Two Bags Full

Water Chestnuts Found In Lake Outlet

A kayaker holds a water chestnut found during a water chestnut search earlier this month. Photo by Jonathan Townsend
Two bags of water chestnuts found in the Chautauqua Lake Outlet by Western New York Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management are pictured. Submitted photo

Employees from Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management have found water chestnuts in the Chautauqua Lake Outlet.

The group was surveying areas where water chestnut had been found in 2015 in the Chautauqua Lake Outlet, finding and removing “two very full grocery bags” of water chestnut along the first point on the descending left bank of the outlet downstream of Carlson’s Boat Livery. WNY PRISM employees observed the plant growing in dense stands of native water lily species, which made it difficult to locate.

The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance, in partnership with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and Evergreen Outfitters, recently conducted their third aquatic invasive species early detection volunteer task force paddle of the 2019 season, which took place Aug. 10 in the Chautauqua Lake Outlet.

A group of five volunteers led by alliance and RTPI staff paddled up the Chautauqua Lake Outlet to survey historical water chestnut detection points. The closest historical water chestnut detection point is one mile upriver from the McCrea Point Park Boat launch on the descending right bank of the outlet. While performing visual water chestnut surveys near this point in dense stands of native water lily, one of the volunteer taskforce paddlers notified the group leader that she found one individual water chestnut plant. The project leader recorded a GPS point, removed the individual plant and took pictures. Upon visual inspection of the plant, there did not appear to be any seeds left on the rosettes. The plant was disposed of in an onsite trash receptacle at McCrea Point Park. The photos and details of the report were uploaded to the state invasive species reporting website iMapInvasives. The iMapInvasives presence report number for this occurrence is 1026031.

“Aquatic invasive species early detection paddles like the one held on Aug. 10, 2019, are critically important for the early detection and removal of priority aquatic invasive species in Chautauqua Lake to prevent any larger infestations,” Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance officials said in a news release. “We are urging the general public to be vigilant of this aggressive aquatic invasive species when they are out recreating on Chautauqua Lake and to report any sightings of water chestnut to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute at 665-2473 or WNY PRISM at 878-4708.”