Eurasian watermilfoil levels up in Cazenovia Lake for 2013, rake toss results show

— The results of the 2013 Cazenovia Lake aquatic plant survey show that the invasive species Eurasian watermilfoil more than doubled in the number of locations where it was found from 2012 to 2013, and one-third of all the milfoil in the lake were medium to dense in abundance.

These results, coming after a year of no chemical treatments of the lake to combat Eurasian watermilfoil, contributes to the town board’s intention to continue actively addressing the issue of lake health and treatment during 2014, said Town Supervisor Bill Zupan.

The town will look to take a “holistic approach” to the work, which will include not only further chemical treatment of the lake, but also weed harvesting, benthic mats, possible biological solutions (introducing animals such as moths and weevils into the lake to eat the milfoil) and a continued focus on rainwater run-off mitigation, Zupan said. The town also has a phosphorous study of the lake ongoing, in conjunction with SUNY ESF, which is investigating the sources of the lake’s high phosphorous levels.

The town also will submit to the state Department of Environmental Conservation a suggested figure of 259 acres of the lake to be treated for Eurasian milfoil, “and we’ll see how many of those will be chemically treated,” Zupan said.

The 2013 aquatic plant survey of Cazenovia Lake was undertaken in September and October by Robert Johnson, of Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists, who has been doing the Cazenovia Lake surveys since 2009. He used the “rake toss” method — tossing a rake head into the water and cataloguing the aquatic plants that are pulled out — to determine plant species presence, location and an estimate of species abundance, as well as to “describe and evaluate the impact of the 2009, 2010 and 2012 herbicide treatments to the lake with triclopyr (Renovate®) to control the growth of Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil),” according to the report.

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