(9:25 AM) White Paper Released For Managing Weeds In Chautauqua Lake

Eurasian watermilfoil

MAYVILLE — Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E&E) recently provided Chautauqua County with a white paper on available aquatic plant management techniques for managing weeds in Chautauqua Lake. The report, which was released this month, is titled, “Summary of Methods for Control of Aquatic Invasive and Nuisance Plants with Special Emphasis on Eurasian Watermilfoil and Curly-leaf Pondweed.”

“We were pleased to have this independent, third party firm evaluate various approaches to address the weeds in Chautauqua Lake,” said Mark Geise, deputy county executive for Economic Development. “It is important that we have an approach to periodically evaluate our decisions and goals for Chautauqua Lake, and E&E’s white paper will help us establish best management practices for our Comprehensive Lake Management Strategy.”

E&E, a consulting firm in Lancaster, N.Y., prepared the white paper through in-depth research and examination of peer-reviewed papers, environmental impact statements, text books, herbicide product labels obtained from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and management guides and guidelines.

The white paper, which has an emphasis on the available herbicides that could be used in New York state, examines various biological, chemical, and physical aquatic plant management techniques to help control the amount of Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed (the two most problematic plant species) found in Chautauqua Lake. It also identifies the advantages, disadvantages, and environmental impacts associated with each technique from a third party perspective.

Since 1937, there have been 51 aquatic plant species identified in Chautauqua Lake. While most of the plant diversity consists of native species, there is an abundance of Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed in the lake. These two highly invasive, non-native, aquatic plant species were first documented in the lake in 1972 and 1937, respectively, and continue to have an impact on the health of Chautauqua Lake.

Curly-leaf pondweed

To control these aquatic invasive plant species, the report recommends to:

• regularly monitor plant communities to track herbicide results and plant regrowth in order to make informed management decisions,

• utilize the most effective combinations of available biological, chemical, and physical management techniques and tools available, and

• rotate herbicides used at a given site in order to prevent herbicide resistance in targeted plants.

To view a copy of the full report, visit co.chautauqua.ny.us/186/County-Executive .