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LSCA Announces Two Boat Safety Courses

The Lake St. Catherine Association is pleased to provide two boating safety courses this season.

The first will be held on June 28th and 29th from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Poultney Volunteer Fire Department on Beaman Street.

The second will be held on July 5th and 6th from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Wells Village School on Route 30.

Anyone born after January 1st, 1974 must successfully complete an approved boating safety education course to legally operate any motorized vessel - including personal watercraft.

Frank Callahan, Trustee in charge of Boating Safety, will be conducting the courses.

Space is limited to 24 attendees, so please call 802-645-9136 or email Frank at frank.callahan@lakestcatherine.org to register.

For additional information about boating in Vermont, check out the online Handbook of Vermont Boating laws and Responsibilities.

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.

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Meeting Of The Board Of Trustees - 5/27/17

On Saturday, May 27th, the Lake St. Catherine Association held their first meeting of the 2017 season.

The Trustees gave their reports on many topics, including: milfoil treatment, the annual membership dinner, the upcoming boat safety courses and the annual boat parade. Click here to see the full meeting agenda.

President of the LSCA, Jim Canders provided the following report - including full details of the meeting:

"Jeff Crandall presented details covering this years herbicide treatment and suction harvesting programs (more info here) to begin during June 2017. Both programs are coordinated each year by the LSCA for the purpose of controlling Eurasian Water Milfoil. The herbicide treatment is planned for 6/14 and will be performed by biologist from SOLitude Lake Management headed by Marc Bellaud.

Our Suction Harvesting Program, which will begin in early June is being performed by Owen Teetor and Beck Sinclair.

Our Boat Launch monitoring program, which is operated in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, began in 2004 in conjunction with our lake herbicide treatment and has been continued and enhanced each year since. The Fish and Game Boat Launch Monitoring this year is being coordinated by Trustee, Rand Burgner. This season's monitors are John Baker and Levi Haviland. Both men, as well as a couple of our Trustees attended this years Agency of Natural Resources Workshops. Workshops are held around the state, but we attended the one hosted at the Visitors Center in Castleton Corners on May 13th.

Elaine Bagley, Treasurer, reported that over 250 people have paid their dues for the the 2017 season. The LSCA depends on lake residents for support of the work that is done. Belonging to the Association and paying dues is one way of assisting with work on the lake. If you have any additional time and would like to assist with work on one of our committees, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of our 15 Trustees. If you are not a 2017 member of the LSCA, please consider becoming one, or making a donation.

Vice President Mary Jo Teeter gave a report on the progress of our permit to conduct a cleaning of the channel between the North Bay and Lily Pond. After a number of years and some very serious wind storms which knocked down pine trees exposing much of the channel to sunlight, plants have begun to grow much more rapidly. Keeping the channel from growing over and providing access for fishing and recreation is of paramount importance.

Frank Callahan discussed Lake Safety and the placement of speed limit markers and orange cones to mark shallow spots and dangerous underwater obstacles. Frank indicated that there may be a movement underway to require lake associations to pay for each marker or buoy that is placed in the water body. Frank also elaborated on the Boating Course that he conducts in Poultney and Wells each season (more info soon). The program is to instruct young boaters (born after 1974) on the correct and safe operation of watercraft.

The LSCA will be exhibiting at East Poultney Day and Wells Variety Day. Support for these community events is important to continue good relations with Towns of Wells and Poultney who annually make donations in support of our work in maintaining the health of Lake St. Catherine.

As well, do not forget the LSCA Boat Parade, July 2, 2017.

Finally, a private fireworks display will be conducted on July 1st by two lake residents, Jack Williams and Rick Roberts. Donations can be made to Rick Roberts."

The Trustees also listened to presentations from Sea Grant and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District.

Linda Patterson and Kris Stepenuck from Sea Grant were up first. Sea Grant "...develops and supports research, outreach and education programs to empower communities, businesses and other stakeholders in the Lake Champlain Basin to make informed decisions regarding the management, conservation, utilization and restoration of their aquatic resources for long-term environmental health and sustainable economic development."

