Holistic approach suggested to address weeds in Chautauqua Lake

MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Department of Planning & Economic Development, the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission, Cedar Eden Environmental LLC, EcoLogic LLC and Pashek Associates, are in the process of creating a comprehensive and integrated Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan for Chautauqua Lake.

The purpose is to create a holistic plan that will expand upon the techniques available to manage the nuisance aquatic vegetation that impairs recreational, environmental and economic resources in Chautauqua Lake. Once completed, the plan will consider the location and type of man’s uses; areas of excessive weed growth; areas where the conflicts between man’s uses and the weeds occur; and sensitive areas. Utilizing this information, and additional data, it will then prescribe reasonable and practical management alternatives for each scenario for the control of the aquatic vegetation.

Jeff Diers, Chautauqua County Watershed coordinator, said, “Developing such a comprehensive plan is a very complex process and requires a significant amount of information and attention to detail.”

This approach to create an integrated and holistic is unique to New York state. The results will provide a more balanced approach to SAV management in Chautauqua Lake that is flexible and can be adjusted with changing conditions.

He said, “There is a great deal of historical information available, and the goal was to utilize the existing information from all previous research activities that have taken place on Chautauqua Lake over the past several decades, identify any information gaps, and complete the necessary work needed to fill those gaps in order complete the SAVMP.”

In order to take steps to accomplishing this, the CCPED and the CLMC would like to invite the public to attend a public participation meeting to help ground truth data current being utilized, as well the assist with the identification of key data and resources that are necessary to complete the Plan.

Mark Geise, deputy director of Planning and Economic Development, said, “We desire to have all weed management options at our disposal, and the SAVMP is essential to fulfilling this goal. What is truly unique about this plan is that it will provide thresholds that dictate what management techniques may be used in various zones. These management techniques may include, but are not limited to, mechanical, biological, physical, and chemical methods.”

Lyle Hajdu, chairman of the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission, said, “The time for action is now. For the first time in our history, county, town and village officials are united through an inter-municipal compact to promote the proper management of Chautauqua Lake and its watershed. These officials are working collectively with other public, private, and not-for-profit entities as part of a collaborative partnership of stakeholders dedicated to a common mission. The SAV management plan will allow us to properly manage our precious natural resources through a balanced approach based on good science, broad community support and economic viability.”

Contact Jeff Diers, Chautauqua County Watershed coordinator, if you have any questions regarding ongoing projects in Chautauqua Lake and throughout the county at diersj@co.chautauqua.ny.us.