Hello to everyone in the Lake St. Catherine Community. We have some exciting news to share with you and a request for your help!
Over the past year, the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund (LSCCF) and Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) have been working together to discuss the best ways to mitigate the persistent and intensifying problem caused by an invasive weed - Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM, milfoil) - found throughout the lake, but especially in Little Lake. EWM significantly degrades the natural habitat of our lake and impacts accustomed uses of boating, swimming, fishing and other activities.
Last fall, we announced that our two organizations will work together in 2021 and beyond to treat the Little Lake with a new herbicide that has shown excellent results in reducing EWM here and in many other lakes around the country. For the past two years, the LSCA has been using this new, highly targeted herbicide called ProcellaCOR in the Lily Pond and the Big Lake with excellent results. Currently, there is less milfoil in our control areas than at any time since at least 2006. In 2021, the LSCA will primarily rely on the diver assisted suction harvesting (DASH) program to address small areas of milfoil in our current control areas. At the same time, the LSCCF will continue its harvesting program to maintain navigational channels throughout Little Lake.
Although this plan is focused on Little Lake, it will be a benefit to the whole of Lake St. Catherine, and we hope to receive contributions from everyone who cares about LSC. Our mutual goal is to get Lake St. Catherine as close to EWM-free as is possible in the next few seasons. EWM spreads quickly, re-roots easily and is carried across our lake by boat props, water currents and other means. No area in the lake is immune from EWM when another area suffers from it. Working in concert with the DEC, we have developed a 3-year treatment plan to gain control over the milfoil throughout the Little Lake. At this juncture, the DEC allows a maximum of 40% of Little Lake to be treated in any one calendar year. Working with lake management contractor SOLitude Lake Management and the DEC, in year one, we have selected the northern third of the Little Lake and the complete east and west shorelines to the southern end of Little Lake as the best parts of the lake to treat in 2021 for the greatest reduction of milfoil. This creates an 'M' shape, as depicted in the image to the right. After evaluation of effectiveness, we'll formulate a plan for 2022, and if necessary, 2023.
We are tentatively scheduled to treat the lake on Tuesday, June 22nd. More details will be forthcoming as we get closer to the date.
Another program the LSCA and the LSCCF will be working on together this year is Lake Wise. The Lake Wise Program was developed by Vermont’s Lakes and Ponds Program to help and encourage lakeshore owners to make their property lake-friendly by keeping pollution, sediments, phosphorus, and nitrogen carried by stormwater runoff out of the lake. Our goal is to both educate and help property owners make their shorelines beautiful and lake-friendly.
Over the past 3 years, the Lake Wise Program has worked with camp owners to improve many Lake St. Catherine properties. So far, 12 of these Lake St. Catherine properties have earned the Lake Wise Award. We're working to increase this number every year.
We'd like to have 10 Little Lake property owners participate in Lake Wise this year. There is no cost to participate. Using a grant earned through the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), we have funds to help property owners with plantings and other stormwater mitigation projects. Let us know you'd like to participate by emailing us at: email@example.com.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Donate to the cause: First, we need your financial assistance. The three-year program to treat Little Lake could potentially cost up to $90,000, and $36,000 specifically in 2021.
The LSCA and LSCCF have pledged to each fund a third of the cost for a total of $24,000 in year 1, so we still have a gap to close. This is where you come in. We ask that you consider a donation to support this three-year plan. We have already received generous donations from several lake residents totaling $3,300, but we need to raise at least $12,000 to make this program a reality in 2021.
Any donation is welcome. You can make a donation below, and also come back to this page at any time to see the progress towards our goal. If you'd prefer to make a donation by check, please make it out to the Lake St. Catherine Association and send it to LSCA Treasurer, Elaine Bagley at 48 West Mountain Road, Bernardston MA, 01337. Please also include a note that the donation is for the Little Lake Milfoil Control Plan. Donations made are tax deductible. We also encourage you to check with your employer - many employers have a matching program for charitable contributions would could double your donation!
- Become a Member of LSCCF and the LSCA: Both of our groups rely on membership dues to fund lake management programs each season. LCSA: Become A Member, LSCCF: Join Us!
- Get Involved: There is much that every homeowner and area resident can do to help the Lake – from stormwater management on your property (consider having the Lake Wise team come to your property), to milfoil collection from your dock, on your shorefront, or off your boat prop. If we are all working together to remove milfoil from the lake, we can collectively make a significant difference by limiting the milfoil's ability to spread.
- Learn More: The LSCA and LSCCF will be holding a Zoom Webinar Meeting on March 24th at 7 PM. Representatives from both groups will give a short presentation about our plans, and we'll then take your questions. This session will be recorded and posted on this page as soon as possible after the meeting.
To sign up for the Zoom Webinar, click here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_r7MZm6tWS-m_EzCgxFov9A
Thank you again for all your support in the past and consideration for the future!
Please reach out and share your thoughts, questions, or comments to the LSCCF: firstname.lastname@example.org or the LSCA: email@example.com.
With the LSCA contributing $12,000 and the LSCCF contributing $12,000, we will be working to collect donations from the lake community of at least $12,000 to fully fund the costs for year 1.
Donations collected over and above $12,000 this year will be saved and used to help fund the plan in year 2.
We hope you'll consider visiting the Donation Page by clicking here to make a contribution. We'd also like to hear from Little Lake property owners who would like to participate in Lake Wise this season (everyone around the lake is invited to participate as well) - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. We also hope you'll sign up to attend our Zoom Webinar on March 24th at 7 PM (click here to sign up) to learn more about these efforts.We hope you can contribute to support this important plan for Little Lake and the whole of Lake St. Catherine.