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The Latest News From The Lake St. Catherine Association

  • 18 Sep 2022 6:25 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    We have a very cool loon project to tell you about today. 

    We've been working with Eric Hanson from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and Scott MacLachlan to come up with a form to log and record data about the loons visiting LSC. We are hoping that their increased visits to LSC will lead to a nesting pair!

    If you attended the LSCA's Annual Meeting in July, Eric gave a fantastic presentation about loons. If you missed that, you can see his presentation here: https://youtu.be/iUrY1PqirzU. Scott also gave a great presentation on loons, arranged by the Rutland County Audubon Society, at the Poultney Public Library at the end of July.

    The number of loons observed on LSC has been increasing over the past few years, as has the excitement and interest of the lake community. 

    So, we've set up a form for you to be able to record your observations of loons on the lake!

    There are 2 forms. One will allow you to upload photos or a short video of your loon observation, but it does require that you have a Google account. The other form does not require a Google account and will allow you to record your observation, but you will not be able to upload a photo or video.

    On the form, you can add your name and email address (optional), the date, location, number of loons, a place to indicate if you see a subadult loon, and a description of their activity that you observe. 

    Here are the forms:

    • Loon observation form (With Photo): https://bit.ly/lsc-log-loon-photo (Google Account required)

    • Loon observation form (No Photo): https://bit.ly/lsc-log-loon-no-photo

    Bookmark them for quick access.

    We've just entered the first entry into the form with this observation of an adult and subadult loon swimming and diving in Atwater Bay this afternoon:

    These forms will be a great collection of data on the loons visiting LSC, and it should be fun logging our observations of them. 

    We ask that you please DO NOT approach the loons. If you see them, observe them from your location, take a photo if you'd like, and then visit the form to log your observation and notes.

    We'll keep you updated on the data as it comes in.

    We also hope to launch a new loon program in the spring with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies by participating in their lead & monofilament fishing line collection initiative. You can read more about this program in our Fall newsletter here: https://www.lakestcatherine.org/resources/Documents/newsletters/Fall_2022-Digital.pdf

    If you have any questions, please reach out to us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

    Thank you - and have fun!

  • 17 Sep 2022 1:57 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    Here are some photos from the reception this afternoon at the Wells Village Library to unveil the new "Lake St. Catherine Collection" - a new section of the library devoted to lake conservation, protection, and stewardship.

    The collection curated by librarian Gina Ellis includes books, activities, experiments, iPad apps, models, and science tools like dip nets and binoculars that can be borrowed. Materials to learn from are available for all ages.

    Thank you to Gina for arranging this reception, to the attendees today, and to the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) for funding this collection via an Education and Outreach grant as part of the Libraries Love Lakes initiative!

    So, stop in to the library to check out all the lake & stewardship themed materials. There is so much to learn from and enjoy!

    The Lake St. Catherine Collection at the Wells Village Library

    The Lake St. Catherine Collection at the Wells Village Library

    The Lake St. Catherine Collection at the Wells Village Library

    The Lake St. Catherine Collection at the Wells Village Library

  • 14 Sep 2022 9:04 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    On September 17th at noon, the Wells Village Library will hold a reception to unveil "The Lake St. Catherine Collection", a new section of the library.

    From the press release:

    The Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA), the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund (LSCCF), and the library have joined forces to highlight and advance the inherent, environmental, historical and recreational significance of Lake St. Catherine.

    “As part of our ongoing collaboration to provide educational, stewardship-based, hands-on, lake-related resources, we’ve acquired new on-topic literature, flora and fauna life-cycle models, borrowable binoculars, dip nets, and more,” explains librarian, Gina Ellis. “We are also providing access to related science applications through our iPad station, which is situated across from our new collection.”

    To share details and garner feedback, the library will host a reception Saturday, September 17th from noon until 1:30. This is a free event and open to the public. “We want to hear folks’ thoughts on what we’ve thus far accomplished and how we can further contribute to and ensure a vibrant, healthful lake community,” adds Jerremy Jones, a trustee of the Lake St. Catherine Association.

