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November 20, 2021 - Photo: L2R - Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) egg sacs on an Eastern Hemlock branch near Hinchcliff Family Preserve and Aquatic Invasive Species Starry Stonewort that is increasing in observation on Skaneateles Lake
Dear Friends of Skaneateles Lake-

During this time of being thankful, please join SLA in recognizing our guardians against invasive species threatening the quality of Skaneateles Lake and quality of our lives as well as future generations. These hard working heroes are in our forests, at the boat launches, and in the waters.    

In this issue, we are thanking our devoted defenders fighting against:
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) impacting the lake ecosystem
  • Terrestrial Invasive Species like Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) decimating our Eastern Hemlock forests.
Additionally, please find some lake data information.
Lead SLA Boat Launch Steward Marty Minet (center) with Senior Steward Roy Truswell (right) providing City of Syracuse Mayor Walsh (left) with an overview on watercraft surveys that help as a safety net looking for invasives before entering and upon exiting Skaneateles Lake waters. 
Combatting AIS with Coverage-
Whether its the flooding of Lake Ontario marinas in 2019 or boating being a  pandemic friendly activity in 2020, there are certainly different factors that can fluctuate boating activity at the main public launches in Skaneateles, Mandana, and Scott. With more and more boaters flocking to enjoy the quality of life Skaneateles Lake offers, it is critical that we have more protection through coverage at our launches. 

Since 2019 leading up through this season, the SLA Boat Stewards surveyed 47,910 boaters and detected at least one type of organism on 1,256 different watercrafts!

In 2021, there was only 1 day not covered at any of the launches between the start of the program in May and the end of September and that was due to the flooding that occurred from the August 18th major storm event. Additionally coverage continued on weekends into October.

This year there were 344 instances of positively identified invasive species. THANK YOU TO ALL OUR 2021 STEWARDS!

Volunteer program Director and SLA Board Vice President and Lake Ecology Team Co-Chair Dr. Buzz Roberts, Lead Steward Marty Minet, and all our committed boat stewards - Ella Callahan, Sage Crawford, Hope Cross-Jaya, Bob Deyo, Brian Harkins, Braydon Hobart, Laurie Kenyon, Jim MacLachlan, Wendy MacLachlan, James Murphy, JP Soderberg, Sophia Soderberg, Julia Torrisi, Roy Truswell, Alex Unruh, Evan Wingfield, Lili Winkelman, & Meredith Wolanski

Many thanks to the City of Syracuse, NYSDEC, Town of Scott, Town of Skaneateles, The Columbian Foundation, all the responsible and courteous boaters, and SLA donors including our members who support this critical AIS lake protection program.

If you are not already, please consider becoming an SLA Member or encouraging others to - membership application details HERE.
 
Map of areas where Aquatic Invasives, Inc., contracted by SLA, placed matting in 2021 to help control the invasive plant Eurasian Watermilfoil. 
Managing Milfoil with an UNwelcome Mat -

Each year SLA surveys over a period of up to 8 days for Eurasian watermilfoil with sonar to identify where benthic mats that help manage the prolific invasive aquatic plant the next year.  

This past year Aquatic Invasives, Inc. owned and operated by John Menapace, placed 312 mats in 17 different areas comprising of 6.5 acres resulting in a significant reduction of milfoil. Eurasian watermilfoil if left unchecked can outcompete native plants and impact fish populations. Additionally, during seasonal die off it can release nutrients into the water that potentially can feed Harmful Algal Blooms. 

Many thanks to John and his daring team submerging underwater to place these mats!

THANK YOU John Menapace, Alex Cormack, Paul Decapio, Shane Middleby, Kindra Reiter, and Alyssa Whitbread!

Many thanks to Onondaga County and the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance for their annual support of $25,000. County Executive Ryan McMahon, County Legislator Julie Abbott, former County Legislator Mike Plochocki, Onondaga County Dept. of Health staff Russ Nemececk (retired), and Jeff Till have been much appreciated champions in this effort. Additionally, thanks to our members and donors who make up over $100K that keep the program running.  
Click on video above or HERE to view NYSDEC's documentary on the spread of invasive species in NYS. 
Saving Skaneateles Lake's Hemlock Heritage-

As reported in a previous ED Weekly News, protecting our Eastern Hemlock forests continues to be at the forefront of concern where as the late Dr. Robert Werner proclaimed, "If we Lose the Hemlocks, we Lose the Lake" because of their ability to hold back soil from washing down steep ravines in the southern portion of Skaneateles Lake. 

Many thanks to Mark Burger, Theresa Link, and their team at the Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District for making efforts to address this threat to our lake. Thank you to all the treatment professionals, surveyors like Steve Kinne and the CNY HWA Hunters, researchers like Dr. Mark Whitmore and Dr. Carrie Marschner for their efforts through the NYS Hemlock Initiative, thanks to the City of Syracuse for addressing this issue, all the landowners who take upon themselves to treat their trees, thank you to Dr. Buzz Roberts, Dr. Dana Hall, and ESF Graduate Student Will McCall for helping with initiating SLA planning in combatting this threat. Thank you to the NYSDEC, CNY Land Trust, Finger Lakes Land Trust, Lourdes Camp, Finger Lakes PRISM, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Otisco Lake Preservation Association, Owasco Watershed Lake Association, and all of SLA donors and members for their support as well.
Lake Data

According to the City of Syracuse Water Department, lake level as of 11-15-21 was 863.4' (slightly up from 863.38' on 11-8-21) with dam discharge at 159.54 million gallons per day (MGD) and the surface temperature by the city intake pipes was listed as 52 degrees F.

Desired City of Syracuse High Water Mark for November is 861.75'. Desired Low Water Mark is 861.5'. 59 Year Monthly Average for November is 860.46'.
PLEASE KEEP SLA IN MIND FOR GIVING TUESDAY ON NOVEMBER 30th (or TODAY!)

Consider helping increase our membership not only for financial support, but to stay connected and to provide more strength in numbers for our mission in lake protection.

Also, if you are already a member and have helped encourage other to join, please consider giving to the SLA Legacy Fund that was established to help address Harmful Algal Blooms. 

Thank YOU!
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