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The Latest News From The Lake St. Catherine Association

  • 12 Apr 2023 12:15 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    Spring has sprung - and that means that the LSCA is hard at work on lake programs and initiatives for the upcoming season.

    First up, we'd like to invite you to participate in the 2023 Lake Wise Program

    Help to protect our valuable natural resource - Lake St. Catherine - through conscious decision making, and participate in the Lake Wise program!

    Lake Wise was developed through the Vermont DEC and is meant to provide technical assistance for shoreline landowners looking to incorporate lake friendly living practices on their properties. The Lake Wise assessment focuses on four portions of your property; driveway, structure, recreation area, and shoreline. The follow-up report gives recommendations on which stormwater management practices would be best for your property and the lake.

    As a shoreline property owner, you have the access and the ability to control what is happening directly at the water's edge.

    While small-scale improvements on individual properties may not seem like they have much impact, collectively the implementation of many small projects will have a positive benefit on the water quality in the lake and the surrounding watershed. Larger watershed projects are also being worked on (more on that soon).

    Actions now will promote a healthy lake environment that will continue to support swimming, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing in the future.

    Over the past 4 years, over 80 properties have participated in the Lake Wise Program on LSC, and 26 property owners have earned the Lake Wise Award. You can read all about all the great work that your fellow lakeshore property owners and our partner the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District put into the 2022 program here: https://lakestcatherine.org/blog/13031593.

    Lake St. Catherine Association - Lake Wise Award

    If you would like to participate in Lake Wise this season, spots are limited, so please email us at info@lakestcatherine.org to get signed up! If you have previously participated in Lake Wise and would like a follow-up assessment, please let us know.

    Lake Wise is a FREE program for lakeshore property owners. The 2023 Lake Wise Program on LSC is funded through a Clean Water Small Implementation Grant grant earned by the LSCA from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC)

    This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) under assistance agreement (LC 00A00981-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

    Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) logos

  • 9 Apr 2023 11:12 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Good afternoon LSC. Hope you are enjoying the sun and blue sky! The lake is a mirror this morning!

    We'e received word that the ice has cleared in Oxbow Bay overnight (thanks Jill OBrien!), so we are going to call it for Ice Out.

    ...and checking the list, we see that the 2023 Ice Out Champion is:

    Tim Olivieri

    Congrats Tim!

    Thanks to all who entered a guess - and thank you to all our Ice Spotters for sending in reports!

    The majority of the ice on the lake went out Wed, Thu, and Fri, with small spots in Lily Pond and the bays hanging on over the past few days. Next year, we'll look to simplify the process to make it easier to make the call.

    Finally, a quick mention about our membership drive - we hope you can support us this season! To become a member, or to renew your membership, please visit our website: https://lakestcatherine.org/become-a-member

    We have membership levels for everyone who loves LSC.

    Thank you & enjoy this beautiful day!

    Lake St. Catherine - April 2023 - The Lake Is A Mirror

  • 2 Apr 2023 8:15 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC, and residents of Wells & Poultney,

    Saturday, May 6th is Green Up Vermont Day.

    Green Up Vermont is a state-wide volunteer cleanup day of Vermont's roads and waterways. 

    As Green Up Vermont's website says: 

    "We know it isn’t your litter but Vermont needs our help to be beautiful!"

    We had a FANTASTIC turnout last year, with volunteers signing up to cover every road around the lake! This year, we are looking to do that again, and also expand to cover additional roads in Wells & Poultney. You can check out a quick recap, and see lots of photos from our volunteers of our 2022 Green UP Vermont Day here.

    Would you like to volunteer for Green Up Vermont Day? 

    If so, email us at info@lakestcatherine.org, or contact us on Facebook, and let us know the roads (or sections of roads) you'd like to work on, and we'll add you to our volunteer map:

    Roads highlighted in blue on the map indicate that the road (or section of road) is being covered by a volunteer. We'll do our best to coordinate the efforts so we all know what areas are covered, and which areas need volunteers.

