Since the article posted, we have received concerns regarding an interpretation of a quote that could be read as we (SLA) are not doing anything yet about the recent discovery. The quote was referring to there not being a specific management strategy identified yet for Starry Stonewort on Skaneateles Lake where it has been discovered.
Just like the Eurasian Watermilfoil Management program that SLA now commits over $150,000 toward annually to successfully address the issue, a similar tact would possibly be required to tackle Starry Stonewort. First, as we did for milfoil, we would assess its whereabouts and if we find isolated monocultures that could be managed by suffocating the plant with benthic matting, we would explore that potential strategy. The difficulty with where Starry Stonewort has been initially discovered is that it is found in densely matted areas with other native and non-native species. There is potential for selective hand pulling, but may be extremely onerous and not as effective.
To leverage efforts and properly give this issue the attention it deserves, the Skaneateles Lake Association is and will be working closely with Cortland County Soil & Water Conservation District, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), the Starry Stonewort Collaborative, local volunteers and municipalities and other community partners.
Additionally, to curb additional invasions of harmful species like Starry Stonewort, SLA is continuing to add more hours, days, and effort in building a stronger and wider safety net with our Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention program at the major boat launches in the towns of Scott and Skaneateles. The sites are still accessible early in the morning and late at night when stewards are not at the site which can be an issue and more reason to get more education out to the boating community. 2020 was a banner year for new boat sales and an increase in recreational boating with new boaters that has caused extra pressure on our lake. SLA and its members support our program that costs $70,000 annually with surmounting needs. To learn more about boat activity in 2020 on Skaneateles Lake, please click on the video below.
If you have access to the shoreline/and or a boat where you would be willing to help as a volunteer conducting surveys for aquatic invasive plants like Starry Stonewort, please connect with us via the contact us tab on our website at: https://skaneateleslake.org/contact-us/
Lastly, the other concern that we have heard is that the SLA is not as concerned with the south end of the lake. The SLA is wholly dedicated to the entire Skaneateles Lake Watershed and we look to base our lake protection efforts off the best data and science that we gather or work with community partners on obtaining the best information at hand to help drive our decision making.
Thank you all for your continued support in helping address these surmounting threats to the gem we call Skaneateles Lake.
Skaneateles Lake Association
Click on image above to view
SLA Executive Director's message on Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention