Lake Mahopac News Summer

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					 Lake Mahopac News                                               Summer 2007/2008
 The Newsletter for the Lake Mahopac Park District                         
In this Issue:
• Outlook for 2007/2008
• Annual Drawdown
• Lake Seminar 2008
• New Resident
• How's the Water?
• Flotsam & Jetsam
• NYS FOLA Report
• Lake Friendly Stu                                                      Lake Seminar 2008
• Resource Corner                                                 Planning is currently underway for an
                                                          educational event on Earth Day 2008. Next April 22nd,
                                                          the Lake Mahopac Park District is preparing to host an
                                                          event at the Mahopac Library bringing together
                                                          expert limnologiosts from the New York DEC and
                                                          Cornell University, local residents and anyone who
                                                          loves our lakes and environment.
                                                                  The presentations and discussions will cover
              Outlook for 2007 / 2008                     useful information about the lakes of NY state and
                                                          Lake Mahopac in particluar. Mark your calendar and
        Things are going well for Lake Mahopac. The
                                                          plan to attend this informative and fun event
Park District Advisory Board continues to work to
                                                          overlooking the waters of Lake Mahopac from the top
improve the environment and safety on this
                                                            oor of the Mahopac Library. Exact times and agenda
wonderful lake. In past year the Advisory Board has
                                                          information will be provided in a separate mailing as
continued to monitor the aquatic vegetation and
                                                          the date nears.
water quality, geese control measures, the annual
winter water level drawdowns, updating of our
website and continuing our mutual cooperation with
the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Carmel Police. In
addition, the Board has been actively insuring that the
storm drains and catch basins around the lake are
cleaned and maintained. Without this e ort, road
runo containing sand and salt will over ow into the
lake . The summer of 2007 has been a wonderful time                      New Lake Resident
to be around Lake Mahopac, for many reasons,
                                                                 Photographed by Ed Yarmchuk for the rst
including the generally good weather, the completion
                                                          time last winter was our very own Bald Eagle. The
of the Frank Lloyd Wright house, and, as of this date,
                                                          good news is that on June 28th, 2007, the Interior
no reports of any serious accidents or safety issues.
                                                          Department of the Federal Government o cially
                Annual Drawdown                           removed the eagles from the list of endangered
                                                          species thanks to the successful conservation e orts
       The Park District opens the sluicegate each
                                                          and the banning of the pesticide DDT. Join us in
year within a few days after the second week of
                                                          welcoming our new lake Mahopac resident. Keep a
October. Please pay attention to the water level to
                                                          sharp eye out this winter for a glimpse of our eagle.
avoid any incovenience when removing or storing
boats for the winter.
                                                             This proved too costly and fraught with
                                                         regulatory issues to be practical. An inexpensive
                                                         solution to acheive the same result is needed; we will
                                                         be researching this issue further over the winter
                                                         months. More information will be provide well in
                                                         advance of any enhanced drawdown.
                                                                        Flotsam & Jetsam
                How's the Water ?                            Flotsam and jetsam are 18th century terms used
       This is the thirteeth year since the grass carp   to refer to debris in the ocean. Technically, otsam
have been introduced (October 1994) into Lake            referred to materials that unintentionally end up in
Mahopac for controlling the Eurasian Milfoil             the sea as a result of a shipwreck. Jetsam referred to
population, and the ninth year the Louis Calder          materials and goods that a crew would purposely
Center performed both the water quality monitoring       throw overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship
and vegetation study for Lake Mahopac. The               during an emergency.
sampling was conducted on August 4, 2006 at the              In the modern day, otsam and jetsam can also be
same sites of the previous years. The report on this     found in Lake Mahopac. Some of the debris in the
years sampling is expected shortly.                      lake is a result of the winter freeze “liberating” docks
        The grass carp are continuing to keep the        and lumber from the shoreline. Natural materials
Eurasion Milfoil from reestablishing itself at the       such as trees and branches also wind up in the water
annual sampling sites; however as in the previous        as the result of the winter storms. It’s a good idea to
year there have been sightings of milfoil in the lake    keep a keen eye out for these hazards when boating
by some residents. This is the third year that another   in the early spring.
