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Milfoil Management On Lake St. Catherine Discussed In The Rutland Herald

On August 5th, you may have noticed an article in the Rutland Herald entitled, "Weed wars in Lake St. Catherine", which mistakenly attributed the quotes and information to the Lake St. Catherine Association. However, the reporter was interviewing a representative of the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund, a separate group which focuses on the Little Lake.

The LSCA and the LSCCF have very different approaches to manage milfoil on Lake St. Catherine.

As far back as 1979 when the Association used harvesters almost exclusively to control milfoil, and grew that program for about 2 decades, we knew it was a band aid. The Association continued to seek other methods that might work longer term or even that ‘magic bullet’ to rid the lake of this invasive weed.

As the problem persisted, there was a lengthy discussion, consultation and permitting process to look at other options. We looked at things like weevils, carp, bottom barriers, hydro-raking, lowering the lake level and more. At the time, some of the methods were in practice around the lake by individual homeowners with the Association’s assistance in retaining permits.

The decision was made in 2002 to use the herbicide SONAR in a full lake wide treatment (administered in 2004). By the next spring, with the exception of 2 spots, there was virtually no milfoil to be found in the whole lake. Herbicide has been successful, and could again be successful as a treatment for milfoil in the Little Lake.

Mechanical harvesting was not an option included in the required 5-year maintenance plan. In the Little Lake we tried using suction harvesting without much success because of the depth of the silt. It was impossible for the divers to work in the conditions. Hydro-raking was also used extensively, but only around homeowner docks.

Since then, the LSCA has followed up each season with spot treatments of the herbicide Renovate. However, in the area of the Little Lake, it created a very vocal few that made unsubstantiated claims that resulted in the LSCA withdrawing action. Unfortunately, there were no other available methods of controlling the milfoil that were deemed feasible economically or that would produce acceptable results. This allowed the LSCCF to do the experimental aeration for the silt issues they experience.

The LSCA Vice President, Mary Jo Teetor reached out to the author of the article, Gordon Dritschilo to discuss it. That conversation resulted in a follow up article, "Lake milfoil campaign claiming successes", which provides some of the thoughts of the LSCA on the issue of milfoil management on Lake St. Catherine.

We encourage you to read both articles.

Mary Jo has some additional information she'd like to share on this topic:

“I appreciate the newspaper follow up to give us the opportunity to expand on the discussion of lake issues and how we are approaching them. As we know the devil in the details don’t always come out in short newspaper articles. The information can be overwhelming to condense.

For those who were here on the lake when milfoil was at its peak, you might remember the remarkable difference we experienced after the SONAR treatment. Although it seemed like it may be that ‘magic bullet’ we were looking for, we knew it was not a done deal and maybe never would be. We need to be diligent in maintaining the conditions the best we can to keep the milfoil at bay and to not let it return to the worst of times. This is why we always are looking at a multipronged approach. Today for the LSCA, that includes: spot treatment on the largest returning beds of milfoil with Renovate and the increased usage of suction harvesting.

We are concerned that restarting the mechanical harvesting method could bring us back to a time none of us want to experience again. We hope the containment to the Little Lake works. It is not a matter of being more thorough in chasing down every fragment; it is the nature of the mechanical beast.

The jury is out on the removal of sedimentation with the aeration. Until there are independent evaluations that are measured and conclusive, we cannot support the method as a way of reducing the milfoil problem in the lake that we are tasked at managing. The Renovate herbicide did have success in keeping the navigational paths open in the Little Lake until the treatments were restricted by the LSCCF’s persistent pressure and unsubstantiated claims.

Emotions do get heated, but with the help of the Implementation team looking at the causes of the lake issues, we are looking for that common ground. We all want to prevent the issues we have been battling from getting worse while making the lake cleaner and more hospitable than ever for everyone.

The LSCA works very closely with the Department of Environmental Conservation and also belongs to FOVLAP (Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds) where we can share information about what is happening state wide and consult on new technologies, methods and best practices.

Finally, I would like to encourage all homeowners to pay attention to the rules and methods of best practices living in the lake district by: preventing erosion and runoff from their individual properties, maintenance of septic systems, the use of barriers and creating buffers on the lake front by planting native species to attract the wildlife we want. It is everyone’s responsibility to be good stewards. We’ll soon have lots of this information available to share on our website about these best practices.

Within the next few weeks, two free workshops are coming up. Click on their links for more infomation:

• Rain Gardens (August 22nd)

• Protecting Property and Lake - Be Storm Ready With Lake Friendly Practices (August 31st)

Thank you."

We welcome your comments: info@lakestcatherine.org.

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Free Workshop: Rain Gardens

Want an easy way to help improve lake water quality? Learn how attractive rain gardens can absorb storm water and reduce runoff into the lake.