    The partnership between the library and lake groups originated through Libraries Love Lakes, which is a national outreach project that pairs school and public libraries with lake scientists to provide collaborative programming emphasizing the importance of lakes in our everyday lives. You can learn more by visiting www.librarieslovelakes.org.

    The partners’ activities to date, including a successful lakeside event over the July 4th weekend and the library’s new specialized collection, have been possible through the LSCA’s successful proposal for an Education & Outreach grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) funded by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC).

    Please join us at the reception!

    "The Lake St. Catherine Collection" Reception at the Wells Village Library

  • 11 Sep 2022 3:30 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    A quick note to let you know that our Lake Safety Committee has been working on new marker buoys to replace the aging ones around the lake. These buoys will mark caution areas on the lake (like shallow water & water hazards), and are marked with a diamond. 

    2 new buoys went in on Atwater Bay a few weeks ago, and have fared well. This is what they look like:

    Lake St. Catherine Association - Marker Buoy

    We will be producing at least 10 more to replace the aging markers around the lake.

    We will also be updating the Lake St. Catherine buoys and markers map, which you can see on our Lake Safety page here: https://lakestcatherine.org/lake-safety

  • 1 Sep 2022 7:55 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    Our diver assisted suction harvesting (DASH) team was hard at work again this summer.

    Lake St. Catherine Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting Team

    This season, Beck & Owen spent the majority of their time in North Bay, but also worked on a few sites outside of the bay.

    In total, they hand pulled 252 buckets worth of milfoil from the lake (buckets are 17.5 gallons). The bucket totals from the last few years are - 2021: 146, 2020: 132, 2019: 1,293. They have also performed a quick survey of the lake, and have noted potential spots for attention in 2023.

    In the next few weeks, a comprehensive 2-day aquatic plant survey which is performed yearly, will take place. This survey will result in a full report that will be posted to our website in late November.

    Thank you to Owen & Beck for their great work again this season!

    We also appreciate your efforts to Stop The Spread of milfoil in the lake. You've been using the drop off float in the Channel, and we've heard from you how you are removing milfoil from your dock and swimming areas, from your shorelines, from the the lake, and following other best practices. This is GREAT - let's all keep up the good work! Our collective efforts are making a significant and measurable difference in the milfoil level of Lake St. Catherine.

    Finally, if you did not see it last week, here is a video taken by the DASH team showing the healthy and abundant native plants in Forest House Bay during an underwater survey earlier this month:

  • 27 Aug 2022 7:44 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    You may have recently seen a news story about fresh water mussels in Vermont, specifically the Brook floater (which is not in LSC) on WCAX. The link is included below.

    This is a good opportunity to talk about the fresh water mussel that we do have in Lake St. Catherine called the Eastern Elliptio (which is briefly mentioned in the story).

    The Eastern Elliptio is abundant in LSC, and you have probably seen the discarded shells left by muskrats near the shoreline. This native mussel is very beneficial to the lake!

    Eastern Elliptio - Photo Vermont Center for Ecostudies
    Photo: Eastern Elliptio, Vermont Center for Ecostudies

    As noted by the Chesapeake Bay Program and NH F&G, the Eastern Elliptio needs relatively clean water to survive, so its presence is a good indicator of environmental health, an adult mussel can filter and clean about 10 gallons of water each day, it has an important role in filtering water and nutrient cycling and therefore water quality, and because of its abundance and important role as both prey and water filtration, it is among the most valuable benthic organisms to local ecosystems.

    The Eastern Elliptio should not be confused with the much smaller, and invasive zebra mussel (which are in nearby lakes). Our Greeter Program at the boat launch checks incoming vessels for this invasive mussel, and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) to make sure they do not get introduced into LSC. This image shows a native mussel with multiple zebra mussels attached:

    Zebra mussels attached to a native mussel
    Photo: Mussel with Zebra Mussels attached, University of Minnesota Extension

    As noted by Vermont F&W, zebra mussels have many ecological and economic impacts in waters they have invaded. They reproduce quickly, form dense colonies, and can completely coat lake bottoms in densities of more than 10,000 per square meter, reducing available food resources for native species that rely on plankton and can impact native mussel populations in particular.

    You can read more about the Eastern Elliptio on this page from Vermont Center for Ecostudieshttps://val.vtecostudies.org/projects/vermont-freshwater-mussel-atlas/elliptio-complanata/

    The WCAX Brook floater story: https://www.wcax.com/2022/08/16/wildlife-watch-brook-floater/?fbclid=IwAR0PNGgebopxnmZz5r_9SuS4OkMq0YXnLZS3kKfacwDPHcffWfM8cVA2arg

  • 27 Aug 2022 3:11 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    On Saturday, August 27th, the Lake St. Catherine Association held their fourth and final meeting of the 2022 season. Meeting minutes compiled by Jeremy Jones.

    Attendance: Jim Canders, Jerremy Jones, Mary Jo Teetor, John Belnavis, Frank Callahan, (Online) Ed Laird, Nancy Liberatore, Mike Gay, (Online) Jeff Crandall, (Online) Mark Shea, Sue Williams. Absent:, Bob Williams, Lisa Micich, Kemi McShane, Rob Nesbit

    Guests: None

    Call to Order: President Jim Canders called the meeting to order at 8:33.

    Public Comment: None.

    Floor To Ed Laird: To accommodate Ed’s schedule, Jim started the meeting by giving the floor to Ed to discuss the land donation to the LSCA and the LSCA conflict of interest policy. Ed reported that the closing of the land should be soon, and then the property can be listed for sale, with a target of September 2nd. Nancy Liberatore has donated her time and services to list and sell the property. Nancy presented the selling agreement, a motion was made to approve by John, seconded by Frank. Motion passed unanimously, Nancy abstained. Nancy’s recommendation is to list at $64,900, a motion was made by Frank, seconded by John. Motion passed unanimously, Nancy abstained. Ed then discussed the LSCA’s Conflict of Interest agreement that was instituted in 2012. It was suggested that all current board members reattest their agreement. Jerremy will create an online form with the agreement so all Trustees can do so.

    President’s Opening Comments: Jim Canders, Jim said a few words remembering former Trustee Bill McLaughlin who recently passed away, and asked for a moment of silence.

    Approval of Meeting Minutes: Minutes of July 23, 2022 posted. Motion to accept the minutes as presented, made by John, seconded by Nancy. All in favor, so moved.

    Treasurer’s Report: Mary Jo Teetor, report presented on screen. Large bills have been paid to SOLitude, DASH crew. Membership contributions and donations above estimated budget. Projecting a surplus. Motion to accept the Treasurer's Report as presented made by Frank, and seconded by Mike. All in favor, so moved.

    Annual Meeting / Use of LSC CC: John Belnavis, John has reserved the LSC Country Club for the dates of our 4 Trustee meetings in 2023, and the Annual Meeting. Dates are: May 27th, 2023, June 24th, 2023, July 22nd, 2023, August 26th, 2023 at 8:30 AM. The Annual Meeting will be July 22nd, 2023 at 6 PM. John explained that we will need to close RSVPs for the dinner on the Sunday before the meeting so the chef can have a count. We sold out of dinners this year, and the kitchen was concerned about having enough food. Everyone enjoyed the guest speaker Eric Hanson, and his loon presentation. We’ll look to have a guest speaker next year as well.

    Milfoil Management: Jeff Crandall, DASH report submitted by DASH team. 252 buckets harvested over 76 acres. Some areas marked for DASH on the map were not visited. The DASH team has marked potential areas for 2023. SOLitude will perform the plant survey in September. Little Lake treatment was very effective. Lake tour with Misha went well.

    Boat Launch Greeter Program: John Belnavis, hired a new Greeter. 2 other inquiries. Total payroll for the year will be under budget.

    Publicity / Membership: Jerremy Jones, 377 members, with a goal of 400, surpassed last year’s total of 372. Fall newsletter was printed and available.

