Summer Recap from your Lake Manager Guy Middleton 2012

I want to thank everyone for contributing to the wonderful and enjoyable summer I experienced as Lake Manager. It was truly a fantastic summer capped with numerous sunny days and warm weather. It was also a very busy summer for the Upper Saranac Lake Foundation. Some of what the Foundation has been up to includes:

The Foundation has optimized our outreach abilities by adding a Facebook page that can be found at Regular postings on the page include Milfoil progress, Lake water levels, water temperatures, photos and information.

We also developed a recreational boater’s map for Upper Saranac Lake, that includes navigation hazards, roads, public/private lands and additional helpful information. There is also an accompanying poster, great to put in a frame at your camp. Both the map and poster can be purchased here.  The Foundation continues with our Scientific monitoring of our tributaries in both the North and South basins of the Lake. We test and record a multitude of important parameters, building a robust data base, to analyze the trends and develop recommendations for on-going monitoring. In conjunction with the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College, and Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program, CSLAP, the Foundation collects water samples throughout the year. Our data base (the most extensive in the Park) is an indispensable tool toward our goal of insuring the best Water Quality possible for Upper Saranac Lake.  We are also working hard on our Dam Maintenance projects. As owners of the Bartlett Carry Dam, the USLF is mandated by the NYSDEC to continue to preserve the integrity of the dam. The Foundation has most recently completed an Emergency Action Plan.  The Foundation has hired a professional Engineer to oversee our dam related projects, we have also developed and implemented an Inspection and Maintenance Plan, and have had routine safety inspections conducted by the Engineer.  As part of our maintenance plan, the USLF has completed the first phase, reestablishing the access road on the south side of the dam, for the purpose of emergency and general maintenance access. Phase two is under way with completion of the permitting process and obtaining contractors for re-facing the abutment walls of the spillway. This work is expected to be completed by October of this fall.

USLF continues its largest initiative, with a focus on invasive species awareness, increasing public education and outreach among residents and visitors to promote invasive prevention, and continued emphasis on our Milfoil harvesting project.  The diver’s harvests of Milfoil this year were similar to the amounts of last year, despite this year’s unusually strong growing season. Ultimately, even though plants were taller and denser; plants were growing up to a foot/day, and we had more locations around the Lake, similar harvests amounts show that our efforts are working, and we are able to keep control and stay on top of regrowth. Many of you may have seen the buoys throughout the Lake marking Milfoil and locations for the divers to harvest. The harvesting of Milfoil on USL continues to be the model for Milfoil control throughout the Northeast.  We also had more Rapid Response emails and calls this summer, indicating greater community awareness. Many were calls about invasive concerns other than Milfoil, fortunately, these were unfounded alarms, but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be keeping a watchful eye out for additional threats.

There are a lot of dangers that can compromise our Lake’s environment – not just Milfoil.  The most recent invasive to the Adirondacks, the Spiny Water Flea, was discovered in Lake George this summer. This threat, in addition to Asian Clams, Hydrilla, Water Chestnut, Japanese Knot Weed and many more, has the potential to impact us as much as Milfoil has, if not more.

As Invasive Species continue to encroach on the Adirondacks, it is important to increase our understanding of the potential challenges they bring to our waters. The USLF continues to look at and assess prevention strategies for invasive intrusions.  This summer, The USLF along with the USLA supported Governor Cuomo signing of Invasive Species Bill regulating the sale and distribution of invasive species in the State of New York. This is a big step forward for invasive species prevention and further protection for our watersheds, woods and waters!

If we all work together to widen the awareness and spread prevention of invasive species, we really can make a difference. Everyone can keep an eye out for new and unusual plants growing along their shoreline and utilize the Rapid Response system we have in place by calling me at 518-796-1052.

Thanks again for another productive summer. I especially want to thank those of you who I had the pleasure to meet and talk to, who are as passionate as I am about maintaining the quality of Upper Saranac Lake and its shoreline. I would also like to thank all of those who contacted me with Rapid Response calls for Milfoil sightings, concerns regarding possible violations of ordinances/regulations and general environmental inquires – all for the benefit of the Lake.

Together we can make a difference.

Guy Middleton
Lake Manager
Photo © Craig Smith