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The Latest News From The Lake St. Catherine Association


  • 19 Mar 2021 8:40 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC fans!

    When will the ice go out on Lake St. Catherine in 2021?

    ...and who is ready for Spring, and preparing to have an excellent season at Lake St. Catherine this year?

    It's time to start up #IceWatch2021!

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

    Click here to make your guess.

    - In 2020, with his guess of March 23rd at 3 PM, the 2020 LSC Ice Out Champion was Melvin Ohl.

    -  In 2019, with her guess of April 15th at 6 AM, the 2019 LSC Ice Out Champion was Judy Cummings.

    Lake St. Catherine - Ice Out Prediction

    The winner will be crowned "LSC 2021 Ice Out Champion" and will have bragging rights all year!

    Make your guess - and good luck!

    Please fill out the form below to make your guess.

    Note: By ice out, we mean when the Lake will be clear of ice. 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.

  • 14 Mar 2021 9:00 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Little Lake vintage postcardINTRODUCTION

    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.

    BACKGROUND

    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.

    Little Lake 2021 treatment mapTHE PLAN

    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.

    Vermont Lake Wise Award SignLAKE WISE

    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: info@lakestcatherine.org.  

    HOW YOU CAN HELP

    1. 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!

    2. 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!

    3. 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.

    4. 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: contact@lakematters.com or the LSCA: info@lakestcatherine.org.

    DONATION GOAL

    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.

    IN SUMMARY

    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 info@lakestcatherine.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.
  • 14 Feb 2021 8:14 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello good folks of the lake community.

    Greetings from (a frozen) Lake St. Catherine. We hope you and your loved ones are staying warm and healthy this winter.

    It's that time of year again... As the Lake St. Catherine Association heads into its 68th year, we are asking for your support for the 2021 season.

    Postcard image from the Channel looking north to Cones Point.

    All things considered, we a very successful year in 2020. We invite you to read our 2020 Year In Review for all the details, including some initial plans for the upcoming season. We hope you find our efforts worthy, and can support us for the 2021 season.

    Membership dues and contributions help fund many of the services provided by the LSCA:

    • Maintain and purchase navigation & shoreline protection buoys throughout the lake.
    • Test the water for E coli, and water clarity.
    • Administering free boat-safety courses that are state mandated for all persons born after January 1, 1974.
    • Greeter Program: Inspecting boats wishing to enter the lake for aquatic invasive species (AIS) - like milfoil, zebra mussels, spiny waterflea and asian clams - to keep them out of the lake.
    • Controlling milfoil (and other invasive species) and maintaining native weeds at tolerable levels.
    • Working with the state to solve the problems of silting and impacts of phosphorus and other sources of pollution. Let us know if you'd like to participate in the Lake Wise program in 2021.
    • Maintaining "welcome" signs and gardens.
    • Liaising with other lakes in order to exchange information concerning problems.
    • Sponsor the annual fun-filled July 4th Boat Parade.
    • Disseminate information to our membership and the community through newsletters, website, and other local publications.
    • Organizing funding through membership fees, donations and grants from the State of Vermont, Poultney and Wells, and environmental groups.
    • We represent you to state and local governments to protect your rights and the lake in general.
    • We protect the value of your property by maintain 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 2021 Membership Form. You can also download a copy by clicking here: 2021 LSCA Membership Form PDF. Just fill out the form and mail it in to our Treasurer Elaine with a check for your dues.

    Or, you can renew or become a member on our website. If you were a member in 2020, 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 you have never logged in, or if you have not logged into the new website launched in December, 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 contributions made by their employees through these programs. So, take a look - you may be able to double your contribution!

    We have simplified our membership levels this year:

    Cottage Owner, $100: For LSC property owners with a dwelling, $100 per cottage.

    Business Sponsor, $200: (details below)

    Unimproved Lot Owner, $50: For LSC property owners without a dwelling.