plant, Wild Celery, has also been seen in some of the
coves around the lake. This plant is a native
(non-invasive) to Lake Mahopac and should not been
considered a threat to the lake’s ecosystem. Aquatic
vegetation is a source of (1) food for sh and small
insects, (2) protection for breeding sh and (3)
oxygen. A moderate population of aquatic plants (20
to 30%) is essential for the long-term health of the
        Water temperature was warmer and oxygen                 Last summer the lake committee oversaw the
lower this year as compared to last year. This is the    removal of a large willow tree that had drifted into
second year that oxygen levels were lower. Oxygen        the west cove and become lodged in mud, posing a
levels are a ected by (1) temperature (warmer water      hazard to swimmers, skiers and boaters. With the help
equals less oxygen) or (2) consumption of oxygen by      of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Carmel Town
  sh and bacteria is greater than production of oxygen   Highway Department, the 65’ willow was towed to
by plants and algae. Additionally, nitrogen levels       the Mahopac Beach Restaurant parking lot and
were higher near the bottom of the lake where            removed from the lake. Our thanks to property owner
nutrient loading under low oxygen levels is greatest.    Mike Barile for permitting the use of the restaurant
        In summary, the grass carp are still keeping     parking lot for the operation.
the Eurasion Milfoil from dominating in the lake and         Early this June, new pressure treated lumber
the water quality of Lake Mahopac is good.               escaped from a dock construction sight as a result of
                                                         a sudden afternoon storm. These substantial planks
 Presidential Election Year/Enhanced Drawdown            were removed before any serious damage resulted.
   This has been discussed in the past as a method,         Whether intentional or not, materials do nd their
every four (4) years, to lower the lake level beyond     way into the lake’s water. We encourage everyone to
the normal 17 to 23 inches depending on the amount       do their part in removing trash, bottles, cans, tree
of precipitation in the fall. This would help home       limbs or whatever is found. Inform the Carmel Police
owners who want to repair seawalls, docks and other      (845-628-1300) of any large items that represent a
maintenance items. Originally we looked to upgrade       safety hazard. Thanks in advance for doing your part
the current dam structure or create an additional        to keep our lake safe and clean.
                                                                There is no evidence that VHS will e ect lakes in
                                                            our area but the DEC and the local lake associations
                                                            will be vigilant.
                                                                • The DEC has been tracking salt levels in NY lakes
                                                            and waterways and has reported that salt levels have
                                                            been slowly rising since the 1940’s when road crews
                                                            started using salt on winter road surfaces. Several
                                                            approaches to improving this situation were
              NYSFOLA Conference 2007                       presented including state of the art devices for
                                                            controling and metering salt application and the use
   As in years past, the New York State Federation          of a liquid salt that binds to the road surface and will
of Lake Association’s held it’s annual conference           not get plowed or rinsed away.
at the White Eagle Conference Center in Hamilton,
N.Y.. Jay and Susan Hoy-Crawford attended this
years three day conference on behalf of the Lake
Mahopac Park District. The NYSFOLA conference is
a great opportunity to gather with representatives
of other lake associations, and park districts to
share ideas, issues and best practices for successful
lake management. Representatives from the NYS
Department of Environmental Conservation, (DEC),
Cornell University and other knowledgeable limnology                           Goose Patrol
experts were in attendance.                                        The e orts to control the Canadian Geese
                                                            population on the lake continued this year with the
    Top issues discussed this year’s NYFOLA conference      help of Jim Maxwell and a team of volunteers. Two
were as follows:                                            egg addling expeditions were held in the spring on
    • Based on the latest computer modeling                 the islands and lake shore. A total of twenty three
predictions from the National Oceanagraphics and            nests were found and forty ve eggs were addled.
