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Weed group plans new assault

As cold weather sets into the region, the Otisco Lake weed kill group is getting organized and prepared for the next lake season.

At a meeting on Oct. 22 at the Amber Inn, the group chose the people who would lead them in the endeavor -- Anita Williams was chosen as president, John Linder is at the helm as vice president and dual secretaries are Linda Kelly and Kristin Ryan. Bob Sprague and Ed Moses were tentatively selected as treasurer and attorney, respectively.

With a board in place, the group of people filling the dining room at the bar and restaurant listened to more ways in which they can solve their problem from Bob Johnson, a scientist with the ecology and evolutionary biology program at Cornell University.

According to Johnson, the abundant vegetation causing the problem is an invasive species called coontail, which looks very similar to milfoil. However, the lake also is home to milfoil, as was stated at previous meetings, and another invasive species called curly pond weed.

There are four possible ways to rid the lake of invasive species of weeds, which include using the grass carp, herbicides, suctioning and using insects such as weevils and moths.

Ed Ryan said that one concern with using carp is that there is no way to predict where and what they are going to eat.

In order to use chemicals, the group would need to have an environmental impact study.

"We don't want to go down that road," Ryan said, adding that it would be too expensive.

By using the suctioning method, there is no permit needed to vacuum the weeds as long as those doing the suctioning do not disturb the bottom. The Department of Environmental Conservation also wants to make sure it is only milfoil that is being removed, Johnson said.

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