    Also, as we did last year, we will be hosting a brief kickoff to the day at the Wells Lakeside Park at 8 AM that morning. Please stop in to pick up Green Up bags, fuel up on coffee and muffins to get energized for the day, and meet your fellow volunteers! Please let us know if you'll be joining us so we can get a count.

    So, let us know if you'd like to participate and where you'll do your clean up, and we'll add your area to the map. We'll keep the map up-to-date here, and on our website Calendar, on the May 6th Green Up Vermont Day event. You can view that here: 2023 Green Up Vermont Day Event.

    Let's all pitch in to get Lake St. Catherine, and Wells & Poultney ready for a great Summer!

    Thank you.

    Green Up Vermont Day on Lake St. Catherine 2023

  • 9 Mar 2023 12:34 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC fans!

    Are you ready for Spring - and getting excited for a fantastic season at Lake St. Catherine this year?

    Well, it took quite a while for LSC to freeze over this Winter... but when will the ice go out?

    It's time to start up #IceWatch2023!

    Let's have a little fun and make some predictions for when the ice will go out.

    You can make your guess here: https://forms.gle/W5VVG8Q1LvDjzr9U7

    The winner will be crowned "LSC 2023 Ice Out Champion" and will have bragging rights all year!

    Will your name be added to this list of previous Ice Out Champions?

    • In 2022, with her guess of April 4th at 11:03 AM, the 2022 Champ was Mary-Sue Reed.
    • In 2021, with his guess of April 2nd at 2:30 AM, the 2021 Champ was Walter Huss.
    • In 2020, with his guess of March 23rd at 3 PM, the 2020 Champ was Melvin Ohl.
    • In 2019, with her guess of April 15th at 6 AM, the 2019 Champ was Judy Cummings.

    Make your guess - and good luck!

    Note: By ice out, we mean when the Lake will be clear of ice. The ice in the bays can be stubborn! We'll be relying on our Ice Spotters around the lake for up-to-date reports on conditions - and we'll use those to make the call.

    2023 LSCA Membership Drive

    As the LSCA heads into our 70th year, we hope to earn your support for 2023. Our Membership Drive is underway, and we have membership levels for property owners, businesses, family members of property owners, renters and those who use the lake for recreation - anyone who loves LSC can become a member.

    Click here to become a member on our website

    Click here to renew your membership on our website

    Click here to download our paper 2023 Membership Form

    Thank you for your support of the LSCA!

    Lake St. Catherine Association - Ice Out 2023

  • 15 Feb 2023 7:12 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)
    Phil Alden - Lake St. Catherine Association

    Hello LSC. We unfortunately have some sad news to report to you today.

    Former long-time board member and President of the LSCA Phil Alden has passed away at the age of 94. 

    You can read more about Phil in his obituary here.

    LSCA board member Jeff Crandall remember Phil, and also shared this recent story about seeing him this past September:

    "I am very sorry to hear this. Phil had a great run, and lived life to the fullest. He was able to fly his own plane until he was in his early 90’s. Last September he (along with his girlfriend Marge (his “traveling companion”, according to Phil)) drove his new electric car from Florida to the Northeast, and stayed at his former home at Lake St. Catherine for a couple of days. In classic Phil style, he precisely mapped out in advance every stop he needed to make to charge his Tesla, including the 220 volt outlet in our laundry room at the Lake!"

    A memorial service is being planned for early April. In lieu of flowers, Phil's family has requested that contributions in Phil's memory may be made to Avow Foundation, Inc. 

  • 9 Feb 2023 6:06 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC, we've received some exciting news to share with you today!

    We've just learned that we've earned a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) for a "Healthy Ecosystems - AIS Spread Prevention Grant" for $18,938 to help fund our Greeter and Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) Programs in 2023.

