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Focus On Research, Rather Than Fighting Over Herbicides, Is A Better Approach For Lake

Herbicide treatments on Chautauqua Lake have wrapped up for this year — with relatively little public controversy.

That’s a good thing.

Herbicide use shouldn’t be overdone on Chautauqua Lake, but with DEC oversight it should be a part of lake maintenance activities. The fact that the process has been established and herbicide use and weed cutting are working in concert is a positive development that shouldn’t be lost on anyone. That’s particularly true when one thinks where the lake was just a decade ago.

Settling this issue publicly sets the stage for more exciting and productive work. As Jay Young of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance wrote recently, researchers are back on Chautauqua Lake this summer. Researchers from North Carolina State University, Bowling Green State University, the Jefferson Project at Lake George and Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists will all spend time on the lake researching both vegetation and trying to pinpoint conditions in the lake that contribute to algae growth.

Such research can help the alliance and lake organizations make better, more coordinated decisions. As Young wrote, these programs are not all going to arrive at the same place at the same time, but they are all heading in the same direction.

That’s a positive development.

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