What an awesome summer! Just a few days of daytime rain and great lake conditions made 2018 one of the best summers I can remember. From Sheldon Hall north, the entire lake
was relatively free of nuisance weeds. Algal blooms were minimal right through the end of August. Repeatedly, we had folks telling us that the lake was wonderful. We would attribute
this to several factors: A late ice out and overcast spring skies kept the initial weed growth to a minimum. Couple this with high lake levels (which CLA advocated for), excellent water clarity throughout the summer and the CLA’s hard work with near shore clean-up and harvesting made for great conditions and relatively uninhibited recreational opportunities for most of the lake.
From Sheldon Hall south, there was an area of approximately 300 acres (comprising less than 3% of our 13,000-acre lake) that was a major problem. We recognized this challenge and provided an extraordinary level of services in that area. We were the only organization that provided in-lake services there. Going forward we will examine how we can improve services should this occur in the future. We have not encountered such intense growth there since 2007. Every lakeside neighborhood needs to be involved in caring for its water front. We are going to call on the lower lake residents to further help bring the needed financial resources to the table thereby providing the means to solve the problem should it recur.
Another ill-advised (non-CLA) herbicide application resulted in failure; an initial permit filing to treat over 1,000 acres resulted in less than 100 acres being treated, meaning less than 10% of the project goal was met! The areas with the most need were not treated. Additionally, one of the unintended consequences of this application was that individual homeowners in these treated areas were not afforded services by the Lake Association due to impact of the program and restrictions at ecofriendly disposal sites. To those of you who called us for such services, we apologize.
We need to do more. We need more near-shore cleanup. We need more harvesting. We need more science. We have the equipment. We have the expertise. We have the personnel. We are ready to step up to the challenge. Support and additional funds are required to accomplish the goals we all seek. With your help, we can work to make Chautauqua Lake an even better place.
Spend some time browsing through our website. We welcome your input, both here and on our Facebook page.
Paul O. Stage, CFP
President, Chautauqua Lake Association