Atmospheric Administration, NY State should expect          Many surrounding lakes and reservoirs also have the
a 20 year period of not only increased rainfall, but also   issue of too may geese but so far, through the e orts
a period of increasing rainfall intensity (a high rate of   of our committed team, we have been able to stay
rainfall over a short period of time, what is referred to   ahead of the goose population. This is a continuing
as a 100 year storm) These conditions will challenge        task and everyone’s help is requested. Please report
the normal ground absorption of water and traditional       any goose nest that has been missed to the
river and stream channels to deal with the volume of        committee via the website email.
water. This will result in an increased potential of ash
  ooding of rivers, streams and other water e ected
    • The DEC has proposed new dam safety
regulations that will e ect many of the 3000 NY dams
and other water regulating structures. Implications,
                                                                                            The Newsletter
if any, for the Lake Mahopac sluice gate have yet
to be determined under the proposed regulations.                   Someone asked, “When does the newsletter
The committee will stay informed on this subject as         come out”? That’s a good question. The answer is
the regulations pass through public hearings and            pretty straight forward. We publish the lake
ultimately the NY Senate for passage into law.              newsletter when we have new and useful information
    • A new virus is attacking NY lake and river sh         that needs to be shared with residents of the Lake
called VHS or Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia. This            Mahopac Park District. The park district
serious pathogen attacks fresh and salt-water sh,           website( is also updated on a
causing internal hemorrhaging and death. VHS has            regular basis as needed. The park district board is
been identi ed in sh kills in Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair    continuously working on new initiatives to the bene t
(MI), Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River       of the lake, it’s residents and everyone who enjoys this
and Conesus Lake (Western NY).                              wonderful resource.
                                                                   Resource Corner
                                                      New boaters to our lake, please take a minute
                                                    to check out the website dedicated to the Lake
                                                    Mahopac Park Community. You'll nd it at:
                                           You will nd useful
                                                    information on the lake such as safety rules, a
                                                    lake map, and past informative newsletters.
              Lake Friendly Stu                     You will also be able to contact the committee
         In a previous newsletter there was an      via an email at We
article titled, "Feed Your Lawn; Not The Lake."     would very much like to hear your thoughts,
The subject of the article was the negative         suggestions, and, yes, even criticism that can
impact that phosphorous has on fresh water          help us serve the Lake Mahopac Park Commu-
lakes. Phosphorous is the "limiting factor,"        nity better.
which can be interpreted as the growth factor           Please report any safety or environmental
for aquatic vegetation in fresh water, (nitrogen    issues to:
is the limiting factor in salt water bodies.) If    - NY Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP)
you do employ a lawn maintenance company,                                           (914)245-6694
you need to have a discussion with them             - Town of Carmel Police Dept. (845)628-1300
about the non-necessity of phosphorous
applications on established lawns. Many of          Please visit the following sites for information
these companies are well aware of the prob-         on boating and personal watercraft safety
lem and are happy to comply. The excess             and laws:
introduction of phosphorous through fertil- (Coast Guard )
izer encourages aquatic plant growth in the Boating info.)
lake. Nitrogen is what makes the lawn look
nice and green. Phosphorous is not needed in
an established lawn. (New lawns may require                        Who We Are............
phosphorous to initially set up a good root                The Lake Mahopac Park District Advi-
system, a soil test will indicate if phosphorous    sory Committee is a group of individuals
is needed. The Cornell Cooperative Extension        appointed by the Carmel Town Board to
provides inexpensive soil testing for phospho-      advise the board on issues that pertain to the
rous level and soil typing. The cost is a mere      health and safety of the lake. Committee
$10, and takes one day; just bring in a cup of      activities include the monitoring of the lake
soil. For $15, a soil test kit is available for a   water quality, liaisoning with the Carmel
much more extensive testing of soil param-          Police, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and coordi-
eters . To contact the Extension, which is          nating with surrounding lakes through the NY
located above the Motor Vehicle Dept. in            State Federation of Lake Associations and the
Brewster, call 845-278-6738 for further infor-      Department of Environmental Conservation.

Board Officers:                                      Board Members:
Edward Barnett            - Chairman                 Charlie Langlitz         Martin Greenberg
Jay Crawford              - Vice Chair               James Maxwell            Joe Massaro
Alissa Perrone            - Secretary                Bill Frumkin
Sheila Margolis           - Treasurer                William Spain

Robert Ravallo                                - Carmel Town Board Liaison
Sgt. Michael Cazzari/ Sgt. Ken Schmitt        - Carmel P.D. Liaison
James Dipelesi                                - US Auxilary Coast Guard Liaison

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