    Our Greeter Program is very important to the health of Lake St. Catherine. Our Greeters are hard working young adults who have been trained to identify aquatic invasive species (AIS) to stop them from entering LSC at the boat launch. Multiple concerning invasive species are just a lake or two away from LSC. They also educate boaters about the importance of looking for these invasives on their boat or trailer so they are not spread to LSC or another lake. You can read more our the Greeter Program on LSC here: https://lakestcatherine.org/boat-launch-monitoring-greeter-program

    Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

    Our excellent DASH crew suits up in scuba gear and hand-pulls milfoil by the roots from the lakebed. In sections of lower milfoil density, they will swim the area and hand-pull with mesh bags. In higher density areas, they will set up the DASH equipment which allows them to suction the hand-pulled milfoil up through a tube to a catch table on a boat. Milfoil is then placed in 17.5 gallon buckets for transport off the lake. You can read more about our full Milfoil Control Program here: https://lakestcatherine.org/milfoil-control-program

    Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) on Lake St. Catherine

    While we continue to work to bring funding via grants to Lake St. Catherine, your support via membership dues, contributions, and donations are vital to help us fulfill our mission of the preservation, protection, and maintenance of Lake St. Catherine.

    Our 2023 Membership Drive just kicked off last weekend. You can read all about that here: https://lakestcatherine.org/blog/13084706

    We have membership levels for camp owners, businesses, and supporters of Lake St. Catherine like family members of property owners, renters, recreators, etc. Anyone who loves LSC can become a member to help support our mission.

    We hope to earn your support in 2023!

    Thank you.

    This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) under assistance agreement (LC 00A00981-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

  • 4 Feb 2023 7:44 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello to the good folks in the Lake St. Catherine community.

    Greetings from a suddenly FRIGID Lake St. Catherine - it’s currently 15 below!

    It's that time of year again... As the Lake St. Catherine Association heads into its 70th year, we are asking for your support for the 2023 season.

    Lake St. Catherine - A scene from Little Lake

    What does the LSCA do for Lake St. Catherine? Please check out our recently published 2022 Year In Review.

    Your membership dues and contributions help to fund many of the services provided by the LSCA:

    • Maintaining & purchasing navigation and shoreline protection buoys throughout the lake.

    • Testing the water for E coli, phosphorus (nutrient) concentration, chlorophyll-a (algae and cyanobacteria) concentration, and Secchi depth (water clarity).

    • Conducting 2 free boat-safety courses that are state mandated for all persons born after January 1, 1974 (look for an announcement in the Spring for dates).

    • Greeter Program: Inspecting boats wishing to enter the lake for aquatic invasive species (AIS) to keep them out of the lake.

    • Controlling milfoil.

    • Organizing lake community volunteer events like Green Up Vermont Day, and Milfoil Cleanup Community Day.

    • Working with the state, towns, and Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District & Castleton University to solve the problems of sedimentation and impacts of phosphorus and other sources of pollution through our Lake Wise Program, and the LSC Stormwater Master Plan. (We are now accepting requests from property owners to participate in Lake Wise in 2023 - email us to sign up.)

    • Long-term planning for the future of the lake by beginning a 3 year process to create a Watershed Action Plan for Lake St. Catherine.

    • Maintaining "welcome" signs and gardens.

    • Liaising with other lakes and organizations in order to exchange information.

    • Sponsoring the annual fun-filled July 4th Boat Parade.

    • Disseminating information to our membership and the lake community through newsletters, emails, website & social media postings, and other local publications.

    • Organizing funding through membership fees, donations, and grants and allocations from the State of Vermont, Poultney and Wells, and environmental groups.

    • Representing you to state and local governments to protect your rights and the lake in general.

    • Protecting the value of your property by maintaining the beauty, access, and safety of the lake.

    There are two easy ways to renew or become a member of the LSCA.

    Soon, you will be receiving a mailing from us that contains the 2022 Membership Form. You can also download a copy by clicking here: 2023 LSCA Membership Form PDF. Just print and fill out the form, then mail it in with your check to:

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

    Or, you can renew or become a member on our website. If you were a member in 2022, click here to renew, or click here to become a new member - and you can pay your dues online with your credit card. If you were a member last year (whether you paid by check or online by credit card), the website has an account ready for you. If you don't remember your password, or have never logged in, please click here to set or reset your password.

    We'd also like to encourage you to check with your employer to see if they have an Employer Matching Gift Program for charitable donations. Many generous businesses will match donations made by their employees through these programs. So, take a look - you may be able to double your contribution!

