USF releases 2019 annual report

Newsfeed Archives

lake level jumps in wake of Halloween storm

Upper Saranac’s water levels rose quickly following an early November storm that dropped nearly four inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

Within a day of the storm, the lake experienced over a three-inch increase, peaking at just under 10 inches flowing over the dam. This level is more typical of May during spring snow melt. Currently, the lake is 2.68 inches over the average water level for this time of year.

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AIS containment booms: A successful way to prevent AIS spread

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) containment booms, placed just upstream of the Fish Creek Campground boat launch, catch fragmented invasive plants that are floating downstream, preventing their introduction into invasive managed areas within the campground and further downstream into Upper Saranac Lake. This season, over 2,400 pounds of invasive fragments were removed from the booms.

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Boat launch pollinator garden

It’s not just aquatic invasive species that the Upper Saranac Foundation is working to control.

USF is spearheading an effort to turn terrestrial invasive infestations into pollinator gardens. In collaboration with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, ADK Action, Adirondack Watershed Institute, and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), the USF is remediating the stormwater bioretention sites at the Back Bay Boat launch.

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Surveying for invasives by air

The Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has been evaluating the use of small unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones, for aquatic invasive species (AIS) detection and mapping.

USF Lake Manager Guy Middleton, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program Terrestrial Project Coordinator Zach Simek, and Adirondack Park Agency Freshwater Project Analyst Leigh Walrath joined forces this summer for some flying time.

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AIS management resumes in Fish Creek Campground

The Upper Saranac Foundation’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) harvesting project is underway in Fish Creek Campground.

This is the fourth year of the program. This project reduces the spread of AIS and improves the water quality by removing Eurasian watermilfoil and Variable-leaf milfoil, two AIS found in the water bodies of the state Department of Environmental Conservation Fish Creek Campground. Divers remove the aquatic plants by manually hand harvesting each plant and root system.

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Opportunities for lake-friendly living: Fall cleanup!

As the leaves turn from green to yellow to orange to red, then fall to the ground, it creates a lot of work for homeowners — and it’s important to dispose of leaves properly.

You might think that disposal is as easy as raking the leaves into the water — it may be an easy way to make them disappear, but it’s a poor disposal option.

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Sampling USL for the invasive Spiny Water Flea

Guy Middleton, Upper Saranac Foundation’s lake manager, and Erin Vennie-Vollrath, Aquatic Invasive Species project coordinator from the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, joined forces this summer to survey the waters of Upper Saranac Lake for Spiny Water Flea. Fortunately, only native zooplankton was found (free-floating aquatic microorganisms).

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Surveying for Invasive Asian Clams

Each August, for the past five years, volunteers have been surveying the Upper Saranac watershed for invasive Asian Clams. Although we hope that Asian Clams are not in existence in the watershed, this annual survey will determine if they have been introduced. Good news: There are no known infestations of Asian Clam in the Upper Saranac Watershed.

Second to prevention, our best defense against Asian Clams is early detection for the greatest chance of eradication. Left unchecked, Asian Clams can reproduce exponentially and cause negative ecological impacts including algae blooms.

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Partnering with USF to prevent AIS

In an effort to further protect the water resources of the Upper Saranac Watershed, the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has initiated an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Partnership Program. This program addresses the ongoing threat of invasive species entering the Upper Saranac watershed via private boat launches.

Supported by shore owner donations, the USF has made a tremendous investment in a successful AIS managing program. Management and prevention of AIS is the single greatest expense of the USF.

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Santa Clara approves Land Use Code amendments

After a second public comment period, the Santa Clara Town Board has approved 10 amendments to its Land Use Code. The first approval process, completed in April, was done so without following proper procedures, thus calling for an additional comment period held in August.

Four of the amendments affect shorefront issues. Amendments incorporated changes to the Land Use Code map, setbacks restrictions, docks, and boathouses.

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Opportunities for lake-friendly living: Limiting shoreline erosion

Shoreline erosion occurs naturally over time as a result of wind, precipitation, and wave action. However, human activities such as boater recreation and shoreline construction can increase erosion, which has damaging effects on wildlife, water quality, property values, and recreation.

Wakes from motorized vessels accelerate erosion by exposing or uprooting vegetation and causing banks to collapse. Wake impact also causes increased sedimentation, which degrades the aquatic ecosystems and contributes to the degradation of the fish population.

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