Starry Stonewort Treatment 7/26

Solitude Lake Management will complete our third and final treatment of the season on Monday, July 26th. We will be applying Captain XTR which is the same product we applied last year. The only restrictions are for domestic and potable water use. Please refrain from these uses until we report that testing has been completed.

See the poster below for details. This same poster will be posted along the affected waterfront.

LYLPS Pursues Sustainable Lake District

The Little York Lake Preservation Society (LYLPS) is meeting with Cortland County officials to establish a sustainable lake district around Little York Lake. This will create a mechanism for ensuring a long-term, predictable funding base for improving and maintaining the lake. 

A range of invasive species have been introduced to the lake, primarily through the public boat launch. These include zebra mussels, starry stonewort, Eurasian milfoil and variable leaf milfoil.  

While LYLPS has been working actively since 2014 to meet the challenges to lake usage presented by these invaders, it began aggressive herbicide treatments in 2019. Over the past three years LYLPS has raised over $40,000 from residents and received $18,000 in support from Soil and Water to provide $58,000 in treatments. 

The result has been a dramatic improvement in lake appearance and usability from a reduction in invasive species, primarily milfoils. 

While everyone has benefited from these efforts, the unfortunate truth is that the funds have been primarily raised from approximately 2/3 of the community. LYLPS realized that this is not sustainable and that short term gains could be quickly lost as people tired of shouldering the burden for others. 

LYLPS established an ad hoc committee of 10 community members to explore long-term funding alternatives. After considering several approaches the committee recommended the creation of a sustainable lake district. Because the lake straddles two towns, Preble and Homer, the district needs to be formed under the County. This also aligns with the County’s interests of ensuring that citizens can enjoy the lake from Dwyer Park. 

By establishing the new district LYLPS intends to develop long term management approaches to ensure the continued viability and access to the lake for everyone: boaters, swimmers, kayakers, and fishermen. 

While this district will provide a financial base, it cannot fully meet the ongoing financial needs of a sustainable lake management plan. Continued financial support from the County and citizens who use the lake will also be needed.  

LYLPS remains committed to its mission of improving and maintaining the lake for everyone to enjoy. 

Pondweed Treatment 5/26

LYLPS has scheduled the first of three summer treatments for the morning of Wednesday, May 26th. This treatment is targeting curly-leaved pondweed, an invasive species, with Aquathol-K.

There is a 24-hour restriction on swimming. There are no restrictions on fishing, livestock watering, irrigation, or fish consumption. Potable water use is restricted from the treatment day until water testing is completed. We will announce completion on this website.

See the following for details:

2021 Work Plan Overview

Our 2021 work plan has been released Read on to learn the details

The Board has developed and approved a work plan for 2021. Below is a summary:

  • Prevention
    • Continuing support, through C-OFOKLA, of the boat steward program, CCStoptheInvasion.org
    • Support updating and improving the boat decontamination station at Dwyer Park
  • Monitoring
    • Monitor the lake through CSLAP
    • Expand the monitoring by developing a macrophyte monitoring program with Soil & Water (SWCD)
  • Treatments (see proposed treatment area)
    • Treat variable leaf milfoil in previously untreated areas, focusing on clearing it from “seed” areas.
    • Expand starry stonewort treatments
    • Explore treating pondweed in highly congested sections
  • Management
    • Support SWCD shorescaping program
    • Continue support of septic education program
    • Participate in the Tioughnioga River LWRP Update project
  • Organizational
    • Continue to build community
    • Maintain the lake management plan

You can view the full work plan here.

In addition to ongoing lake management activities, the Board is planning to pursue a treatment program targeting variable leaf milfoil (VLM), starry stonewort (SSW) and pondweed. We will follow our standard process for treatments:

  • Develop a detailed plan and budget
  • File for a permit in late January/early February
  • Notify all riparian owners by mail of our intent to treat and approximate dates
  • Conduct a public meeting to discuss any concerns
  • Raise money to cover the treatments
  • Complete the treatments

One of the key benefits of our treatment program over the past two years is the reduced amount of milfoil floating on the lake. We are asking everyone to donate to support the cost of treatment. We will also work with Soil and Water for financial support once budgets have been finalized.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please email us at [email protected]

Work Plan Review 2020

In spite of Covid restrictions, 2020 was a very active season for LYLPS. We completed most of the items in our work plan (published here) including successful treatments of variable leaf milfoil and starry stonewort.

The following table shows our results vs our plan:

Plan

Results

·       Prevention

o   Support the installation and roll-out of the boat decontamination station at Dwyer Park

o   Continuing support, through C-OFOKLA, of the boat steward program, CCStoptheInvasion.org

·       The boat station was successfully installed and operated. The boat steward program was operational through the year.