Linda and Kris talk about setting up workshops for the LSC community on topics including landscaping with native plants for pollinators, shoreline erosion control, introductions to certified landscapers and 'septic socials'.

Next up was Hillary Solomon from the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District. The PMNRCD "...has been involved in soil and water conservation projects since Districts were created during the Dust Bowl Era. At our most elemental, we focus on practices that protect water and soil and foster healthy local communities. Our project focus currently involves agriculture, forestry, and stormwater improvement projects. We also participate in research and monitoring efforts in our watersheds, and conduct outreach and education over a broad spectrum of conservation issues."

Hillary discussed their ongoing projects on Lake Bomoseen dealing with erosion issues and water quality. They would like to do the same for Lake St. Catherine by identifying potential projects and applying for grants.

The board would like to thank both organizations for their interest in conservation efforts benefitting Lake St. Catherine.

We'll keep you informed of their efforts, and announce any workshops when they are scheduled.

The next meeting of the LSCA Board Of Trustees will take place on June 24th at 8:30 AM at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club.

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LSCA Announces 2017 Milfoil Treatment

In cooperation with Misha Cetner from the Vermont Department Of Environmental Conservation and Marc Bellaud from SOLitude Lake Management (SLM), the Lake St. Catherine Association would like to inform the community that the lake will be treated for milfoil on Wednesday June 14th, 2017.

On May 10th, biologists from SLM visited the lake to perform a milfoil survey. They have identified areas to be treated with aquatic herbicide Renovate in Accordance with the Aquatic Nuisance Control Permit #2014-C01.

Please see the full advisory notice and map of the herbicide treatment areas by clicking here.

During and after the treatment, please be aware of the following lake water use restrictions:

• There shall be NO USE of Lake St. Catherine, Lily Pond and Little Lake FOR ANY PURPOSE, including boating, fishing, swimming, domestic (household) use or irrigation, on the day of and the entire day after the treatment

• Swimming/wading, boating, fishing and domestic use (except drinking or for food or drink preparation) may resume the beginning of the second day following treatment.

• Use of water from Lake St. Catherine, Lily Pond and Little Lake for drinking or for food or drink preparation shall not resume until water sample analyses reveal that the active ingredient in Renovate (triclopyr) is at or below 75 parts per billion by laboratory analysis.

• Use of water from Lake St. Catherine, Lily Pond and Little Lake for irrigation, including use for watering lawns, trees, shrubs or plants, shall not resume for 120 days or until water sample analyses reveal that triclopyr is at or below 1.0 part per billion by laboratory analysis, whichever comes first.

Representatives of the LSCA also surveyed the lake during the week of May 8th. Based on their observations, and in consultation with SLM, 14 areas have been selected for DASH. DASH is an acronym for Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting. This process involves scuba divers using suction hoses powered by a surface compressor to selectively remove milfoil from the lake bottom. They will be working throughout the season to remove milfoil by the roots in these designated areas.

Here is a map of the treatment areas for Renovate and DASH:

[click the map for a PDF version]

Maintaining the lake costs approximately $100,000 annually - and milfoil treatment is the largest expense. 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.

If you have any questions about the upcoming milfoil treatment, please email us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

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Take A Hike - Climb Haystack Mountain

Looking for a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the Stone Valley? Climb Haystack Mountain in nearby Pawlet (not to be confused with Haystack Mountain in Wilmington, VT.)

View from the top of Haystack Mountain

Haystack is southernmost mountain of "three sisters", visible from Lake St Catherine. Middle and Bald Mountain complete the trio that forms the centerpiece of the north Pawlet hills, where approximately two thousand acres of unbroken forest survives, undeveloped and practically unimpacted by any human use since its beginnings after the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age.