    Lake Safety: Frank Callahan & Mike Gay, new marker buoys built and installed in Atwater Bay. Mike estimated that we need 10 more new buoys to be fabricated in the new style. A motion to allocate up to $850 for new buoys was made by John, and seconded by Jeff. All in favor, so moved.

    Nominating Committee: LSCA has a full complement of Trustees.

    Grants / Government Relations: Received a letter back from the Basin Water Quality Council. Members have already been selected, and according to the bylaws, we would not qualify to be on the board. Mark and Sue have volunteered to help with grants. We have quarterly reports due on October 10th, and new grants have just been announced.

    New Business: Discussion of buoy incident in North Bay and jetski speeding incident in the Channel - appears to be the same people. Discussed hand pulling milfoil test in Little Lake with LSCCF. Have not received a reply from F&W to our letter, will send email asking if we will be receiving a reply. Discussion of loon project with VT Ecostudies to place collection tubes at the boat launch to collect lead sinkers and monofilament line, with instruction from our Greeters - spring 2023.

    Old Business: Discussed East Poultney Day, new tent and other gear for events. Discussed meeting dates for next year.

    Election of Officers:

    - Treasurer: John nominated Mary Jo Teetor, all voted in favor.

    - Recording Secretary: Jim nominated Kemi McShane, all voted in favor.

    - Vice President: Mary Jo nominated Mike Gay, all voted in favor.

    - President: Mary Jo nominated Jim Canders, all voted in favor.

    A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 10:27, seconded and all in favor, so moved.

    Next meeting: May 27, 2023 at 8:30 AM LSC CC.

    Meeting minutes compiled by Jerremy Jones.

  • 26 Aug 2022 9:48 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    The Fall 2022 newsletter is here with news of the LSCA's work for the season with some brief recaps, some information about two initiatives involving loons for 2023, a discussion about milfoil, and details on a new project to patrol LSC looking for aquatic invasive species (AIS).

    In an effort to save on printing and mailing costs, we've decided to only print a short run of copies and distribute them at Wellsmere Farm. If you'd like a printed copy, please feel free to pick one up when you are out and about (available now!). Thank you to Michelle for having them at the farm!

    Also, your LSCA Trustee neighbors will have printed copies available around the lake over the weekend.

    The digital version is now available online via our website through this link: Click here to view the Fall 2022 Newsletter, or click on the image below. When you click on the link for the newsletter, you will be able to view it on screen - and be able to zoom in or out using the controls in your browser window. Or, you can click the download button to save a copy to your computer to view with a PDF reader, and/or print a copy.

  • 23 Aug 2022 8:26 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC, we have some sad news to report today. Former LSCA Trustee William "Bill" McLaughlin passed away at his home in Albany on July 25th.

    LSCA President Jim Canders remembered Bill: "He was very dedicated to the lake and he always had an idea about how to get something accomplished during his years of service on the board."

    You can read Bill's life in his obituary here: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/timesunion-albany/name/william-mclaughlin-obituary?id=36296505

    Plans to celebrate Bill's life will be announced at a later date.

    Our thoughts are with his family.

    William McLaughlin

  • 14 Aug 2022 9:54 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Good morning LSC. We'd like to give you a quick update from our Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) team.

    They have been hard-at-work all summer, hand-pulling milfoil in numerous areas around the lake. Last week, they finished working in area J, near Idylwild. They will be finishing their contract this week, working in North Bay. In the coming weeks, we'll provide a full recap of their work for the summer.

    We thank them for their work and dedication to LSC - thank you Beck & Owen!

    We also wanted to share an underwater video survey they took of Forest House Bay on August 11th. This area of Forest House Bay received a small milfoil spot treatment on June 20th. As anticipated, no milfoil was observed, and you can see that our native plants like eelgrass, illinois pondweed, and robbins pondweed are healthy and abundant.

    Finally, you can read all about our 2022 Milfoil Control Program, including how you can individually help to 'Stop The Spread' of milfoil in the lake here: https://lakestcatherine.org/blog/12787652


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Lake St. Catherine Association
PO Box 631
Wells, VT 05774

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