Lake Management

Widely known for our in-lake maintenance program, the Chautauqua Lake Association is primarily recognized for its annual seasonal harvesting of nuisance aquatic vegetation. This method has proven to be the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly lake maintenance action for years, helping the community to enjoy Chautauqua Lake’s many recreational opportunities. Our in-lake maintenance work also provides safe waterways by removing floating debris and maintaining navigational lanes.

Additionally, the Chautauqua Lake Association offers a unique in-lake near shore and shoreline service that assists lakefront owners with their responsibility of cleaning their shorefronts. Clearing the floating and piled vegetation keeps the natural flow and reduces unwanted odors. As a service to those homeowners who do not have a method of disposing of their collected accumulations, we offer shoreline pickup of piles that are placed either at the shoreline or preferably at the roadside. Homeowners should simply contact our office and the piles will be collected the next time that we are nearby. 

The Chautauqua Lake Association has also performed successful dredging projects on lake tributaries and is investigating other needed dredging work. Dredging projects must be permitted by NYS prior to any actions being taken by the CLA.

The CLA publishes activity reports outlining work completed throughout the season.

The Chautauqua Lake Association Also Provides Many Other Important Lake Management Services

The CLA’s newest service is providing Watercraft Stewards at boat launch ramps on weekends to promote actions that will stop the spread of invasive species.  Species are commonly carried from one lake to another via boats and trailers. Stewards provide voluntary inspections of watercraft and trailers along with providing educational information. Prevention has proven to be much less costly to the community than is dealing with invasive species after they are present in waterbodies.

Other involvements of the Chautauqua Lake Association include sponsoring scientific research, participating in the NYS Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP), attending regional, state and national lake management conferences, working collaboratively with other lake related organizations and participating in local lake educational programs.  

We encourage readers of this tab to read our other tabs to obtain further information about the Chautauqua Lake Association and its activities in addition to becoming a friend of our Facebook page.

The CLA publishes activity reports outlining work completed throughout the season.

Our top priority is to keep Chautauqua Lake clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some of the ways we accomplish that:

Debris Cleanup

Annually, the CLA provides safe waterways for lake users by removing woody debris and clearing clogged navigational lanes. This cleanup occurs in the Spring, prior to our regular season activities and following any devastating storms. 


The Chautauqua Lake Association is responsible for seasonal harvesting of annual nuisance aquatic vegetation. When funding allows, six large harvesters work from three locations, following a circular route to ensure no area is overlooked. As water depth and spacing allows, all developed areas are harvested around docks and navigational channels are made.

Shoreline Service

In addition, we offer a unique near shore and shoreline service that assists lakefront owners with the burden of cleaning their shorelines. As funding allows, we utilize two skimmers and 5-6 barges to collect floating and piled vegetation. Between our visits we recommend that homeowners do their part and help keep their shores clear. This enhances the shores, increases flow, and minimizes the unwanted smells that can occur.

Shoreline Pickup

Between our visits many homeowners take advantage of our shoreline pickup. A simple call to our office and we will stop when we are nearby to pickup and dispose of piled vegetation.

Mobi Trac Support Program

Since 2020 the CLA has partnered with the Town of Chautauqua and offered support vessels to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Mobi Tracs. These amphibious machines can be seen traveling the lake’s perimiter assisting with the removal of near shore build up. Their forks scoop the vegetation and load it onto a CLA support vessel. The CLA then transports the material to an offloading site and hauls it away. This special program is a great addition to the CLA’s regular near shore program.

The CLA’ s versatile fleet is used to serve the current needs of Chautauqua Lake.

Did you know that each summer the CLA transports harvested weeds to nearby farms to be used as fertilizer?

Learn more ↗

You can help preserve the future of Chautauqua Lake.

As a 501 ( c) (3) charitable organization, the Chautauqua Lake Association relies on contributions from the general public, government support and foundation grants in order to provide its service programs.  The Association has no other regular income source.  Contributions can be sent either directly to the Association Office in Lakewood, New York 14750 or made via PayPal utilizing a link that is provided on this website.

photo by J. Smith