There will be a free workshop, open to the public, at the Castleton Community Center, 2108 Main St, Castleton, on Tuesday, August 22 from 4 - 5:30 pm.

Rain gardens are a beautiful and practical way to:

• Absorb stormwater and reduce runoff

• Provide food and habitat for pollinators and other insects and animals

• Enhance your property and protect your shoreline

Learn how to assess your soil for the best location, choose native plants suited to your property, installation techniques, and contact information for state and local resources. Obtain a free copy of “The Vermont Rain Garden Manual”.

Presented by Becky Tharp, Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Collaborative, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sponsored by the Lake Bomoseen Association and the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program.

For additional information and to register for the workshop, contact: Linda Patterson, Water Quality Educator, Lake Champlain Sea Grant

Email: Linda.Patterson@uvm.edu

Phone: 802-656-7668 

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Free Workshop: Protecting Property and Lake - Be Storm Ready with Lake Friendly Practices

A free workshop entitled "Protecting Property and Lake - Be Storm Ready with Lake Friendly Practices" presented by Lake Champlain Sea Grant and Vermont Lakes and Ponds Protection Program will be taking place at the Lake St. Catherine State Park on August 31st from 3-5 PM.

You will learn about natural approaches to protecting and stabilizing your shoreline, including:

• Erosion control methods
• Native plants
• Attractive permeable surfaces
• Raingardens
• Habitat restoration
• Local resources for materials and installation

You will also learn about the basic elements of the Shoreland Protection Act:

• Landowner requirements: myths and facts
• Healthy shorelines, water quality and aquatic habitat: Purpose of the act
• Permitting process; exemptions
• Informational materials
• Resources for compliance
• Shoreland protection and property value

You will also learn about the Vermont Lake Wise Program.

For information and to register contact: Linda Patterson, Water Quality Educator at linda.patterson@uvm.edu, or call 802-656-7668.

Protecting Your Property And Your Lake Flyer PDF:

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Cleaning Out Your Pantry For The Summer?

Good afternoon Lake St. Catherine.

We'd like to share a great idea our Trustee Frank Callahan had to those of you that may soon be closing up your camps for the summer:

"...a lot of lake people will be leaving soon. Perhaps they may want to give some food to the local food banks.

The Poultney food bank is in the Stonebridge Inn, the white building at the northwest corner at the stoplight at Main Street and Route 30.

Donations in Wells may be given at the Wellsmere Farm anytime, or the Wells Town Hall box Monday - Thursday. Both places are on Route 30."

So, if you soon find yourself cleaning out your pantry for the season, please consider Frank's suggestion. 

Thanks!

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Vermont Updates Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Law

We'd like to make you aware of some recent changes to the Vermont Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Law.

The changes as described by the State:

"As of June 8, 2017, the Vermont Legislature enacted new legislation regarding aquatic nuisance control. Act 67 adds four animals to the species list of which transport is restricted, and requires boat operators to visually inspect their own vessels and remove drain plugs while transporting a vessel.

While the transport of ANY aquatic plant or plant parts, as well as zebra and quagga mussels, is still prohibited, it is now also prohibited to transport the following species:

• Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea)
• Fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi)
• Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
• Spiny waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus)

Act 67 requires any person transporting a vessel to or from a body of water to visually inspect the vessel, the transport vehicle, trailer, and other equipment used, and remove any aquatic plants, aquatic plant parts, and other aquatic nuisance species. The act also requires removal of drain plugs, bailers, valves, and all other devices designed to control the drainage of water from vessel while transporting it. All draining of contained water must occur in a manner that avoids discharge into a water of the State."

You can view the flyer provided by the State here: Updated Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Law in Vermont – Act 67 Flyer.

You can view the full law on the Vermont General Assembly's website: Vermont Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Law.

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Meeting Of The Board Of Trustees And Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner - 7/22/17

On Saturday, July 24th, the Lake St. Catherine Association held their third meeting of the 2017 season in the morning, and the Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner later that evening.

First, the LSCA would like to thank all those who attended this year's meeting - we had a packed house! We hope you enjoyed the the Trustee's reports and the open discussion of LSC topics. We appreciate your continued support of the LSCA, and the work we do for the Lake. We hope that you'll spread the word to your neighbors around the lake.

The LSCA would also like to thank the Lake St. Catherine Country Club for hosting the meeting and preparing an excellent dinner. We hope you enjoyed that as well.

- LSCA President Jim Canders welcomes the Membership, thanks the LSCCC for and invited guests Ron Bremer, Select Board Town of Wells and his family.

- LSCA Treasurer Elaine Bagley gives the Treasurer's Report.

