will take care of the weeds in most of the Waneta area,” Fisk said. “Then we will evaluate if we want to continue that further down and into Lamoka.”