Friday, October 29, 2010

Update: Asian Clams found in Owasco Lake

Updates on the Asian Clam discovery in Owasco Lake:

Guidance from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County:

We are asking lakeshore residents to explore their shoreline to see if any Asian clam shells have washed up in the area. Please rake the sediment near and just below the waterline to see if you can find any live clams. If a clam or shell is found that fits the description of an Asian clam, we are asking that you take a photograph or a sample and report it on the Owasco Lake Network at Please contact Jessica Miles in the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program with any questions about identifying clams in Owasco Lake at 252-4171 ext. 120. If you find a clam in a lake that is not Owasco Lake, please call Amy Barra at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 255-1183.

We are asking boaters and people who fish to be extra cautious. We do not yet know the extent of the infestation and are hoping to keep the clams confined to the areas we know they already inhabit. Here are some ways to help stop the spread of the Asian clam:

• Do not keep golden clams in aquariums or water gardens; if you already have them, do not dispose of waste water in or anywhere near a body of water

• Do not dump bait buckets into the lake

• Make sure to fully inspect and clean your boat if it is necessary to move it into an uninfected body of water. Be sure to eliminate water from the equipment and make sure to dry any parts that come into contact with water.

•Remember to never release fish or other aquatic animals into a waterway, unless that is where they came from.

Links to more information and recent news articles:

Clam guidance from OWN:

Asian Clam background from the Finger Lakes Institute:

Auburn Citizen article:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Asian Clams found in Owasco Lake

More disappointing news; Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) have been found in Owasco Lake. The Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program (OLWIP) reported earlier today that recent samples found by a an OWLA water sampler have been confirmed as asian clams. OLWIP and other Cayuga County officials are putting together a response to the issue and will be going public with more detailed information over the next 2-3 days.

OLWIP has been designated as the lead for identifying or answering questions about properly identifying the clams. Please refer any questions to Jessica Miles at OLWIP (315)-252-4171 x 120 or

Stay tuned to this blog for more information and links to keep you informed on this developing issue on our lake.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Potentially toxic algae found in Owasco Lake

Blue-green algae was found in Owasco Lake in late September according to the Cayuga County Health and Human Services Department. Samples taken from the north end of the lake were tested by the NYS Health Department and were confirmed to be the potentially toxic Blue-green algae. The Cayuga County Health Department is cautioning people to not swim, cook or wash with water that has algae in it.

For more information on Blue-green algae go to this NYS Department of Health web-site
 or call the Cayuga County Helath Department at 315-253-1405.

For more details, see the news story at the following links:

WSYR Channel 9:

Auburn Publications:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Owasco River Trail - City awarded grant to study feasability

Local newspapers are reporting this week that the City of Auburn has been awarded a grant to study the feasibility of building an Owasco River trail from Downtown Auburn to Owasco Lake. The grant of $590,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation will be used to hire a consultant to begin the planning for a multi-use trail.

The idea for this trail goes back over 40 years and has been studied several times. This idea has always excited me as a great recreation idea for our community. So I took a few minutes this morning to dig back in my files and find some history on the idea. The first reference I found to an Owasco River plan goes back to 1954. The next was the 1968 Master Plan for Emerson Park that referenced development of recreational areas along the river north of the Emerson Park. In July 1971, the Cayuga County Planning Board published a development proposal which included a plan called "Rediscover the Owasco River". In 1972, the board published a more detailed proposal entitled the "Owasco River Plan. I am not sure what happened with that plan, but I believe it remained on the shelf for another 20 years.

In 1996, The Owasco River Alliance was formed by several community leaders. The purpose of this group was to promote tourism and recreational development along the Owasco River. The idea was to start with the 1972 plan and update it to meet the ideas of the community. In the end, I believe funding became the obstacle to the progression of this effort, although I think this groups efforts helped to drive funding for the rebuilding of the seawall and bridges in Emerson Park.

These recent trail efforts have been an outcome of the development of the City of Auburn's Comprehensive Plan. The plan was a community wide effort to come up with ideas and plans for future development desires of Auburn residents.

We have a great start already with the seawall and rivers trails all the way north to Auburn High School. It would be great to develop bicycle/walking trails that would allow us to enjoy the river from downtown to the lake. Presently, my wife and I "cart" our bikes to Onondaga Lake Park, the Erie Canal trail east of Rochester or the old Erie canal trail between Manlius and Rome to enjoy these types of trails. We typically enjoy a meal and visit local shops while on these trips. It sure would we be nice to stay and spend  in our own county as well as enjoy Auburn's "hometown" beauty.

I really hope that this time, the Owasco River trail from Auburn to Owasco Lake becomes a reality. I know OWLA will be behind the effort 100%. What do you think? Please let us know by posting a comment here.

- Lakeman

Monday, October 11, 2010

Library of Information on Invasive Species

The Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart William Smith College has compiled a nice library of information on Aquatic Invasive Species Management. Resources covering milfoil to zebra mussels are available on their web site. There are brochures to aid in in plant identification as well as background research covering invasive species in upstate NY.

Check it out at the link to the FLI web site below:

Also be sure to check out other Finger Lakes environmental activities at FLI by going to their October calendar at :

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Household Hazardous Waste and Home Electronics & Propane Tank Recycling event

Cayuga County's Household Hazardous Waste Day and Home Electronics & Propane Tank Recycling event will take place on Saturday, October 16th. The event provides all City of Auburn and Cayuga County residents the opportunity to dispose of these materials in a safe manner.

This is a great opportunity to properly dispose of those old paints, chemicals and cleaners in your garage or basement! 

Date, Time and Registration:

  • Saturday, October 16, 2010.
  • Everyone Must Register with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County. Please call 315-255-1183.
Acceptable Household Hazardous Wastes Include:

  • Products containing chemicals
  • Oil based paints
  • Turpentine, paint thinners, brush cleaners
  • Pesticides (weed killers, insect sprays, fungicides)
  • Mercury thermometers and barometers
  • Liquid mercury (quick silver)
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs (contains mercury)
  • Compact fluorescent bulbs (contains mercury)
  • Liquid Driveway sealer
  • Household cleaners
  • Gasoline
  • Gas/oil, oil/water, gas/water mixtures
  • Antifreeze
  • Mothballs
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Photograph developing chemicals
Look for warnings on labels such as danger, caution, toxic, flammable, corrosive, and reactive. These are hazardous materials that can cause water pollution and human injuries if they are poured on the ground, down the drain, or placed in the trash.

Home Electronics and Propane Tanks

Home electronics*, televisions*, computers*, digital cameras, propane tanks (up to 40 pounds) and small freon appliances* are also accepted.

*$5 fee for each television (limit 2 televisions), and each small freon appliance.

Get more information at the following link:

or call CCE at 315-225-1183 with your questions.