Haystack Mountain, the Town's distinctive natural emblem, rises abruptly from the valley in North Pawlet. Once called in local advertisements “the Gibraltar of the America”, Haystack affords the hardy hiker one of the best panoramic views in Southern Vermont.

Start from the center of town and proceed 1.7 miles North on RT 30. Make a Right turn at Waite Hill road (dirt) and go exactly 1.2 miles and park at the entrance to Tunket Road, this is the entrance to the hike. Directions via Google Maps.

Please do not block the entrance to Tunket Road. There are lots of “Do Not Enter” signs about – no worries- this refers to cars. Just follow the trail marked with the green sign for the Nature Conservancy.

The trail head is about a 15 minute walk from the parking area. To reach the summit will take between 1 and 1.5 hours (bring water and good shoes). This is not an easy hike (the last 20 minutes are steep) but the panoramic views from the top of Haystack are well worth it! From the modest 1,919-foot summit you can see as far west as Glens Falls, NY, and south beyond the farms of the Mettowee Valley to Mount Equinox in Manchester.

- by Jennifer Good

 

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LSCA Applies For Permit To Restore Connectivity To Lily Pond

The Lake St. Catherine Association has applied for a permit to remove sediment and organic debris from the center of the channel between the Lily Pond and the North Bay of Lake St. Catherine to restore the connectivity, increase water movement, improve water quality, enhance open water habitat and control invasive/nuisance vegetation.

From the Department of Environmental Conservation / Lake Encroachment & Shoreland Permitting:

A request for a Lake Encroachment Permit required pursuant to provisions in accordance with 29 V.S.A. Chapter 11, Management of Lakes and Ponds, has been received from Lake Saint Catherine Association on 4/25/2017 requesting approval for the use of a hydro-rake (paddle-wheel driven floating backhoe). Sediment and organic debris will be placed on a floating barge that will be pushed to the designated shoreline off-loading location on the northwest shoreline of Lily Pond. Collected material will be removed from the barge with an excavator and will be placed on shore temporarily to dewater. Once it is dewatered, the material will be loaded and trucked to a nearby composting operation, located within the public waters of Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, VT.

Copies of the application are available for review at the Vermont Lakes & Ponds Management and Protection Program office in Montpelier, or on the Agency of Natural Resources website.

Public comments or requests for a public information meeting regarding this project must be received no later than 6/5/17. Please mail or email your comments or meeting request to:

Laura Dlugolecki
Lake Encroachment & Shoreland Permitting
1 National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3522
802-490-6133

Laura.Dlugolecki@vermont.gov

www.dec.vermont.gov

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Help Wanted: Recording Secretary

The Lake St. Catherine Association is still searching for a Recording Secretary.

The Recording Secretary will record, type and distribute the minutes for the four Trustee meetings and the the Annual Membership Meeting for the LSCA. The dates for these meetings are:

• May 20, 2017 - 8:30 AM
• June 23, 2017 - 8:30 AM
• July 22, 2017 - 8:30 AM
• July 22, 2017 - Annual Membership Meeting - 6 PM
• August 26, 2017 - 8:30 AM

All meetings are held at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club.

If you are interested in this position and volunteering with the LSCA, please contact us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

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The Vermont Loon Conservation Project Seeking Volunteers

The Vermont Loon Conservation Project, a program of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE), would like to thoroughly assess loon activity on Lake St. Catherine this year.

The Vermont loon population has expanded greatly over the past 20 years. If a loon pair ever forms on Lake St. Catherine, they will likely need a little help since loons nest right on the water's edge near boat traffic and occasionally near cottages and other shoreline activity. Loons prefer to nest on islands and at marsh edges but occasionally nest on spits of land or little shelves that are easy to crawl onto.

Photo credit: © Elinor Osborn via VCE website

Eric Hanson, the VCE conservation biologist who coordinates the loon program is looking for some volunteers who can boat the entire lake occasionally when the water is calm (evenings and mornings tend to be best) and count all loons present. Whether volunteers conduct just one survey all summer or go every week, it's all helpful. Residents can also report incidental sightings (e.g., out your camp window).