    Supporter Of LSC, $35: For those of you who love LSC but are not a property owner. Includes family members of property owners, renters and those who use the lake for recreation.

    Both on our website and on our printed membership form, you will have an opportunity to add an additional contribution above the membership level if you'd like to increase your support to the LSCA for 2021:

    Add an additional contribution to your membership.

    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:

    • 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.
    • The posting of your events and special occasions to our Events & LSC Community Website Calendar.
    • A posting on our Blog and Facebook page about your business as a ‘Sponsor Spotlight’ feature.
    • 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.

    Your membership and the dues and contributions we receive allow 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, our treasurer Elaine will mail you a hand-written thank you note, a receipt, a LSCA window card and a LSCA can koozie.

    We are happy to report that in 2020, we had 346 paid members, which includes 10 Business Sponsors with an average contribution of $150. Thank you to all of our members! Your membership dues and additional contributions over and above our base membership levels are crucial to funding our important lake programs. As always, we ask you to help us spread the word by discussing the LSCA with your neighbors, your friends & family, and your renters. 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 Jan 2021 11:11 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Happy New Year LSC!

    We hope you've found that our efforts in 2020 for Lake St. Catherine have been worthy. It’s been a difficult year, but we are proud of what we were able to accomplish under the circumstances. As we look forward to 2021 - with new projects, and new partnerships - we promise to continue our work for the betterment of Lake St. Catherine.

    Thank you to everyone who supported us this year. We hope to earn your support again here in 2021.

    Please keep yourself healthy and be well. We hope to see you at the lake soon.

    Our 2021 Membership Drive will kickoff in early February, but If you'd like, you can renew at any time on our website by clicking here.

    If you are a new member, you can join by clicking here

    Thank you!

    Lake St. Catherine on New Year's Day, 2021.
    Lake St. Catherine - New Year's Day, 2021

  • 17 Dec 2020 12:00 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    At the end of each season, we like to take some time to present a recap of what we’ve done for Lake St. Catherine on behalf of the lake community and our membership. 

    It was a year like no other, filled with uncertainty. 

    As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, we wondered if we’d be able to perform any of our planned lake management projects this year. We were extremely concerned about the safety of our contractors, our Greeters, our volunteers, and our Trustees (and our families and friends). Would we lose a large portion of our funding? Even if we had sufficient funding, would we be able to safely perform the tasks needed to implement our lake management programs? 

    Our best laid plans at the beginning of the year were upended as we began to hear about grants that we had earned possibly being canceled - and some of them were. Tough decisions were made and we revised our budget to prioritize our programs and projects that would have the most impact for LSC. Thankfully, most of our canceled grant funding was reinstated, and we were able to safely implement the majority of our 2020 plan.

    This is certainly not the year we planned for, but we were happy with what we were able to accomplish. 

    So, please get comfortable, grab a beverage - and take a few minutes as we take you through the season.

    Here is our 2020 Year In Review.

    Grants

    As we headed into 2020, we were energized by knowing we had earned Lake St. Catherine approximately $65,000 in grants from the State Of Vermont and the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) to help fund projects like the Greeter Program, our Milfoil Control Program, and Lake Wise. As mentioned previously, some of these were canceled when COVID-19 hit, but were thankfully reinstated. In April, the LCBP announced an emergency relief funding grant to help organizations like the LSCA deal with current expenses during the pandemic - which were happy to earn. We have already submitted a number of grant proposals for 2021. 

    Membership

    As anticipated, membership was down this year. We know and understand that many businesses were impacted by the pandemic, and some of you were laid off or lost hours at your job. A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who was able to contribute to the LSCA and become a member this year. 

    Many of you renewed your membership or joined as soon as our 2020 Membership Drive kicked off in early February - which was very helpful as pandemic was looming.

    We ended the season with 346 members, down slightly from 350 last year. While we came close to matching our 2019 total, we had previously increased our membership numbers, year-over-year the past 3 years.

