CLP Continues To Lead On The Lake

We have lived in Burtis Bay on Chautauqua Lake for 33 years. First as part time residents and after we retired 5 years ago, as full time residents. During that time we have observed the condition of the lake deteriorate with ever increasing invasive weeds and Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs). Thanks to a group of citizens who said “enough is enough” and took action, this downward spiral is being reversed. In the less than 3 years that the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP) has been in existence, they’ve accomplished so much to help ensure that the lake will survive and thrive. We, as residents of Burtis Bay, are most appreciative of their leadership, commitment, and selfless dedication to Chautauqua Lake. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

For the third year, they’ve led in having much needed herbicide treatments done. In 2017, Bemus Bay was treated. In 2018, 191 acres were permitted with 81 acres treated. Less than 2 weeks ago almost 400 acres, a large part of which was in Burtis Bay, were treated. These treatments would not have occurred if it weren’t for the CLP. They put countless volunteer hours into the application process to the DEC, attended a multitude of meetings in preparation for the implementation, and contributed significant financial support so the treatments could be done.

Last fall, there was a huge buildup of weed masses leading to the killing of thousands of fish and fingerlings along the Burtis Bay shoreline. We and other Burtis Bay residents are grateful for the CLP’s assistance and leadership in making the public and government agencies aware of what was happening. We want to mention specifically Jim Wehrfritz and Tom Erlandson, two members on the CLP’s Board of Directors, whose help was instrumental in setting up a meeting at our home, where they and representatives from local government and State agencies, could see firsthand the environmental disaster that had occurred. Their involvement helped lead to the eventual spring cleanup of the dead fish and remaining debris in our bay.

The Chautauqua Lake Partnership continues to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to the health and future of Chautauqua Lake by their support of the use of Mobitracs to clean along our lake’s shoreline. Two of these Mobitracs will be at work this summer on the lake. In addition, they are contributing $50,000 towards the pilot Phosphorous Measurement Project, which in June will deploy sensors that will measure phosphorus in the lake to aid in identifying and mapping the bottom decaying weed sediment hot spots for future removal. Again, two more examples of their commitment and leadership.

The Chautauqua Lake Partnership leaders are truly stewards of our lake. Their responsible dedication, strong leadership, and countless volunteer hours has demonstrated their commitment to Chautauqua Lake. We, as homeowners on the lake, and all county residents and businesses who benefit from the lake, owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

Mike and Peggy Newell are Celoron residents.