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CLA Removes Over 13.3M Pounds Of Weeds

Weeds are pictured being removed from Chautauqua Lake. Submitted photo

Chautauqua Lake Association officials report removing more than 13.3 million pounds of aquatic vegetation from Chautauqua Lake this summer.

Although Chautauqua Lake Association officials said in a news release they still see a need in various locations lake-wide, the in-lake maintenance services for the CLA have ended for the year. Harvesting and shoreline operations concluded at the end of August except for a couple of special funded tasks. CLA’s in-lake maintenance services typically run from Memorial Day through Labor Day on Chautauqua Lake. These services include three crews based out of Mayville Park, Long Point State Park and the CLA shop in Lakewood performing harvesting and near shore clean-up.

“We would like to be able to work into the fall every year and have a larger summer work crew, however, it is limited to what current funding will support,” said Doug Conroe, executive director for the CLA. “Being a nonprofit, we must live within the income received. We are ready to do more and capable of doing more if resources become available in the future.”

CLA officials said under-funding is a problem in terms of summer operations and for later work into the fall. Last year, a special grant was awarded to the CLA to continue its services with one crew for two additional weeks. Many towns are now in the process of forming or adopting next year’s budget.

Overall, CLA officials said in a news release that the condition of the lake was wonderful this year. Average weed growth in most areas had exceptional clarity compared to past years. The CLA noticed greater boat activity and increased lake use throughout the region.

“We had excellent crews that were able to provide outstanding service to most areas. Many compliments were received from various locations lake wide. We would love to have the means to visit neighborhoods more frequently however the reality is it’s a big lake; over 13,000 acres with 42 miles of shoreline,” said Paul O. Stage, president of the CLA.

Many areas took advantage of the roadside pick-up for disposal of near shore vegetation between CLA crew visits. A slight adjustment to the near shore operations proved to be more efficient with tremendous results.

An overabundance of vegetation was observed in the lower basin this summer. The CLA crews worked to provide navigational channels and paths from docks all summer. In late July the CLA ran four harvesters in the lower basin to ensure safe navigational lanes for boaters. A record number of loads were removed from the area that week totaling 92 large truck loads.

“Thank you to all the CLA members, volunteers, employees, and supporters for another great season,” said Conroe, a sentiment echoed by Stage. “We cannot do what we do without a vast support system. Your work is very appreciated. Everyone chipping in has achieved success in the past and we hope this will continue in order to keep Chautauqua Lake in the best condition that is possible.”

For more information about the CLA, visit www.chautauqualakeassociation.org or call 763- 8602.

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