    We hope to break the 350 mark in 2021 as we continue to reach out to LSC property owners, and hope to expand our reach with membership levels for family members of property owners, renters, and those who use the lake for recreation.

    We hope to earn your support for our 2021 as we launch our Membership Drive in early February of 2021.

    Communicating With The Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund (LSCCF) On The Health Of Little Lake

    In mid February, we posted a paper on our website addressing a series of statements, postings, newspaper articles, and reports on the situation in Little Lake concerning sediment and milfoil issues (you can read it here). We felt that important information about these issues were not being communicated to the lake community and we made the decision to respond to the statements, postings, and newspaper articles while providing information from a Vermont DEC report, and our own aquatic plant surveys. We also proposed the outline of a 3 year plan to address the milfoil issue and proposed ideas to work on interventions in the watershed to combat problems that are contributing to sediment issues.

    The purpose of our paper was to inform the lake community and to present the data and conclusions from the DEC report and our plant surveys, while offering potential solutions. However, the LSCA and the LSCCF have not seen eye-to-eye on lake management in Little Lake for many years, and some interpreted our paper as negative or as an attack. This was certainly not our intent, and it was unfortunate some were upset by it. But, it did get people talking, and it eventually led to a series of meetings between the LSCA and the LSCCF.

    In late February, a Little Lake property owner reached out to both groups and graciously hosted a meeting to discuss Little Lake issues. The discussion became contentious at times, but concluded with an agreement to keep talking - and we did. Both groups kept in touch via email and phone conversations. These discussions led to setting up a moderated, joint meeting between the LSCA, LSCCF, the Vermont DEC, and Michigan based limnologist Jennifer Jones which took place online in late August (you can view a recording of that meeting here). A few weeks before this meeting took place, board members from both groups took a boat tour of Little Lake to assess and discuss the current conditions there. 

    The joint meeting was productive, and discussions continued, leading to another online meeting in late October. At this meeting, the LSCCF presented a 3 year, 6 point plan which outlines the lake management tools they will be pursuing for the next 3 years in Little Lake. You can view this on their website.

    We presented our 3 year plan to help control milfoil in Little Lake, and our ideas to help with sedimentation issues by initiating projects in the watershed. We also briefly discussed our ambitious plan to begin work on a 10 year Lake St. Catherine Watershed Action Plan. A detailed announcement about this new partnership with the LSCCF can be read here.

    Finding agreement on both milfoil control and watershed management tools, we’ve agreed to work together on these two initiatives beginning in 2021.

    A few weeks ago, board members from each group held an online kickoff meeting to discuss watershed projects and expanding the Lake Wise program to Little Lake. Then, this past weekend, board members held an online kickoff meeting to discuss the plan for milfoil control in Little Lake next season.

    This is fantastic news for Little Lake and the whole of Lake St. Catherine.

    There are three very important ways you can help to support these plans.

    1. Donate to the cause. We haven’t yet finalized how we'll fundraise to help cover the 3 year Little Lake milfoil control plan, but we are going to need your financial support. Soon, we’ll let you know how you can make a contribution to specifically help fund this program over the next 3 years.

    2. Get involved. Along with your financial support, there is a lot you can do as an individual to support these programs. To help support watershed programs on the lake, learn about best practices for your lakeshore property to limit the nutrients, sediments and pollution that enter the lake. Sign up to have your property to be assessed for Lake Wise in 2021. The LSCA and the PMNRCD will help you create a beautiful, lake-friendly shoreline. To help support the milfoil control program, learn to identify what milfoil looks like and do what you can to get every piece you can find out of the lake. If you see it growing near your dock or swim area, pull it out by the roots and get it out of the lake. If you see a piece or a patch floating by, scoop it out of the lake. If you see some washed up into your shoreline, clear it out. Place it on land to dry out and dispose of it like you would yard waste. 

