The Lily Pond Channel Restoration Project Is Underway

The Lily Pond Channel Restoration Project has begun and we'd like to give you an update.

Back in April, the LSCA 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.”

This permit was approved in June - and the LSCA board voted to appropriate the funds ($35,000) for the proejct at our final meeting of the season on August 26th.

SOLitude Lake Management started their work on Monday - the first day of an anticipated 10 day work schedule.

Here are some photos of the work in progress from this morning:

We'd also like to update you on our fundraising efforts.

This project will cost $35,000. The LSCA is hoping to raise half this amount ($17,500) from the lake community to help defray the costs for this expensive undertaking.

We are happy to report that good folks in the LSC community have already started pledging donations!

Currently, we have $2,600 in donations and pledges. So, we are off to a good start, but we still have a long way to go.

We also have an anonymous matching offer to tell you about. A very generous LSCA member has pledged to donate an additional $100 for every donation at or above $1,000. 

The LSCA would like to thank this member for their matching pledge. We hope the community will take advantage of the offer to make their own donation a bit more valuable to the project.

If you would like to help by contributing to this project, please consider sending in a donation to the Association. You can visit our donation page by clicking here (click the Add To Cart button to enter your donation amount), or by sending in a check to:

Lake St. Catherine Association
P.O. Box 631
Wells, VT 05774

Of our current donations and pledges, some have pledged their amount based on the project beginning, some based on the project completion. Since we'd like to keep the community up-to-date on our fundraising efforts, we'd ask that if you plan on making a donation, please send us a quick note to: [email protected] to let us know. This will allow us to keep a total of in-hand and pledged donations.

We hope that you will consider donating to help fund this important Lake project. If you have any questions, please contact the LSCA for more information: [email protected].

Thank you for your support!

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Protecting Your Property and Your Lake Workshop Recap

On Thursday, August 31st, Lake Champlain Sea Grant (LCSG) hosted a free workshop entitled "Protecting Your Property and Your Lake: Be Storm Ready with Lake Friendly Practices” in the Nature Center of the Lake St. Catherine State Park.

Managing stormwater runoff and erosion is especially challenging along Lake St. Catherine shorelines due to intensive development with limited areas available for vegetative stormwater treatment practices.

Linda Patterson, Water Quality Educator with LCSG gave a PowerPoint presentation that discussed natural and human factors contributing to stormwater runoff and shoreland erosion, and the detrimental effects of these forces on water quality and animal and plant life.

Methods for controlling erosion and runoff were presented: native vegetation, hard armor (sea walls, boulders), bioengineering (a mixture of vegetation and hard armor), and soft armor (coir logs, matting, etc.).

Participants had the opportunity to describe erosion and runoff issues on their properties, and to ask questions regarding designs and resources for addressing these problems.

To learn more about these methods, please click through the presentation, provided by LCSG:

LCSG recommends that natural vegetation, or a combination of vegetation and soft armor are the preferred methods for optimal water quality protection and erosion control.

Amy Picotte, Lakeshore ManagerVermont Department Of Environmental Conservation, co-leader of the workshop, provided information on the technical aspects of various control methods and the the steps required to obtain permits for certain approaches.

Amy then led the group outside by on a tour of the shoreline, discussing various erosion control methods recently installed along the embankment of the LSC State Park by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

We first looked at the buffer zone created by adding a wooden fence and adding some new plants in the area.

Next, we looked at the permeable steps installed on this path. Water will drain down through the stone filled steps.

Finally, we looked at this steep embankment. Plantings were strategically placed to help shore up the soil to prevent further erosion.

Attendees received copies of the Shoreline Stabilization Handbook (click here to download a PDF copy) as well as several other educational fact sheets and flyers. Information on state and local resources was also distributed.

Stormwater runoff is a big issue for LSC. As water runs off properties or through culverts, it carries nitrogen, phosphorus, pet and yard waste into the lake. These are all nutrients for lake weeds. Managing stormwater runoff will help control weed growth.

If you are having erosion or runoff issues on your property, please feel free to reach out to Linda or Amy - they will be able to get you started. You can get in touch with them by clicking on the link attached to their name above.

