Good afternoon all.

We approach the 4th of July Weekend having deployed another “arrow in the quiver” in the fight against invasive weeds and all the problems they cause. This is thanks to your care for our lake, your support and encouragement and your generous contributions.

The first step in the 2017 Bemus Bay Data Collection Project was successfully completed on schedule and without incident yesterday, Monday, June 26, 2017. Four areas along the shoreline of Bemus Bay, a total of ~30 acres, were treated with a combination of herbicides to study their effects and kill a portion of the vast amounts of actively growing invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil and the remaining Curly Leaf Pondweed.

SOLitiude Lake Management, Inc., operated the ~7 hour treatment under a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) permit issued to the Town of Ellery and Village of Bemus Point, with excellent support from NYSDEC scientists and enforcement officers, Chautauqua County (CC) Sheriff Department deputies in offshore (boat) and onshore patrol, and CC Department of Health representatives. The support from these organizations was overwhelming and greatly appreciated.

We also appreciate the support provided by the CC Planning Department/Watershed Coordinator and the Bemus Point Fire Department in preparation for the treatment and the ongoing coverage of our efforts by the Jamestown Post-Journal, the Lakeside Ledger and other media outlets.

The Chautauqua Lake Association has agreed to suspend weed cutting operations for the duration of the Data Collection Project and the CLP’s upcoming Shoreline/Nearshore Cleanup Demonstration Project (begins July 17), through late July.

Application of the herbicides was timed so that the most stringent water use restrictions would be lifted before the 4th of July weekend.

  • At this time, lake users may swim, bathe, and fish in the lake or use the lake water for animal consumption or domestic purposes.  These restrictions were removed Tuesday night, 24 hours after completion of the herbicide treatment.
  • Treated lake water and adjacent areas (Bemus Bay shoreline and the shoreline to the north to Warner Bay and south to Shoreacres and the shoreline across the Bay from Tom’s Point to the Stow Ferry landing and ~1/2 mile beyond to the north and south in each direction) CANNOT be used for drinking and watering flowers, gardens or crops until acceptable water tests are completed. Warning signs will remain in these areas until further notice. Acceptable test results should be available within the next several weeks. Signs will be removed with restriction removal communicated through a newspaper notice when acceptable test results are received.
  • Outside of the treated lake waters and adjacent areas noted above, you may use the lake water for drinking and watering flowers, gardens or crops if and how you normally do.  These restrictions were also removed Tuesday night and signs are being removed in these areas.

We’ll be working with SOLitude, the Town and Village and the NYSDEC to complete the Data Collection Project over the next several months. Its results will be valuable as we formulate plans for more effective lake-wide weed management including improvement in current methods and expanded use of herbicides in 2018 and beyond.

Once again, we appreciate the generous contributions we’ve received, now approaching $55,000 from over 100 individual and business donors as well as the generous grants received from several local foundations. We do ask those who have not yet donated consider making a donation and those who have already donated to consider an additional donation. This would recognize our success getting the first permit for herbicides in 15 years and only the second in 25 years, completing the first and most significant phase of the Data Collection Project as well as work planned for the remainder of 2017 and preparations for 2018 and beyond.

Donations should be made payable to the Chautauqua Lake Partnership and mailed to PO Box 81, Lakewood, NY 14750. Or, contact Sara DeMink, CLP Fundraising Chairperson, at sdclp@chautauqualakepartners.com.

“Chautauqua Lake, A Great Lake Seeking A Greater Future”

Chautauqua Lake Partnership

  • Jim Cirbus, President
  • Jim Wehrfritz, Vice President
  • Mike Latone, Treasurer
  • Karen Rine, Secretary
  • Fundraising Chairperson: Sara DeMink
  • Board Members: Jami Henderson and Jennifer Gibson
  • Biology Advisor: Tom Erlandson, PhD