VCE is also looking for a volunteer to survey Lake St. Catherine on July 15 as part of the annual statewide count.

If you'd like to assist Eric with this project, please contact him at ehanson@vtecostudies.org or call 802-586-8064.

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Take A Hike - Climb St. Catherine Mountain

Looking for a local hike? Climb St. Catherine Mountain and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.

The view of Lake St. Catherine from St. Catherine Mountain

Green Mountain College’s Lewis Deane Nature Preserve is an 85-acre parcel of land located on the eastern slopes of Mount St. Catherine, part of the Taconic Mountains. More than 285 plant species provide a habitat to more than 50 species of birds, nine species of mammals, five species of amphibians, and one reptilian species. Endless Brook is home to indigenous brook trout. The brook snakes its way along the east side of the nature preserve, going underground as it nears Lake St. Catherine, earning the brook its intriguing name. Two trails climb to the top of the mountain, a favorite site for picking blueberries and enjoying the view.

Since its acquisition in 2002, Green Mountain College has utilized the preserve as an outdoor classroom. A number of classes have incorporated Deane Preserve into their curricula. Students from Images of Nature classes have helped to build and maintain these trails.

Trail head parking is on the west side of Endless Brook Road just past the pink bed and breakfast, Toad Hall, about one mile southeast of Route 30. A kiosk provides visitors with background information on the geology, hydrology, ecology, and history of the reserve, and it highlights how the preserve is being used by Green Mountain College for education, research, and recreation.

Map of St. Catherine Mountain trail

Map by Green Mountain College

Visitor Guidelines

All visitors to the preserve are asked to follow these guidelines:

1. Leave-no-trace: carry it in, carry it out.
2. Travel on foot only, except for handicapped access or approved management practices.
3. Hunt only by permission.
4. Engage in no illegal activities.
5. Camp only in designated areas.
6. Build no fires, except in designated areas.

- by Jennifer Good

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Help Wanted: Boat Launch Monitors / Greeters

Each season, the Lake St. Catherine Association staffs the boat launch with "Greeters". These representatives of the LSCA play a very important part in keeping invasive species of plants and fish out of the lake.

We are currently looking to add to our monitoring staff for the 2017 season.

Our boat launch greeter duties include:

• Approaching and interacting with boaters
• Inspecting watercraft
• Identifying and handling suspicious specimens
• Collecting and reporting data
• Distributing educational material on aquatic invasive species

To be a LSCA boat launch greeter, you need to:

• Attend the Vermont DEC training on Saturday, May 13th from 9AM - 1PM at the Castleton Community Center, 2108 Main St, Castleton
• Be available to work Saturdays and Sundays, 8AM - 5PM, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, including the Fridays and Mondays around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Your working days will be scheduled
• Be outgoing, friendly and comfortable interacting with the public

At the DEC training class, you will learn about:

• aquatic invasive species biology, threats to Vermont, and the importance of spread prevention
• aquatic invasive species identification
• access area rules and regulations, baitfish regulations, and invasive species laws
• tips on delivering invasive species messages and interacting with the public

Greeters will be paid $15 per hour, including a paid lunch hour. Supervisors have the potential to make more for their increased responsibilities.

If you are interested in becoming a LSCA Boat Launch Greeter, please email us at: info@lakestcatherine.org.

Also, we still have an opening on the board for a Recording Secretary. For more infomation on this position, please see this blog post.

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Town Of Poultney Provides Funds To LSCA

On Town Meeting Day, the Town Of Poultney voted to approve the appropriation of funds for the Lake St. Catherine Association.

"We want to thank the new Poultney Town Manager, Paul A. Donaldson and the Town of Poultney for their contribution of $20,000.00 to the Lake St. Catherine Association towards our work to maintain the health of the lake," said LSCA President, Jim Canders.

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.

Thanks again to the Town Of Poultney!

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