The LSCA would like to thank LCSG for presenting this workshop to educate new and established property owners about effective management strategies for runoff and erosion control. We hope to have more of these very informative workshops in the future.

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Meeting Of The Board Of Trustees - 08/26/2017

Minutes of the Lake St. Catherine Association's fourth and final meeting of the 2017 season.

The Trustees gave their reports on many topics - Click here to see the full meeting agenda. Meeting minutes compiled by Elaine Bagley.

August 26th 2017 Meeting of the Lake St. Catherine Board of Trustees
Lake St. Catherine Country Club, 8:30 AM

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

Jim started the meeting with some announcements:

• Expressed appreciation to Bill McLaughlin for his dedication and many years of service to the LSCA

• Discussed new Trustee, Martha Pofit, who was unable to attend today

• Appreciation for Ellen and Martin Greenberg and their dedication to the LSCA. Camp has sold, LSCA paperwork collected, will be sorted and organized.

• Shared positive comments about Annual Meeting, praise for food, organization and presentation.

I. Secretary’s Report, July 22nd, 2017 minutes accepted

II. Treasurer’s Report submitted by Elaine Bagley

III. Annual Meeting: John B. reports that around 70 people attended the annual meeting. 5 or 6 people did not eat, 10 to 12 had the prime rib. The bar did well. Facility fee used to tip the staff. Discussed coordinating the prime rib better with a more visible ticket.

IV. Milfoil Committee Report - Jeff C. unable to attend, Jim gave his report. This season, we have accomplished our goal of using less herbicide and more suction harvesting. Report is in, will be shared with the board. Need to know Beck and Owen’s availability for next year. They do a much better job than previous contractors. State has a director talking to lakes about not using herbicide. We started in 2004 with Sonar and have been spot treating each year since. Lake Hortonia wants to get a permit based on our program - wondering how to word it for the state to approve. Our permit is up this fall - need to write a new permit. Other discussion included, concern of continuing to cut back on herbicide, confusion of some on the lake between milfoil and native weeds, complaint about noise from suction harvester, LSCCF’s new confusing brochure & state funding - Mary Jo will start a LSCA response. Jim will contact Perry Thomas. The survey from SOLitude Lake Management is being written now, ask Marc Bellaud to join us for a meeting with the State and Perry Thomas. Lots of milfoil fragments in the channel and Little Lake - not captured by the harvester? Boat Launch Monitoring: Rand reports that the State feels our program is a model. All 3 greeters will return in 2018. Rand will be retiring next year, John B stepped up to take over. Greeters will work 4 days over Labor Day Weekend, Friday through Monday.

V. Water Quality - Mary Jo reports no e-coli testing, other tests weekly. Big problem is funding for channel into Lily Pond - permit was approved. $35k total with SOLitude Lake Management. Would start September 18th for 10 days. July storm made a mess. Motion to fund the project. Healthy discussion about using funds in reserve without first collecting additional funds. Suggestions to reach out to Lily Pond property owners, coordinating a gathering of property owners, reaching out to membership. Vote called, 10-2 in favor of proceeding with project, motion passed.

VI. Publicity - Jerremy handed out newsletters, mentioned spring edition, will need content. Newsletters delivered to local businesses. 180+ views of online edition. Suggested creating a LSCA brochure for local businesses, boat launch greeters, cost approximately 50 cents per copy. Mentioned Poultney chili cookoff, having a LSCA booth. Discussed business memberships for next year - would give businesses a logo on our Sponsors page, an ad in the newsletter, a mention on our blog, posting their events on our calendar. Board decided on $250 for this membership level. Will solicit businesses in the fall and winter.

VII. Lake Safety - Frank mentioned that Hall’s Bay buoy missing - may have been tampered with. Sunken island cones found and replaced. Buoys will be picked up after Labor Day. Frank and Mike collected LSCA paperwork from Ellen and Mart’s Camp, Jerremy will sort and organize.

VIII. Nominating Committee - Bob reports that we are still looking for a Recording Secretary Trustee, Rand is retiring, Elaine & John staying on, will be looking for new potential Trustees.

IX. Membership - Rob was not at the meeting

X. Government Relations - Phil reports that Phil Donaldson has been very cooperative, and they have straightened out most of the paperwork. Phil will remind Paul about the 38k.