    3. Become a member. Both the LSCA and the LSCCF rely on membership dues to fund lake management programs each season. As property owners, and as people who love LSC, we need to all contribute to help keep LSC clean and beautiful.

    A rainbow over Little Lake St. Catherine.

    Boat Launch Monitoring - Greeter Program

    Our Greeters have been trained to identify invasive species (like spiny waterflea, asian clams, water chestnut, starry stonewort and zebra mussels) to stop them from entering LSC at the boat launch in Wells. 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. Each year, they do a fantastic job checking vessels and educating the lake community on the dangers of invasive species for Lake St. Catherine. They are on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day - working on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They also cover holidays and fishing tournaments. 

    Aquatic invasive species.

    Heading into 2020, our plan was to again expand our Greeter Program monitoring hours (over the previous year), and expand the Greeter Program to the Lake St. Catherine State Park using funds earned from grants from the LCBP and the State of Vermont. At one point, 2 of 3 of these grants were canceled. But, we decided we needed to move ahead with our initial plan and launched a scaled back pilot program at the State Park.

    We felt it was important to get the Greeter Program started at the State Park as it has been estimated that 1,800 vessels are launched there each season. So, in mid July, our State Park Greeter Program pilot began, even though we had lost the funding earmarked for this expansion. Then, in early August, we received the good news that the Watershed grant was reinstated.

    Lake St. Catherine Association Greeter Program at the Lake St. Catherine State Park.

    These efforts resulted in a whopping 33% increase in the number of boats inspected in 2020 as compared to 2019!

    We hope to again expand Greeter monitoring hours in 2021.

    Milfoil Control

    On Wednesday, June 24th, three areas on LSC totaling 18.3 acres were treated with ProcellaCOR (highlighted in red in the attached map). This represents a 52% reduction in the amount of acres that were treated in 2019. Two areas were in the northern end of the lake in North Bay and Lily Pond, the other area was in the Channel south of the bridge. These treatments were very successful.

    2020 Lake St. Catherine treatment map for DASH and ProcellaCOR.

    Our diver assisted suction harvesting (DASH) team began their work on June 27th. This season, the DASH team worked in 10 areas, totaling 38.7 acres. This represents a 42% reduction in the amount of acres that were DASH'd in 2019. 

    Lake St. Catherine Association's Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) boat.

    In these DASH areas, the milfoil was very sparse. Although they worked approximately the same amount of hours as in 2019, they only harvested 132 buckets (17.5 gallons per bucket) of milfoil. In 2019, 1,293 buckets were harvested. This is excellent news, and an amazing statistic.

    You can view our 2020 results and the aquatic plant survey by clicking here.

    8th Annual Boat Parade

    As with our other lake activities, we were concerned about putting on the Boat Parade this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to continue this yearly tradition, but we wanted to make sure that we could do it safely.

    The first change was to not ask our local business to donate prizes this year. Many were - and still are struggling - so we asked the lake community to support those local businesses that donated prizes in 2019. They are: Lake St. Catherine Country Club, Full Belly Deli of Poultney, VT, New England Lakeside Realty Inc., Edwards Market, The Wells Country Store, Otto's Cones Point General Store, The Gold Trout, Pine Grove Diner, The Barn Restaurant & Tavern, The Pawlet Station, Village Yarn Shop, Rebecca J. Thomas, Inc. dba Country Horizon Realty, MacDaddy's Car Hop, Stewart's Shops, Williams Hardware, Wellsmere Farm, CBH Business Services, Everyday Flowers.

    Next, we removed the judging stations and instead decided to post an online poll asking the lake community to vote for your favorite boat in each of our 4 categories: Most Original, Most Patriotic, Funniest, Best Overall. Photos were taken of all participants during the parade, and the online poll was posted. 