·       Community educational programs were put on hold due to pandemic restrictions.

·       Monitoring

o   Monitor the lake through CSLAP

o   Conduct regional CSLAP training on May 8th

o   Expand the monitoring by joining the Finger Lakes PRISM macrophyte program

 

·       We successfully conducted our 8 CSLAP sessions, reporting data to the state-wide program.

·       We were unable to conduct regional training due to the pandemic.

·       Similarly, the PRISM macrophyte program was put on hold. However, we were able to conduct a macrophyte survey in conjunction with SWCD.

·       Treatments

o   Treat variable leaf milfoil (VLM) in previously untreated areas

o   Test treating starry stonewort (SSW)

 

·       We successfully treated VLM in previously untreated areas and conducted a test treatment of starry stonewort. VLM treatment went very well and the 2019 treatment seems to have had a lasting effect.

·       SSW treatment seemed positive and we will learn more next summer.

·       Management

o   Support new drawdown permit process

o   Establish shorescaping program in collaboration with SWCD

o   Continue support of septic education program

 

·       A new drawdown permit was issued and implemented in the fall. We have supported monitoring of the lake levels to assist compliance with the permit.

·       We did not make progress on the shorescaping program.

·       Septic workshops are not feasible under pandemic restrictions.

·       Organizational

o   Continue to build community

o   Maintain the lake management plan

·       We have continued to develop community and engage volunteers including with a Zoom social hour and several community Zoom meetings.

·       We are actively referencing the lake management plan as we move forward to next year.

Fall Meeting Saturday 9/19 at 10:00 a.m.

We’ve had a busy summer at Little York Lake and now is the time to review what we’ve accomplished and begin to plan for 2021.

Please join us Saturday, 9/19, at 10:00 a.m. either in person at the main pavilion (CRT) or via Zoom. We are limited to 50 people in person and we will only send the Zoom link to registrants, so you must pre-register to attend. Please click on this link and complete the form.

We are also collecting dues of $50 for our 2020/21 membership year. There are 3 easy ways to pay:

  • Send a check to P.O. Box 56, Little York, NY 13087
  • Pay online at littleyorklake.com
  • Bring your payment to the meeting on the 19th

We need your support to continue our efforts at improving the lake.

Macrophyte Survey In Progress

If you see a boat out on the lake today or tomorrow driving, stopping and then driving again with some people throwing something over the side at each stop, they’re not crazy. It is the Cortland County SWCD conducting a macrophyte survey of Little York Lake.

Macrophytes are the plants and algae that occupy the lake. We often refer to them as “weeds.” Some are native and some are invasive, particularly the variable leaf milfoil and the starry stonewort. We’re trying to remove or control the invasives and let the native plants reassert control.

Samples are being taken at 50 meter interavals in a grid pattern covering the entire lake. A double sided rake is thrown over the side of the boat, hauled up, and the “catch” examined, identified and documented. Goodale Lake, feeding into Little York Lake, has been mapped as well. 

The macrophyte survey will produce a map showing us what plants we have and where they are located. Combined with work that LYLPS has done in past years, this will give us a road map to navigate our management plans. 

The survey is being funded by a grant from the Finger Lakes PRISM to Cortland SWCD with support and input from LYLPS. Thanks to our boat captain volunteers: Lindy Vangeli, Dean and Gerri-Ann Hartnett, Don Fisher and Jarrett Regard plus our mappers, Kathy McGrath and Hannah Whalen. And thanks to Amanda Barber for securing the grant.

 

Starry Stonewort Treatment 7/17

Our treatment for Starry Stonewort has been scheduled for Friday morning, July 17th with a rain date of July 24th. Riparian owners will receive notifications by U.S. Mail as well. The treatment area is outlined in this map as areas E,F and G.

Starry Stonewort

The only water use restriction during this treatment is for drinking water. We will be conducting water testing following the treatment (as we do for every treatment) and will update the community when this restriction is removed. Note that lake water should never be used as drinking water in any case.

Solitude Lake Management is performing the treatment for us using Captain XTR.

If you have any questions or concerns, email us at [email protected]

HAB Update

Saturday DEC confirmed that our water sample from the cove adjacent to Elm Street contained a harmful algae bloom (HAB). We are still waiting on details from the lab to determine the specifics of the organism, its toxicity and treatment.
Harmful Alagal Bloom on Little York Lake
 
Detailed information on HABs is contained on this DEC page. The map identifying all recent HAB reports is available here. There are images attached to the report in addition to the one in this post (click to view full-sized).
 
Until we have more details and an action plan (in the next few days) we strongly urge everyone to avoid contact with the water in that area of the lake (see the map). 
 
In the meantime, if you see anything that looks unusual, please email a picture to [email protected] or text it to 607-218-2550.
 
Area potentially with HABs