The CLA’s summer operations began on June 3rd. Due to the recent storms we were forced to stop our typical harvesting and begin storm clean up. We have removed over 150 tons of large logs, trees and brush debris from Chautauqua Lake so far. This debris is potentially dangerous to boaters and has become our first priority. We have issued urgent warnings for lake users to be cautious and aware. The CLA encourages stream bank reinforcement projects to prevent dangerous debris situations like we faced this season. Today we are finishing up the last of the storm clean up and starting our lake maintenance.
Algae is always present in Chautauqua Lake and is necessary for a healthy aquatic life cycle. Blooms in several areas of the lake are present due to the abundance of nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen). The wet weather we have been having has caused tons of excess nutrients to wash into the lake. This is a serious concern of the CLA. Our annual monitoring has reported over the years that the lake is already at a high nutrient content level. This has been recognized by the NYSDEC such that in 1997 they wrote in a lake status report that the lake is at a tipping point and any (even small) introduction of new nutrients into the lake can have a dramatic effect. This additional nutrient, due to the recent storms, is the reason for the blooms we currently have. At this time the blooms do not appear to be harmful. However, if nutrient abundance continues they could develop. Please voice your concerns to local government agencies and support Nutrient Control Actions in your area.
There should be (3) lake maintenance crews working 10-hours a day, Monday – Friday to harvest annual aquatic vegetation by next week. Hopefully, with the activity of our machinery and a brighter forecast for the future the nutrient levels will subside and we will have a beautiful lake for families to enjoy this summer. Please feel free to contact the CLA with any comments or concerns.
“A Clean Lake is Everyone’s Business”