    After the vote was tallied, we had our 4 winners:

    Most Patriotic: Boat #8 - The Dunbar Family - "Party Like A Patriot"

    8th Annual Lake St. Catherine Association Boat Parade - Most Patriotic

    Funniest: Boat #9 - The Lutz & Harris Families - "Fowl Play"

    8th Annual Lake St. Catherine Association Boat Parade - Funniest

    Most Original: Boat #14 - The Mroz Family - "Ice Cream Boat"

    8th Annual Lake St. Catherine Association Boat Parade - Most Original

    Best Overall: Boat #1 - The Conine Family - "Ski School"

    8th Annual Lake St. Catherine Association Boat Parade - Best Overall

    We hope you enjoyed the parade this year!

    Annual Meeting

    Each July, we look forward to getting our membership together for our Annual Meeting & Dinner at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club. The LSCA Trustees present reports from their committees, and we get to share an excellent dinner with our lake neighbors. 

    It was very disappointing that we were unable to do that this year. 

    But, we still had a lot of important information to share with our membership and the lake community, so we held a Virtual Annual Meeting on July 25th. Previous to the meeting, we solicited questions from the membership and the lake community that we could answer during the meeting. 

    All of our Trustees joined a Google Meet, and we recorded our presentation and posted the video on our YouTube channel. You can view that recording by clicking here

    We are keeping our fingers crossed that we can have an in-person Annual Meeting & Dinner next summer.

    Dockside Chats

    One of the grants we earned had an education component which would have resulted in small community meetings around the lake. We had plans to set up small ‘neighborhood’ designations for areas around the lake and have a captain in each area to speak with their neighbors to have discussions about lake issues. The captains would set up small meetings with interested neighbors and a LSCA Trustee would attend to talk about the lake and answer questions.

    Obviously, COVID-19 made this project impossible to begin in 2020. But, with this project being canceled and the Annual Meeting going virtual, we wanted to find some way to have safe face-to-face interactions with members. So, we came up with Dockside Chats.

    Our idea was to have a LSCA Trustee visit you at your dock via the lake and have a socially distanced chat about the lake. We advertised this on our website and Facebook pages asking interested members to write into our email address (info@lakestcatherine.org) to schedule a chat.

    We are glad to say this was a popular program with about 15 Dockside Chats scheduled. We hope to do it again next year - along with our neighborhood program.

    Lake Wise

    WOW - what a year for Lake Wise! Eleven properties on Lake St. Catherine earned the Lake Wise Award in 2020.

    2020 Lake Wise Award winners, The O'Connells - West Lake Road
    2020 Lake Wise Award winners, The O'Connells - West Lake Road

    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. Four categories are assessed: The driveway and parking area, the structure (which includes roof, drainage, and septic), the recreation area (the lawn/footprint of non-natural, high-use yard areas), and the shoreline buffer area.

    The goal of the Lake Wise program, from the Lake Wise website:

    "The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a 'model' shoreland property. The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake."

    In partnership with the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) and property owners around the lake, the Lake Wise program was a huge success in 2020. 

    A LCBP grant helped to fund both property assessments, native plantings, and stormwater runoff projects on individual property owner’s shorelines.

    Building on the work in 2018 and 2019 led to the success of the program in 2020 - and this brings the total Lake Wise properties on LSC to 12.

    Our goal is to earn another 10 awards in 2021, and get our first for a Little Lake property owner. 

    As we were preparing this report, we received word that a LCBP grant we applied for to expand the Lake Wise program into Little Lake in 2021 was awarded! We are excited to expand this program into Little Lake and work with the LSCCF on implementing it. 

    You can read more about Lake Wise and why it is so important for LSC on our website by clicking here.

    Newsletters

    Our traditional Spring and Fall newsletters were posted digitally on our website, and printed copies were made available at Otto’s.

    Spring Newsletter
    Fall Newsletter

    New Website

    In early December, we launched our new website at lakestcatherine.org. Our previous website served us well for 4 years, but it was time for a refresh.

    We still have some work to do, but you'll immediately notice a new design, updated pages, new pages, and lots of new photos and content.