XI. Old business: Boat parade well advertised and featured online and in the newsletter. Wells Day - was so-so, Poultney Day, lots of folks stopped by. Discussed a new Lake map with updated camp locations and 911 addresses.

XII. New business: Discussed a welcome packet for new lake property owners that local realtors can hand out. Ed discussed cyber liability insurance. Jerremy will set up a call with StarChapter. Board voted to purchase insurance if needed.

Meeting schedule for 2018:

May 26th, 2018
June 23rd, 2018
July 21st, 2018
August 25th, 2018

Meeting adjourned.

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LSCA Approves Lily Pond Channel Restoration Project

The Lake St. Catherine Association is happy to report that the board has voted to approve the Lily Pond channel restoration project.

In April, the LSCA 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 permit, the LSCA requested: “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.”

This project will cost $35,000. The LSCA is hoping to raise half this amount ($17,500) from the lake community to help defray the costs for this expensive undertaking.

If you would like to help by contributing to this project, please consider sending in a donation to the Association. You can visit our donation page by clicking here (click the Add To Cart button to enter your donation amount), or by sending in a check to:

Lake St. Catherine Association
P.O. Box 631
Wells, VT 05774

Please add a note that your donation is for the Lily Pond Project.

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on our fundraising progress - and on the progress of this project which will begin on September 18th, 2017.

Our LSCA Vice President Mary Jo Teetor coordinated this project, and she provided these additional comments:

“The Lake St. Catherine Association has agreed to move forward with the channel project this fall as proposed.

We will be working to encourage all members and non members that will benefit from this work to help us recover the costs of performing this project.

We are hopeful that our efforts will enhance understanding of what it is we have worked hard for in maintaining all parts of the lake for respectful use of residents and visitors alike since the early '70s.

The focus on the Lily Pond over time has been to keep the navigation open as best as possible with harvesting (deemed counterproductive over the long term), herbicide for milfoil only (some success although needed every couple of years), hydro-raking (for individual homeowners around dock areas) as well as hand pulling and diligent efforts to successfully eradicate water chestnut.

It was recognized after a major storm several years ago that when a stand of large mature red pines shading the channel were lost, that the growth would intensify with the sunlight. This has been a priority topic with The State of Vermont’s Agency Of Natural Resources since that time - anticipating the problem we have today.

Understanding that the Lily Pond is true to its name, the expectation that it will be restored to anything but the incubator system that it has been since the turn of the previous century is not realistic. However we do believe that maintaining access and the natural flow will not only help the health of the pond but also the nature of the lake as a whole.

Thank you in advance for any support you can contribute.”

We hope that you will consider donating to help fund this important Lake project. If you have any questions, please contact the LSCA for more information: [email protected].

Thank you for your support!

Proposed hydro-rake area.

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Quarry Operators Ordered To Remove Sediment From LSC

In April of 2014, a "wall of water" came down a forested hill on West Lake Road in Wells, damagaging property and sending debris and sediment into Lake St. Catherine.

Today, the Vermont Agency of Natual Resources annonunced that Ruby Construction, Inc. and Royal Harrison were jointly held responsible in a court ruling. 

They have been ordered to "pay a penalty of $9,000 and apply for a permit from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Lakes and Ponds Management and Protection Program to appropriately remove the sediment from the Lake by next fall."

For more infomation about this ruling, please see this official ANR press release.

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The LSCA Fall 2017 Newsletter

Hello Lake St. Catherine.

It's been a while since we've published a newsletter... Today, we are publishing our Fall 2017 edition. Going forward, we plan on creating two newsletters per season - a Spring and a Fall edition. 

In an effort to save on printing and mailing costs, we've decided to only print a short run of copies and distribute them to local businesses around the Lake. If you'd like a printed copy, please take a look for one when you are out and about in Wells or Poultney.

However, our Fall newsletter is now available here online via our website, click here to view the Fall 2017 Newsletter, or click on the image below. You will be able to read through the newsletter and/or save a copy to your computer.

We hope you'll enjoy this brief summary of the 2017 season!

We welcome your comments: [email protected].

Thank you for your support.

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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: [email protected].

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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: [email protected]

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 [email protected], 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. 


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