    If you are a business in the Lake St. Catherine community, we have a Business Sponsor Membership we'd like to tell you about. The Business Sponsor Membership includes:

    1. A listing on our ‘Sponsors’ page on lakestcatherine.org with your logo, a link to your web or Facebook page, including a brief description of your business and services.

    2. The posting of your events and special occasions to our Events & LSC Community Website Calendar.

    3. A posting on our Blog and Facebook page about your business as a ‘Sponsor Spotlight’ feature.

    4. A posting for your business in our Spring and Fall newsletters. Newsletters will be made available to the community in both printed and digital versions.

    Thank you to our Business Sponsors! Please click on the Sponsors page of our website to check them out.

    Your membership and the dues and contributions we receive allows us to accomplish our work. Maintaining the lake costs approximately $125,000 annually. While we do receive annual grants from Poultney, Wells, and the State, membership dues and contributions make up the majority of our funding.

    Upon receiving your membership contribution, we’ll send you the 2023 membership package, which will include: your receipt, a '2023 Member' sticker for your LSCA window card (or a card & sticker for new members), a hand-written thank you note, and a beautiful 3" x 3" iron-on patch depicting a loon scene from beautiful Lake St. Catherine. 

    With this new patch, we are looking to start a bit of a new tradition in which members can collect these patches each year to display, or iron-on or sew onto a hat, shirt, bag, etc. We’ll come up with a new design each year. Thank you to LSC camp owner Andrew Gioulis for this fantastic design, which you can see below.

    2023 LSCA Membership Gift - Loon Patch   Lake St. Catherine Association - 2023 Membership Window Card

    We are happy to report that in 2022, we had 389 paid members, which includes 16 Business Sponsors. The average contribution of our members was $208 - THANK YOU! Your membership dues and additional contributions over and above our base $100 membership level are crucial to funding our important lake programs. As always, we ask you to help us to spread the word by discussing the LSCA with your neighbors. We are hoping to get our membership to over 400 this year.

    We will continue to work hard for Lake St. Catherine to earn your support.

    Thank you for your support of the LSCA!

    - The Trustees of the Lake St. Catherine Association

    If you ever have any questions about your membership or Lake St. Catherine, please email us at info@lakestcatherine.org.
  • 1 Feb 2023 6:18 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    We'd like to let you know about an upcoming mini-webinar from the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds, entitled: "Overview of the Lake Wise Program".

    FOVLAP Special Events

    This seminar will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, February 21st from 12 PM - 1:15 PM. You can RSVP to attend here: https://vermontlakes.org/event/lake_wise_program/.

    Alison Marchione, the Lake Wise Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, will speak about the Lake Wise Program she has recently come to lead.

    Alison will cover the reasons for the program’s existence, review the process of getting Lake Wise assessments, and briefly speak about the Lake Wise “Gold Award”. She will also cover several common best management practices for lake shorelines and describe how lake associations can help promote the Lake Wise program.

    There will be ample time for attendees to ask questions about these and other topics, e.g., bioengineering, project funding, shoreline permits, etc.

    Lake Wise is a program developed by Vermont’s Lakes and Ponds Program to recognize outstanding efforts by homeowners who live along a lakeshore to protect the water quality and habitat along the shoreline and within the near-shore area of the lake.

    This is such an important program for long term health of Lake St. Catherine - and we are heading into our 5th year in 2023!

    If you'd like to learn more about this great water quality improvement program, please RSVP to the webinar.

    To learn more about Lake Wise on Lake St. Catherine, check out our Lake Wise Program webpage here: https://lakestcatherine.org/lake-wise-program. You can read about the program, and see an interactive map which includes our 26 Lake Wise Award winning properties. 

    If you would like to participate in the 2023 Lake Wise Program, please email us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

  • 28 Jan 2023 7:30 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC, we wanted to give you an update on the Loon Observation Project that we launched in mid-September.

    A quick recap on the project:

    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!

    The form asks your name, email address (optional), the date of the observation, the location where the loons were observed, the number of loons, and a space to record if you saw a 'sub-adult' loon, and a description of what you observed.

