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DEC, CLP Reveal Herbicide Treatment For Lake

Chautauqua Lake users should be better able to navigate the Ellicott channel with their boats after herbicides are applied starting May 15.

As three towns and two villages continue to finalize funding and other details by the end of this week for spring herbicide applications, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Chautauqua Lake Partnership have further detailed the long-term goals and short-term plans of treatment.

Even though a final number of acres to be treated has not been reached for the lake due to updating permits and last-minute funding searches, the CLP announced that SOLitude Lake Management will begin applying herbicides Aquathol K, containing endothall, and Navigate, containing 2, 4-D, in lake waters Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Applications may take three to six days to complete and must be finished by May 22 according to the DEC.

Public access points will be marked with signs that notify residents of the applications. Signs will also be posted downstream. Once water use restrictions are lifted, signs will be removed.

Everyone should refrain from swimming during the treatment and 24 hours after it is completed. Lake water should not be used for irrigation until 21 days after the treatment is completed. Water is not considered potable unless it has less than 50 parts per billion of either chemical.

Irrigation and drinking water restrictions will be enforced in-lake south of Maple Springs and Prendergast Point. Swimming restrictions are mostly enforced for areas that are being treated.

A line of herbicide treatments will expand the navigation channel in Ellicott waters to 60 feet wide from the head of the Chadakoin River and into the south basin. Aquathol K will specifically be used to clear out as much of the invasive curly-leaf pondweed as possible. Last year, boaters often complained about the weed that tangled itself around rudders and made steering more difficult. Permits for treatment zones in Lakewood and Ellicott are also being revised further.

“Burtis Bay will be treated in thirds with the first treatment planned for this year,” said Maureen Wren, NYSDEC media relations professional. “The remaining two thirds will be treated in subsequent years, one third at a time.”

This year, the areas around the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, Ellicott Shores Apartments and Lakeside Boulevard are planned for treatment in Burtis Bay. Harvesting of weeds by the Chautauqua Lake Association is currently serving as another means to clean up Burtis Bay shores. The cleanup remains ongoing.

Follow Eric Zavinski at twitter.com/EZavinski

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