The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance has a very different perspective from those who complain about the water quality of Chautauqua Lake.
Alliance executive director Randall Perry said the organization is made up of more than 20 different lake and basin groups that are working hard on a variety of lake and basin projects.
“Our members are made up of a very wide range of lake users and lake managers.” He said.
Following growing concerns by lake consultants, business owners and locals, Perry offered his take on the state of the lake.
“When something like this hits the news, we try to calm down and ask what is being said, what is driving those comments, what data sets and what observations. It is very important that we try to understand exactly who has access to it so that we can objectively inform the situation from our side.”
Despite mounting criticism, Perry said the alliance facilitated “comprehensive” We have created a lake management program for the 2022 season, incorporating a variety of management techniques. He said the Alliance started early in the season with extensive debris cleanup and early season harvesting and state-approved herbicide treatments.Perry plans 2022 “Long season” It lasted from May to September.
Regarding the Vertis Bay challenge, Perry said the location was “Some high use” When “Highly Conscious” Area across the lake. Different regions of the lake often present their own challenges, but the Vertis Bay region presents distinct challenges for the Alliance to manage.
“The Nanshita Basin is unique in that it sits on the edge of a lake.” Perry said. “It handles what is growing and ongoing activity across the lake, from the north end to the south end. and tend to be sedimentary areas.”
The Alliance is currently working with various member groups to diagnose the problem, Perry said. A thorough investigation and approach is required.
Perry said the first step would be to look at the frequency and effectiveness of interventions and techniques used throughout the 2022 season. By doing this, the Alliance can decide to adjust how to move forward.
“The logistics of managing a 13,000-acre lake can be very complex.” He said. “Many people are looking at logistical considerations such as the type of equipment, the amount of equipment, off-road areas, equipment staging areas, and opportunities to make adjustments that help better impact that part of the lake. increase.”
Perry said the organization is also looking at different ways to attract new lake management partners, as well as fostering cooperation among alliance members.
As the state of the lake continues to attract attention and concern, Perry said different technologies are needed. “on the table” Such as offshore boom, physical control of source management, prevention of weed fragmentation.
Various technologies have been discussed, but Perry believes it’s too early to determine which technologies need to be implemented next year to address water quality problems in lakes. He stressed the importance of waiting for observational data to see which techniques should be used in the future to improve.
“Unfortunately, from my point of view, it’s too early to suggest one or two or three specific ways to do it.” He said. “Some of the key datasets that we tend to make available as local stakeholders don’t actually close the books or publish their findings until later this year or early next year.”
The Alliance is currently awaiting information on botanical surveys conducted this year, the state’s Toxic Algae Bloom Tracking System, and the statewide lake assessment program administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Although a significant portion of this year’s data is not yet available, Perry said the lake has shown both encouraging signs and difficult times throughout the year.
“This has been a challenging year in terms of some algae blooms that appeared in the second half of the summer.” He said.’ However, he added:Many reports from the northern basin, particularly the lake features, were trending towards fairly good conditions this year.
As the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance continues to improve the lake, one of the challenges, says Perry, is to organize and combine all available data and research so that effective solutions can be implemented. said.
Perry also addressed criticism and concerns of local residents.
“I think having a dialogue and sharing not just data and numbers, but also observations and expectations is a very important part of lake management.” He said. “Management of the lake is not only a technical aspect, but also a social aspect. It has great implications for many people, such as recreational enthusiasts who enjoy skiing, of users and applications.”
Perry said because of the importance of Lake Chautauqua to the county as a whole, it was not unexpected to find locals with different opinions and perspectives on the state of the lake. We believe it is important to acknowledge the work, but we welcome public input.
“I definitely want to hear what is being said, good or bad.” He said. “We want to be open to hearing all of that, and we want to get the right people involved and bring them to the table to work out what improvements can be made.” thinking about.”