Other topics discussed: Milfoil Treatment & Suction Harvesting, Water Quality, the proposed Lily Pond Channel project, Boat Launch Monitoring, the Boat Parade, LSCA Publicity, a Membership Report, Lake Safety, Government Relations, an Advisory Committee report and Trustee Elections.

The presentation the Trustees used during their reports is available to view below:

If you have any questions about the topics discussed in the presentation, or any comments about the evening, please let us know: info@lakestcatherine.org.

Thanks again for your support - we hope you had an enjoyable evening!



Minutes of the Lake St. Catherine Association's third meeting of the 2017 season.

July 22nd 2017 Meeting of the Lake St. Catherine Board of Trustees
Lake St. Catherine Country Club, 8:30 AM

The Trustees gave their reports on many topics - Click here to see the full meeting agenda. Meeting minutes compiled by Jerremy Jones and LSCA President Jim Canders.

Present: Jim Canders, Mary Jo Teetor, Bob Williams, Frank Callahan, Phil Pope, Rand Burgner, Jerremy Jones, John Belnavis, Bill McLaughlin, Elaine Bagley, Ed Laird
Absent: Rob Goldman, Ken Abt, Rob Nesbit, Jeff Crandall

Jim called the meeting to order and the previous minutes were submitted and approved.

The Annual Meeting presentation was discussed and committee members suggested edits and changes to their slides. These were made, and the presentation was completed.

John Belnavis discussed the setup of the room and the logistics of the transition from meeting to dinner for the guests. It was decided that the presentation would be projected on the wall above the stairwell, and seating would be arranged in rows facing that wall. Trustees would stand up front, to the side of the projection to give their report. At the end of the meeting, guests would be asked to step outside as the room was prepared for dinner seating.

Jim Canders reported that he found a place to have a plaque made for the Greenbergs in honor of their years of service to the Association.

Frank Callahan discussed the two Lake Safety courses that were scheduled for Wells and Poultney. The Wells class only had 3 signups, so it had to be cancelled. However, a few days later, those folks were able to attend the Poultney class. The Poultney class had 11 attendees, all passed.

Frank also mentioned that people are tying their boats to the marker cones on the Sunken Island damaging them. He will mention at the Annual Meeting.

Phil Pope is still frustrated that he has not received the paperwork from the State that would officially permit the milfoil treatment, even though the Association was given the go-ahead. It was discussed that new employees and consolidation is most likely the cause of them being so far behind.

Bill McLaughlin proposed the Association should look into organizing lake property owners to better negotiate tax obligations with Wells and Poultney. Ed commented that this would be outside the Association's narrowly defined purpose under our 501(c)(3).

Bob Williams talked about the 5 people that will be put up for election to the board at the annual meeting: Jim Canders, Bob Williams, Jeff Crandell, Jerremy Jones and Martha Pofit.

Mary Jo and John mentioned that the milfoil treatment signs have been picked up. Mary Jo said that next year, stickers should be put on signs that say "DO NOT REMOVE FOR 30 DAYS".

Frank mentioned picking up some Association property at Woodard Marina.

Jerremy Jones reported that the Association received nice coverage in the local papers about the boat parade, both before and after the event. He mentioned that since the end of June, the Association's Facebook page has added over 50 new followers, now totaling over 300. Finally, he showed some possible designs for the Fall newsletter. The board selected their favorite.

Jim and Mary Jo will be attending the FOVLAP meeting on July 24th.

Meeting adjourned.

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2017 LSCA Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner

The Lake St. Catherine Association would like to invite you to the Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner on July 22nd, from 6 PM - 8 PM at the Fairways Restaurant & Tavern at the LSC Country Club.

The Trustees will make brief presentations, updating you on the work of the LSCA this season, including membership election of Trustees and discussion of lake affairs.

You are all invited to ask questions, make statements, meet your neighbors and enjoy an excellent dinner!

Dinner:

$15 option: Baked Haddock / Chicken Francaise, Pasta, Caesar Salad, Dinner Roll, Cake and Coffee.

$25 option: Prime Rib Dinner

We ask that you RSVP for dinner so the chef can prepare for the evening.

Please call or email Mary Jo Teetor, 802-287-5836 / ferncliff@comcast.net.

We hope to see you there!

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Vermont DEC Lake Wise Program Hosts 'Septic Social' On LSC

The Vermont DEC's Lake Wise Program is conducting a 'Septic Social' on Lake St. Catherine on Wednesday, July 19th.

Little Lake resident Dede Kendall will host the Septic Social at her home: 15 Clayton Tract, Wells from 4:00 - 5:30 PM.

About the presentation:

Come learn about maintaining or replacing your septic system in a social environment!

• Maintaining a functioning septic system helps protect your lake!
• Opportunity for Q&A with septic professionals
• Learn basic septic maintenance techniques
• Discuss replacement innovative septic systems
• Socialize with your lake neighbors!

