46th Annual State-of-the-Lake Meeting
Our speakers were from Pond and Lake Connection (POCO) – Fawn (Kearns) Young, Aquatic Biologist; Jeff Stahl, owner; and Nick McMahon, Fawn’s Assistant. POCO has been our lake management company for the past two years, and we have signed a contract with them for 2018. We are pleased with their care of the lake for these past two years. They have been responsive to our questions and problems.
Fawn began the presentation with the introduction of Nick McMahon, who will be handling our lake treatments this year. He assisted Fawn on all treatments last year. Nick is into this third year with POCO and previously worked with the CT DEEP Fisheries Division and also in MA.
POCO LAKE REPORT:
Fawn noted that there have been no cyano-bacterial blooms in the past two years. DEEP studied the lake in 2005, 2012 and 2016. The lake is shallow, eutrophic and prone to nuisance vegetation. The lake has high levels of phosphorus which is the main cause of algae blooms. Phosphorous comes from internal loading (in the sediment.) DEEP’s 2016 study concluded that conditions are unlikely to dramatically improve without removal of sediment.
POCO’s main goal has been to reduce/prevent the chance of algal blooms. One method is to encourage the growth of native plants. Greg Bugbee in the DEEP reports confirmed that in 2012 we had 2 native species and in late 2016 we had 9 native species. In 2016 the prior infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil was no longer present but the invasive curlyleaf pondweed was proliferating.
Curlyleaf pondweed can be controlled by early April treatments. DEEP has changed the permitting process so that our permit is no longer valid and a new application was submitted. The permits will now be three-year permits and Valerie Bodner is in charge of all permits. (We previously paid for 2018 & 2019.) The new permit will be valid until 2020. POCO will no longer need a special use permit for the boat launch.
The lakes biggest problem is algae blooms. POCO controls them with vegetation management, cyanobactericides and enzymes. Filamentous algae blooms are also a huge problem. They grow on the bottom and then rise. They are managed with early and consistent algaecide treatments and enzyme therapy. In 2017, POCO treated the lake 8 times between April 18 and August 30. Coontail is a native plant that, along with algae, is not rooted and moved into clear areas.
The idea of zooplankton was researched. It is not feasible for our lake. Zooplankton prefers a different kind of algae than what we have. Mamanasco Lake already has a healthy population of zooplankton.
Pond and Lake will:
* Continue eight herbicide and algaecide treatments, including one complimentary
* Continue monitoring lake
* Continue end-of-season lake report
* Attend the Annual Meeting
An inquiry was made about the feasibility of weed-free zones. POCO said that it is not desirable as native plants are necessary for healthy lake balance and their optimal growing zone is the shoreline. POCO will continue to treat near docks if there is dense plant growth but will make no attempt to have weed-free zones.
MLIF is encouraged to continue education of homeowners in the best management practices to eliminate fertilizer use, maintain sewage systems and plant shoreline buffers.
If MLIF has a grant to remove sediment, the area of the lake closest to the high school is the highest priority.
Floating Islands – POCO suggests “floating islands” which would take up lots of nutrients from the water. These biomimic natural floating islands create a “concentrated” wetland effect. They suggest four 160 sq ft. Islands. These are used in lakes with internal loading issues (like our lake.) Plant roots grow through the matrix and remove phosphorus from the water. Some have been installed over 20 years ago and are still functioning with no leaching of chemicals and no degradation of the materials. Once installed, they last indefinitely with no maintenance. We can check online for BioHaven or “Artificial Floating Islands.” Four islands, including the plants (250/island) and launch would cost over $30,000.
The subject of aeration arose and POCO said it is not feasible for our lake.
Phoslock – This is a newer product from SePRO and has been in use for about 10 years. It is composed of bentonite clay with other ingredients. It is non-toxic with no water restrictions. Phoslock removes phosphorus from the water column, binds the phosphorus and sinks to the bottom of the lake. Phoslock permanently binds the phosphorus. Some years ago MLIF used Alum for a period of about three years. Alum changes the pH of the water. Phoslock does not change the pH. POCO suggests using Phoslock in the north and south coves, possibly one acre at the high school end and two acres at the boat launch end. In future years, Phoslock could be used in other areas of the lake. It is best used in early spring and no permit is needed. A three-acre treatment would cost $4606.50. Phoslock comes in 55 pound bags, 275 pounds are used per acre and it is spread in a slurry. Check online for Phoslock before and after photos and related information.
Our lake management consultants concluded their very informative presentation and MLIF continued with the business portion of the meeeting.
MLIF ANNUAL MEETING BUSINESS:
Election of 2018 Officers and Directors:
Mimi Dalbey, Chair of the Nominating Committee. Duncan Potter and Judy Franeti were the non-board members of the committee. The recommendations of the committee were reported:
Bernie Cassidy, Jeff McAllister, Mark Zeck