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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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Meeting Of The Board Of Trustees - 6/24/17

On Saturday, June 24th, the Lake St. Catherine Association held their second 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 Jerremy Jones and LSCA President Jim Canders.

June 24th 2017 Meeting of the Lake St. Catherine Board of Trustees
Lake St. Catherine Country Club, 8:30 AM

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

Lila Burgner reported on her efforts for the 5th Annual Boat Parade. She's collected 8 prizes that were donated by local businesses, and received ice cream certificates for all child participants. She's put up fliers around the lake, and was interviewed for an article that appeared in the Granville Sentinel last Thursday. Boat registrations are down from this time last year, with 7 confirmed - hoping for more signups this week.

Eliane Bagley handed out her Treasurers Report. Membership checks and online dues are still coming in. A suggestion was made that the board should have an audit conducted on the books for 2016. After a brief discussion, it was decided to look into what a non profit may need for an audit or financial review. Elaine also reported that we had received a $24,175.20 check from the State towards our Grant.

John Belnavis discussed the possible menu for the Annual Member Meeting on July 22nd at the LSC Country Club [more info on this soon]. A $15 option for salmon, chicken francaise, pasta and salad. A suggestion was made that we also offer another option for a higher price. For example, $25 for prime rib. John will check in with the CC chef for options. The board voted to provide a $250 facility fee to the CC for use of the dining room for our monthly meetings - including the membership dinner and tips for the waitstaff. Once the menu is finalized, we will start promoting via flyers, the LSCA website, Facebook and Jerremy will make contact with the local papers.

The board also discussed keeping the Trustee portion brief and focused. A projector will be set up to show photos and slides as each Trustee presents. A suggestion was made to bring in a speaker. The suction harvesting team Owen and Beck will speak about the work they are doing to control the milfoil around the lake this season.

Jeff Crandall detailed the milfoil treatment that took place on June 14th. The treatment went well, and followup water tests are underway. 42 acres were treated with the herbicide Renovate. Jim mentioned that lake water should be safe for drinking and preparing foods within the next few weeks. Suction harvesting is underway around the lake. A suggestion was made that the LSCA should create a history of the milfoil treatment in LSC to inform the lake community of the board's efforts to control it.

Rand Burgner gave a report on the boat launch. The 3 greeters are doing an excellent job and have processed 399 boats so far this season. The greeters will be staffing the boat launch Friday - Tuesday over the 4th of July weekend.

Mary Jo Teetor reported finding no issues with the weekly water tests. She mentioned adding the DEC Lake Score Card to the Water Quality page on the LSCA site. There is also a 'Septic Social' scheduled for July 19th in Wells [more details to come]. At a Septic Social, "homeowners learn about the options for a well functioning septic system and the good maintenance practices". Awaiting approval of Lily Pond channel permit. Funding for this potential project was discussed, funding from property owners?

Jerremy Jones discussed updates to the LSCA website and presented a website usage report. The blog is being updated with all the latest LCSA news, as is the LSCA Facebook page. A new business level membership was discussed. The idea discussed would have local businesses receiving a listing in the Sponsors section of the new LSCA site and an option to have their events and special occasions listed on our web Calendar. It was suggested that a committee be formed to decide how to implement it for the 2018 season. Rand and Elaine volunteered to work with Jerremy on this idea.

It was decided that the board would like a printed newsletter to be hand delivered around the lake and to local businesses to be available before Labor Day. Jerremy will call the company that printed the last newsletter to determine how many copies were printed and the cost.

Jerremy also mentioned that he will work to get all LSCA news and events into the local papers and requested that Trustees provide a photo for their listing on the Trustees page on the new website.

Frank Callahan talked about the 2 upcoming Boating Safety courses. Registrations are low - and at least 10 are needed per class. The courses were listed in the Thursday edition of the Granville Sentinel. Frank also discussed 'the rock' buoy washing up on shore, and that one of the cones at the sunken island had come loose. This appears to be from people tying their boats, damaging the line to the anchor. It will need to be repaired.

Bob Williams reports that there will be 3 openings on the board and the Trustees are actively recruiting to find interested lake community members.

Next, membership was discussed. Rob Goldman sent out a new mailing last week in an effort to reach out to those that have not sent in their dues for 2017.

Phil Pope informed the board that the State is very behind on their grant paperwork. He has been in touch with his contact weekly, but he is still waiting for the paperwork that will enable the filing of the Grant-in-Kind Report.

Finally, the board discussed participating in both Wells Variety Day and East Poultney Day, and Jim mentioned the upcoming fireworks by Rick Roberts and Jack Williams.

The next meeting of the LSCA Board Of Trustees will take place on July 22nd at 8:30 AM at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club.

Our Annual Membership meeting will be taking place the evening of July 22nd at 6 PM at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club. More details will be posted soon.

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