    Along with the new look, and all the new LSC related information we've added, there are a bunch of new features we'll be able to offer members and visitors. We'll continue to update the site over the winter, and we'll let you know as we roll out these new website features.

    Please check it out and let us know what you think.

    As always, our Blog and Facebook pages will be constantly updated with the latest LSC information and news - so please check those often.

    Looking Ahead To 2021

    We’ve touched upon a few of these above, but we’d like to briefly summarize our ambitious plans for 2021.

    1. 2021 Membership Drive: We’ll be working hard to get back on track with our membership by increasing the total number of members, and the dollars raised over our recent previous highs in 2019. We’ve made it even easier to renew or become a member on our new website. We’ve simplified membership levels and added the ability for members to include an additional contribution in the amount of their choosing during the process which we hope the lake community will take advantage of. We will also reach out to seasonal renters, family members of property owners, and recreational users of the lake with our new ‘Supporter of LSC’ level of membership. We’ll kick off the 2021 Membership Drive in early February.

    2. Lake-Wide Milfoil Control Efforts: Planning and meetings are already taking place to prepare for our milfoil control efforts in Lake St. Catherine in 2021. Along with planning to continue our yearly DASH and ProcellaCOR milfoil control program, members of the LSCA and the LSCCF have been discussing expanding the program to include a ProcellaCOR treatment in Little Lake next year as part of a 3 year plan. This is excellent news for the Little Lake and the whole of Lake St. Catherine. Members from both boards will be meeting soon to discuss our joint fundraising efforts. We’ll let you know about the treatment and how you can contribute to its success when those plans are finalized. We’ll be soliciting donations from the lake community and educating you on what you can do in the lake and on your shorelines to make this 3 year plan a success. We hope you’ll be able to contribute to this plan to help Little Lake.

    3. Lake Wise: We are very excited to have earned another LCBP grant to fund our Lake Wise Program in 2021. This year, we’ll again partner with the PMNRCD and are happy to be working together with the LSCCF to expand the program into Little Lake. Lake Wise is such an important program for Lake St. Catherine. As a property owner on the lake, our collective efforts to make our shorelines lake friendly will have a huge impact on water quality. Our properties are the last line of defense to keep stormwater runoff from depositing sediments, pollution, and weed growing nutrients into the lake. If you’d like to be part of the Lake Wise Program in 2021, please email us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

    4. Lake St. Catherine Watershed Action Plan: This fall, the LSCA, with the support of the PMNRD and the Vermont DEC, applied for a LCBP grant to help fund the research and the development of a Watershed Action Plan for LSC. From the EPA, a Watershed Action Plan is described as, “Watershed planning helps address water quality problems in a holistic manner by fully assessing the potential contributing causes and sources of pollution, then prioritizing restoration and protection strategies to address these problems.” We hope to begin the multi-year process of creating the LSC Watershed Action Plan in 2021 which we anticipate will lead to a 10 year plan.

    5. Greeter Program: We continue to hear reports of aquatic invasive species (AIS) establishing themselves in lakes that are in the vicinity of Lake St. Catherine - this is why the Greeter Program is so important. Our plan in 2021 will be to again (for the 3rd year in a row) expand the hours worked by our Greeters, along with a full season of checking vessels at the LSC State Park.

    Thank You For Your Support

    We hope you find that our efforts in 2020 for Lake St. Catherine have been worthy. It’s been a difficult year, but we are proud of what we were able to accomplish under the circumstances. As we look forward to 2021 - with new projects, and new partnerships - we promise to continue our work for the betterment of Lake St. Catherine.

    Thank you to everyone who supported us this year. We hope to earn your support again in 2021.

    Please keep yourself healthy and be well. We hope to see you at the lake soon.

    Happy Holidays,

    - The Trustees of The Lake St. Catherine Association

    Join the Lake St. Catherine Association

  • 12 Dec 2020 9:12 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    This morning, we'd like to let you know about a feature of our new website - a Membership Directory and an app for your phone or tablet.

