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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scientist To Discuss Drastic Reduction Of Weed Growth In Chautauqua Lake

MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua Lake Association is sponsoring a symposium entitled the "Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Plant Workshop" led by aquatic scientist Robert L. Johnson, manager of Cornell University's Research Pond Facility, at 7 p.m. Monday at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville.

A second workshop is scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Casino in Bemus Point. The events are free for the public.
The workshops will give the community an opportunity to see, identify and learn about the different plant and insect species residing in the lake. Topics include the dramatic reduction in weed growth in Chautauqua Lake this year and the methods Johnson and the CLA used to curb infestation.
"These workshops will give the Chautauqua Lake community the chance to become familiar with the eco-system of the lake," Johnson said. "They will be able to look into a microscope and check out and identify the actual plants and insects native to the lake."
Johnson plans on discussing "good" versus "bad" weeds and what benefits and threats they pose to the natural health of the lake.
"It's important for the lake's stakeholders to understand that certain weeds in the lake provide benefit to Chautauqua Lake's ecosystem. Not all weeds are bad and many provide food and shelter for the many animal inhabitants who call Chautauqua Lake home."
Chautauqua Lake is experiencing a drastic reduction in weed growth this year according to Johnson. Areas like Burtis Bay are virtually weed free.
"The milfoil problem that reaped so Cornell Symposium much publicity is missing from the Bay this summer," Johnson said. "The CLA has been instrumental in supporting natural remedies to control weed growth like the introduction of moth larvae and monitoring of other insects that feed on and control the milfoil problem."
The CLA, an organization that maintains the health and beauty of the lake, supports a "green" approach to controlling nuisance vegetation like Eurasian milfoil.
"The CLA fought to have the Cornell studies continue," said Chris Yates, association president. "We are firm believers in keeping up with the science of the lake. We hope events like these symposiums will serve to educate the public on the overall benefits of good science."
Johnson, an aquatic plant researcher, plans on making the audience an important part of the workshop.
"The symposiums will include lengthy question and answer periods where people can satisfy their curiosities about any issues they have concerning the science of the lake," Johnson said. "It will be a hands-approach with many demonstrations about plants and insects."
For more information about the symposiums contact the Chautauqua Lake Association at 763-8602.
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