    Since the forms went live, we've received 24 observation reports. Thank you to everyone who submitted a report!

    Here are some stats.

    For numbers of loons observed per report:

    • (1) = 11
    • (2) = 10
    • (3) = 2
    • (4) = 1

    For the locations, half of the observations (12 in total) took place in areas 18 - 22. 8 more observations took place in areas 10 - 13. See the map before for reference:

    Lake St. Catherine loon map

    Here are a few examples of some interesting observations:

    "It was insane on the lake this morning. I was already awake at around 5:45 when I heard loud wailing. At first I thought it was owls because it was still pretty dark out, but then I looked outside and saw three loons right off the end of the dock "screaming" at an eagle and stretching out of the water and flapping their wings. They were very angry at the eagle. I started to walk down the lawn for a closer view and I startled a heron that was standing on our dock (or rather the heron startled me). Once the heron was gone the loons quieted down somewhat."

    Another observer reported:

    "While kayaking, heard the loons - they were being very vocal. I then saw them take flight, flying north, also being very vocal. A few minutes later, they flew back south to end up where they started. Appeared to be 2 black & white adults."

    And another eagle related report:

    "An eagle was nearby, and it was being vocal. When the eagle left, it was diving, coming back up, and diving again until I lost sight of it from the shore."

    Observers also submitted video and images as part of their report. You can see a folder of those videos and images here.

    When the loons return in the spring, keep submitting those reports!

    The forms to submit an observation can be found on our Wildlife page here.

    Finally, this year the LSCA will partner with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, and with the permission of Vermont Fish & Wildlife, to install monofilament and lead collection tubes at the boat launch. During their normal boat inspections, our Greeters will educate boaters about this collection program so that visitors can quickly look through their tackle box for old lead gear and bundles of fishing line to deposit in the tubes. Vermont Ecostudies also hopes to launch a voucher program with local tackle shops, so that old lead tackle collected can be replaced with lead-free alternatives. Every year, lead tackle and discarded monofilament line kills aquatic wildlife dependent on Vermont lakes. Entanglement in fishing tackle and poisoning by lead sinkers account for nearly 50% of loon deaths in Vermont.

    We are all excited to see so many loons on LSC, but we need to give them their space (along with all wildlife on the lake). Please enjoy observing them from afar, but do not follow them or approach them with your vessel. Let’s do all we can to keep our loons safe, and work to create an environment to support a nesting pair so we can see baby chicks riding on the backs of their proud parents!

    A loon on Lake St. Catherine.

  • 14 Jan 2023 2:36 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    The Vermont DEC has scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM to discuss proposed draft wakeboat rules.

    In March of 2022, a citizens group, "Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes" submitted a petition to the DEC proposing regulation of wakeboat use on Vermont's lakes and ponds. You can see that petition here.

    Their concerns included:

    • Increased shoreline erosion from enhanced wakes
    • Disturbance to lake bottom sediments creating turbidity, disrupting plants & fish habitat, & releasing phosphorus & other nutrients which can create algae blooms and reduce clarity
    • Wakeboats can shred & uproot plants spreading aquatic invasive species
    • Wakeboats can spread invasive species when moved between lakes
    • Wakeboats create safety concerns, can damage docks and shoreland infrastructure

    At the meeting, the DEC will summarize their review of the scientific studies, legal precedent, and operational considerations related to wakeboat use on the following subjects:

    • Minimum distance from shore to reduce or limit shoreline erosion
    • Minimum depth to avoid benthic sediment and phosphorus disturbance
    • Potential risk of Aquatic Invasive Species spread from ballast tanks
    • Impact of wakeboat waves on loon nests
    • Minimum number of contiguous acres required for safe use
    • Review of regulation in other states and past UPW Rules Decisions

    They will also outline and discuss the proposed draft rule:

    DEC proposed draft wakeboat rule

    Under this rule, on lakes or ponds that meet the eligibility criteria (Lake St. Catherine being one), the DEC will create a wake sports zone map that will show the area on the lake where use is permitted. Using this rule concept, 31 Vermont lakes are eligible for wake sports use (in their designated area).

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

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