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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy

BEMUS POINT - The importance of shoreline maintenance and its effect on Chautauqua Lake was clear during a presentation sponsored by the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy at the Village Casino in Bemus Point on Wednesday.


The conservancy's shoreline treatment presentation included three presentations: Robert Johnson, Cornell University professor, discussed shoreline and Chautauqua Lake plant conditions; Janis Bowman and Christopher Ecker of Jamestown Community College discussed shoreline and lake insects, worms and fishery food chain health; and John Heibert of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources discussed shoreline treatment and fishery impacts.


Johnson discussed how moths and weevils are the new allies for lakeshore residents. The insects work to destroy the invasive weed Eurasian milfoil in Chautauqua Lake.

''They're keeping milfoil in check,'' he said.

Johnson discussed how, with less weeds in the lake this year so far to appear than in past years, it could mean fewer weevils and moths to fight the invasive weed in future years.

''We're going to watch what happens out there,'' he said.


Ms. Bowman discussed shoreline ecology and its importance to the health of the lake. She said the more diversity of insects, the healthier the lake.

''Chautauqua Lake is a healthy lake overall. However, there are some spots that aren't so healthy,'' she said.

Ms. Bowman said, while doing her research on the lake, she has seen several residents doing what is necessary for the lake.

''A positive is we've seen people with good lake shore maintenance,'' she said.

Hiebert, who has done renovation work on lakes in Minnesota, said residents working together along the lake to improve shoreline maintenance is a first step in the right direction.


'Building knowledge that knowing everyone need to make a change is important,'' he said.

Hiebert said no matter what residents and organizations do along the lake, if the watersheds also aren't cared for lake maintenance is pointless.

''If you don't solve the watershed issues, you will never solve the problem,'' he said.


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