Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learn more about Wetlands

Our Wetlands:  A Community Treasure

The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, NY will host talks and a tour about local wetlands on April 9th, 2011.  For complete details on the ***free*** Symposium please see

Refreshments and coffee         9:00 am 
Welcomes and Introductions  9:30 am 
Presentations                          10:00 am.
Lunch                                      1:10 pm
Walking Tour                           2:00 pm

Howard Goebel, from New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC), will talk about the challenges of managing lake levels, especially during heavy rains or snowmelt.  The Canal is managed for recreational activities, protection of property and maintenance of habitat – it is a daunting mission.

Sarah Fleming, from Ducks Unlimited, will review the status of water fowl populations in the area and the importance of Montezuma to these birds.  Ducks Unlimited mission is to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl.

Zachary Odell will cover The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) role in wetland management.  TNC has acquired more than 3,000 acres of property at Montezuma.  TNC partnered with Ducks Unlimited in 2000 to expand the refuge.  It also owns the Carncross Salt Marsh within the refuge. 

Tony Eallonardo will talk more about the salt marsh; its history, cultural and economic impacts and unique species. 

There will also be a chance to talk to representatives from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Bureau of Wildlife, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Montezuma Audubon Center, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Organization.

Coffee will be provided from 9-9:30 by the Friends of Montezuma.  During this time there will be an opportunity to purchase a lunch, or you may bring your own.  Refreshments mid-morning are being provided by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization. A walking tour of the Audubon Center grounds will start after lunch. 

This event is being coordinated by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, with additional support from the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization, Friends of Montezuma, the Audubon Center, and the DEC.  All of these organizations are dedicated to protecting the quality of our water resources.

Contact Andrea VanBeusichem at 315-568-5987x228 or or
Judy Pipher at with any questions.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Looking for nice photo's of Owasco Lake

Do you have some nice shots of the lake that show its beauty and uniqueness?

The Owasco Watershed Lake association is in the process of updating its web site and needs appealing photos of Owasco Lake. We are looking for some really special photo's that depict the beauty and uniqueness of Owasco Lake. We will give full credit to the photographer of each photo that is used.

- photos should be in the .JPG format
- show Owasco Lake in a significant part of the photo
- be interesting and depict the beauty or uniqueness of our lake
- please include name of the photographer, approx. date of photo, details of location/subject

E-mail your photo submissions for consideration to

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Spring and the ice is out on Owasco Lake!

The lake ice broke up with yesterday mornings winds. This ended a 56 day run of ice on the entire lake north to south (since 1/24/11). The lake ice sheet had begun to shrink around the edges about two weeks ago. It has been an old fashioned winter here in CNY. Skier's and snowmobiler's have enjoyed one of the best seasons in years. Syracuse presently stands at 174.2" of snow fall so far this season.

The boats won't be far behind. It's time to start thinking about summer on the lake!

- Lakeman

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Local Boating Safety Courses

I know the ice isn't out of Owasco Lake yet, but it is never too early to think about boater safety. There are several Boater Safety Training classes coming up over the next several weeks. 

Upcoming local Boater Safety Classes:

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Bass Pro Sportsman Center, Finger Lakes Mall, Auburn (Cayuga)Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700
This class is for adults and childrenThe instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are over 18 in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Monday, March 28, 2011Otisco Laker Community Ctr., Amber Rd. Marietta (Onondaga)Gray, Ralph (315)415-8191This class is for adults and children, Sue HarringtonThe instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are over 18 in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, April 09, 2011Fair Haven Yacht Club, 14510 Westside Dr, Fair Haven (Cayuga)Servadio, Samuel (315)488-9704This class is for adults and children, contact Karen LeeThere is no cost for this class. If you are over 18 you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Legal Requirements - Persons Required to Complete a Safety Course

You must hold a safety certificate if:

  • You wish to operate a motorboat (other than a personal watercraft) and you are at least 10 years old and less than 18 years old.
  • If you are less than 10 years old you may operate a motorboat (non-PWC) only if someone over 18 is on board with you. Anyone may operate a personal watercraft if someone at least 18 years old is riding on the craft and they hold a safety certificate.

For more information on Boating Safety and Marine Navigation laws visit the NYS Parks and Recreation web site:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Forum on Hydrofracking - March 15th

Hydrofracking & Agriculture the Promise & the Reality - A Farm Forum

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 7:00-9:00 pm
Penn Yan Middle School Auditorium
515 Liberty Street, Penn Yan
Panelists & General Topics:
Klaas Martens, one of the largest organic farmers in New York State, will serve as the panel's moderator


"Lessons to be learned: What a Look Back Tells Us about Farming and Fracking."
Ron Gulla and Terry Greenwood, farmers from Washington County, PA, will address what their experience with natural gas drilling and drilling companies on their land has taught them.
"Leases and Your Best Interests." 
Leslie Lewis, attorney with the NYC firm, Napoli, Bern and Ripka, will share information and answer questions about gas leases and the farmer.
"What I Now Know and Should Have Known Then." 
Ellen Harrison, founder of Fleased Organization, will speak about her research and actual experience as a landowner with natural gas drilling companies.
"Lessons Learned and Considerations for the Future." 
Art Hunt, vineyardist and co-owner of Hunt Country Vineyards - a fifth generation landowner/farmer in Yates County

Related Topics and Issues
* Question and Answer Session. Product Marketability
* Land Values Impact on Well and Irrigation Waters Country Living
Truck Traffic and Crop Health
* The Mennonite Community Agritourism
* Health and Safety of our Neighbors
* Neighbor versus Neighbor
* Short Term vs. Long Term Gain
* Your Own Special Concern(s)
Sponsored by The Committee to Preserve th

Friday, March 4, 2011

Asian Clam Task Force formed

At the urging of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA), the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency has formed a task force to immediately address the Asian clam infestation in Owasco Lake. Asian clams were confirmed in Owasco Lake late last year. The task force will immediately begin activities to identify areas of the lake affected, as well as possible remediation techniques. The group hopes to follow some research and actions identified by a similar group working on Lake George. 

Asian clams are a freshwater mollusk that are usually found in sandy, warm, sunlit waters, similar to several areas in the northern end of Owasco Lake. The clams can spread very quickly. Capable of self-fertilization, clams can release up to 40 young a day. Rapidly growing colonies can carpet a lake bottom, reaching densities of  thousands per square yard.

Photo courtesy of the USGS
The OWLA Board of Directors met earlier this week and identified both the Asian Clam and Blue Green Algae as two priority issues needing immediate attention by local government. OWLA volunteers and lake shore residents will be a key resource in helping to identify areas of infestation. Please report any sitings to the resources listed below:

Link to the Asian Clam Task Force article in the Auburn Citizen:

Stay tuned here for updated information  on both issues.

To report a siting of the Asian Clam contact  the Watershed Inspector; Jessica Reinhart at OLWIP (315)-252-4171 x 120 or

To report sitings of the Blue Green Algae please contact the Cayuga County Health Department at 315-253-1405.

For information on Blue-green algae go to this NYS Department of Health web-site

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

OWLA Board Meeting Wed. March 2nd

The monthly OWLA Board of Directors meeting will be held this Wednesday March 2nd , 7pm at the Springside Inn on Rt. 38 in Fleming.