Will new boating regulations on Lake George affect Schroon Lake? Mark Granger, president of the Schroon Lake Association, believes so.
Will new boating regulations on Lake George affect Schroon Lake?
Mark Granger, president of the Schroon Lake Association, believes so.
“They’ll do a great job in Lake George,” Granger said of new rules requiring boats to be inspected and washed when entering the lake. “I have no doubt about that. They’re going to do what’s best for Lake George.
“My worry is that it may drive more people to Schroon Lake,” he said. “We saw a rise in boat traffic when fees were increased on Lake George. Some people will come to Schroon Lake just to avoid the new regulations.”
The Lake George regulations are designed to halt the spread of invasive species in the lake. Lake George currently has five invasive species in its waters — asian clam, eurasian milfoil, zebra mussels, curlyleaf pondweed and spiny waterflea. Those species are believed to have been transported to Lake George by boats that had been in other bodies of water.
Schroon Lake has just two invasive species — eurasian milfoil and curly headed pondweed. Efforts are under way to eradicate both, Granger said, but it’s a long-term project.
“We aren’t like Lake George,” Granger said. “Schroon Lake doesn’t have those invasives (species). I hope the new rules don’t just move the problem from one lake to another.”
Granger doesn’t envision similar regulations for Schroon Lake.
“I don’t see us ever putting a gate on Schroon Lake,” he said, “but we are reaching out to the fish & game club, fishermen and others. We want to save the lake for everyone to enjoy. It may be a pain to clean your boat, but believe me, in five years people will be happy you did.
“We want to educate people on the importance of emptying their bilges and washing their boats,” he said. “It’s common sense.”
Reducing the threat of invasives to the Schroon watershed and preserving water quality are the top priorities of the Schroon lake Association, Granger said.
Toward those ends, The Schroon Lake Association will again join with the East Shore Schroon Lake Association, the town of Schroon and the town of Horicon to fund a lake steward program again this year.
Stewards will inspect boats being placed in Schroon Lake at the Schroon and Horicon boat launches 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week this summer.
“This will provide boat inspection to prevent boats and trailers from bringing invasive plants into our lakes,” Granger said.
There are also plans for invasive species reconnaissance and emergency milfoil removal in 2014, the SLA president said.
The Schroon Lake Association will continue to monitor water quality this year with the help of Steve LaMere, the lake manager, and volunteers.
“We are also funding continuing water quality sampling for the entirety of the lake. Keeping track of contaminants and bacteria is critical to our lake’s health,” Granger said. “Our volunteers, led by Chuck Harste, work with Steve LaMere and CSLAP to do multiple samplings every year.“
CSLAP is the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program, a volunteer lake monitoring and education program that is managed by state Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Federation of Lake Associations.
Granger said a comprehensive report looking at Schroon Lake water quality the past five years in now being prepared. The report, when completed, will be available on the SLA website, www.schroonlakeassociation.com
“The results are good so far, but merit vigilance, as phosphates and salt are rising in some areas,” he said.
The Schroon Lake Association will also work this year to educate property owners near the lake about potential septic issues and the dangers they pose to the lake.
Schroon Lake is a 4,126 acre lake surrounded by two counties — Essex and Warren — and three towns — Schroon, Horicon and Chester. Schroon Lake and its watershed area are part of the Hudson River drainage system.
In 1911 New York State was considering a plan to dam the Schroon River in order to create a huge reservoir for downstate cities. That reservoir would have destroyed Schroon Lake and its surrounding communities. Today’s hamlet of Schroon Lake would have been flooded.
The Schroon Lake Association was founded to fight that plan. It succeeded — instead the state created the Great Sacandaga Lake reservoir.
Granger hopes more people will join the Schroon Lake Association.
“Perhaps our biggest problem is our aged population,” he said. “The average age of our board is 70. They’re amazing people, but we need more, younger volunteers. We live in a town with a population of about 1,800 and it seems the same 200 people do all the volunteering. Everyone has to tap into those same 200 people. We need to get more people involved.”
While there is work to be done protecting Schroon Lake, Granger is optimistic.
“We have a (Schroon) town board that is understanding and supportive of what we’re trying to do,” he said. “We have a great (SLA) board with lots of enthusiasm. And we have great relationships with ESSLA (the East Shore Schroon Lake Association) and the Paradox Lake Association.”
For more information on the Schroon Lake Association go online at www.schroonlakeassociation.org