Join septic experts, lake scientists, and other lakeshore property owners for a FREE social gathering to discuss proper maintenance, innovative systems, and more! Functioning Septic Systems are one of many important shoreland practices. To learn more about lake-friendly living and what you can do along your shore to protect water quality, natural shorelands and habitat, contact the Lake Wise Program. Also, remember to check with your local Shoreland Permit Specialist before making any changes along your shoreland property. Thanks, and hope to see you at the Septic Social! Bring your septic questions! 

Questions? Contact Laura Dlugolecki at 802-490-6133 or laura.dlugolecki@vermont.gov.

Again, this free program will take place on Wednesday, July 19th from 4:00-5:30 PM at 15 Clayton Tract, in Wells, on the Little Lake.

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The Winners Of The 5th Annual LSCA Boat Parade Are...

Hello good folks of the Lake St. Catherine community! We hope you all had a great time watching and participating in this year's boat parade.

Thank you to our judges around the lake, and to Lila Burgner for coordinating and organizing another succesful parade.

Here are the winners!

Overall:

1st Place - Beatles 50th Anniversary, Boat #16 - Jack McVicker & Kimberly Moore and friends

2nd Place - Hawaiian Volcano Luau, Boat #8 - Conine Family

Most Original:

1st Place - Peter Pan, Boat #7 - Corrigan Family

2nd Place - Super Heroes, Boat #1 - Goldman Family

Funniest:

1st Place - Rub A Dub Dub 2 Gals In A Tub, Boat #10 - Erin Wysolmerski

2nd Place - Happy Birthday, Boat #12 - Mulcahy Family

Most Patriotic:

1st Place - Wendell Family, Boat #11

2nd Place - Cook Family, Boat #6

Nice job all!

The LSCA would like to thank these generous sponsors for providing prizes for the Boat Parade:

• Perry's Main Street Eatery
• The Trolley Stop
• LSCC Fairways Restaurant & Tavern
• Wells Country Store
• Otto's Cones Point General Store
• Full Belly Deli
• The Original Vermont Store
• William's True Value Hardware Store
• Stewart's Shops

Are you a member yet? Maintaining the lake costs approximately $100,000 annually. Grants, membership dues and contributions make up the majority of our funding. If you'd like to help, please consider becoming a member or making a donation. The LSCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and any contribution that you make is tax deductible.

Have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!

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The 2017 LSCA Membership Drive Continues

Hello Lake St. Catherine community!

The Lake St. Catherine Association would like to thank our 230+ (and counting...) members for their support in submitting their membership dues this year.

Your membership and the dues and contributions we receive allows us to accomplish our work. Maintaining the lake costs approximately $100,000 annually. While we do receive annual grants from Poultney, Wells, and the State, membership dues and contributions make up the majority of our funding.

However, our membership drive for 2017 is not over! There are still many of you out in the Lake community that we'd like reach - to ask for your support.

This week, we sent out a second round of mailings to the Lake St. Catherine community containing the 2017 Membership Application (you can download a PDF copy of mailing by clicking here).

If you'd like to support the LSCA and become a member, you can fill out the Membership Form linked above, or you can fill in our online membership form and submit your dues online. If you'd like to try our new online form, you can click here to go to our Membership section.

Some of the services the LSCA provides are:

  • Maintain and purchase navigation and shore line protection bouys throughout the lake.

  • Test the water for E coli, and water clarity.

  • Managing the free boat-safety courses that are state mandated for all persons born after January 1, 1974.

  • Inspecting boats wishing to enter the lake for Eurasian milfoil, zebra mussels and water chestnuts.

  • Controlling milfoil (and other invasive species) and maintaining native weeds at tolerable levels.

  • Working with the state to solve the problems of silting and impacts of phosphorus and other sources of pollution.

  • Maintaining "welcome" signs and gardens.

  • Liaising with other lakes in order to exchange information concerning problems.

  • Sponsor the annual fun-filled July 4th Boat Parade.

  • Disseminate information to our membership and the community through newsletters, website, and other local publications.

  • Organizing funding through membership fees, donations and grants from the State of Vermont and Poultney and Wells.

  • We represent you to state and local governments to protect your rights and the lake in general.

  • We protect the value of your property by maintain the beauty, access, and safety of the lake. 

After receiving your dues, our Treasurer Elaine will send you a welcome mailing which includes a LSCA member card for your window, a LSCA pen and a hand-written thank you note.

To our members - please spread the word about the LSCA! Your endorsement of the LSCA with your friends, family and neighbors would be greatly appreciated. Building our membership helps us continue to do great work for the Lake and the community.

Thank you for your support!

If you have any questions, please contact us at at info@lakestcatherine.org

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