Jul 20, 2009 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
When Jerry Maywright moved to his property on East Lake Road in Cazenovia in 1997, the lake by his house was clear. In recent years, however, the invasive weed Eurasian milfoil took over.
But the early-June herbicide treatment of the north end of the lake seems to have brought things back to normal.
“I have not fished off my dock in the last three years,” Maywright said, “and right now I’m dealing with clear water.”
Maywright was a member of a group of people that decided in late spring of 2008 to investigate options to stop the lake from deteriorating. These initial investigations led to the summit held by the Lake Association last fall and the treatment of the north end of the lake early in the season.
The town recently declared restrictions on drinking lake water lifted after a July 7 sampling revealed that levels of the herbicide triclopyr had dropped to a safe amount.
Steve Wilson performed a survey of the lake two weeks ago for Allied Biological. According to Wilson, most of the Eurasian milfoil had completely died, while native plants were looking healthy.
Wilson acknowledged the issue of increased algae blooms in the lake, which he said were partly related to other issues too.
Maywright also recognized the increase in algae blooms this year. He attributed the growth not only to increased bio-mass from the dead Eurasian milfoil, but also increased rain and run-off into the lake early in the season.
Still, Maywright said, the algae is a short-term affect of the milfoil extermination, and is “just moving around” and not nearly as bad as the milfoil.
Maywright and other lake residents are seeing a return to the Cazenovia Lake they love.
“We’re back where we were,” Maywright said.
Mary Waters grew up on the north end of Cazenovia Lake and recently moved back, and she is happy to be able to take advantage of the lake again.
“You can use it,” she said. “Everything’s just easier.”
In recent years, Waters hadn’t been able to sail and taking out a motorboat was a chore.
“I lost a propeller last fall,” she said.
Kevin McCarthy has also noticed a change.
“It’s certainly a lot easier to get around,” he said.
McCarthy also lives on the north end of the lake and enjoys using the lake recreationally. McCarthy said that it has been easier to get out on the lake to fish, and that the fish he has caught seemed healthy as usual.
As Eurasian milfoil becomes increasingly problematic across the country, Cazenovia Lake may become a model for other lakes facing a similar problem.
“We’re getting more contact from other lakes that want to know about our experience,” Maywright said.
At this point, the lake is visibly clearer while several have said that native plant life appears to be doing well, moving back into their niche that had been taken over by milfoil.
The town of Cazenovia is bringing an independent evaluator, Bob Johnson, to prepare a post-Renovate monitoring report to be sent to the DEC.
At the town board meeting July 13, Supervisor Liz Moran said that it was a good idea to bring in an independent third-party to do the evaluation and that Johnson is very well respected.