    Membership Directory

    After you have set up your account on the new website (you can start that process by clicking here), you can update your profile for the Membership Directory.

    First, log into the site and select 'Membership Profile' from the 'Membership' menu. You will see a page that has this information:

    Lake St. Catherine Association website membership profile screen

    Click on the grey 'Edit profile' button and you can add information to your profile like a Bio, the name of your cottage, and a photo. Make sure you hit the 'Save' button after you make any changes.

    Next, you can decide what information you'd like listed about yourself in your entry for the Membership Directory. To do that, click on the 'Privacy' link. You will then see a list of 'Details to show'. Click on the grey 'Edit profile' button on this page and you will see this:

    Lake St. Catherine Association website membership profile privacy settings

    You have full control over what information is displayed in your profile listing in the Membership Directory. If you want to show a line of information, select 'Anybody' or 'Members'. If you would prefer to not show a line of information, click the 'No access' button. Be sure to again click the grey 'Save' button to save your changes.

    After making and saving edits, you can view what will be shown on your profile listing in the Membership Directory by clicking on the 'My directory profile' link. 

    The default settings for your entry will only show your name - you will need to add information to your profile, and then decide what you'd like to share.

    For example, I have added a photo, a Bio, my email address, and our camp name & address - and then I made those viewable in the directory. You can see what a profile looks like by clicking the link on my name under the title of this blog post. 

    You can view or search the directory by clicking on Membership Directory under the Membership menu. You must be a member and logged into the site to view this page.

    Other features available here include an area where you can create a photo album, see tickets for events you have registered for (hopefully we'll be able to use that feature in 2021!), and listings of your transactions on the new site like membership payments and donations.

    Website Companion App For Your Phone Or Tablet

    Our new site has a companion app that you can download for your iOS or Android based phone or tablet.

    The app is named for the company that hosts our new website, Wild Apricot - the app is called 'Wild Apricot For Members'. You can install it by using the links below:

    Apple App Store - Wild Apricot For Members
    Android Google Play Store - Wild Apricot For Members

    After installing on your device, you can log in with the username and password you use for the new website. 

    In the app, you'll be able to search the Membership Directory, make edits to your member profile, view upcoming events, and renew your membership.

    We hope you'll enjoying using these new features - and that you'll have some fun setting up your membership profile!

    If you have any questions or issues, please send us an email at info@lakestcatherine.org so we can help you out.

    We hope you are enjoying the new site!

  • 10 Dec 2020 12:31 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Each season, the LSCA implements a milfoil control program to keep milfoil in check using a combination of spot herbicide treatments and DASH (Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting).

    In late September, our contractor SOLitude Lake Management performed a comprehensive lake-wide aquatic vegetation survey to both evaluate the performance of our milfoil control efforts, and to assess the overall state of aquatic plants in Lake St. Catherine.

    This is the 17th consecutive year a plant survey has been performed on Lake St. Catherine. You can see all the previous reports, dating back to 2004 in our Links & Downloads section.

    The report can be read directly here: 2020 - Aquatic Vegetation Management Report.

    From the report:

    "Controlling areas of dense EWM growth and maintaining it at non-nuisance levels has been the focus of recent EWM management efforts at Lake St. Catherine. The ProcellaCOR herbicide treatment this year effectively and selectively controlled EWM where used... This strategy coupled with focused DASH efforts proved to be successful in maintaining control of EWM frequency of occurrence and percent cover in both the Main Basin and Lily Pond."

    Please take a look.

    If you have any questions, please get in touch at info@lakestcatherine.org.

    The cover page for the 2020 - Aquatic Vegetation Management Report

  • 9 Dec 2020 6:00 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    We are excited to report that the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has awarded the Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) a grant in the amount of $19,920 for the expansion of our Lake Wise Program into Little Lake!

    The project is entitled: “Lake Wise Project Implementation on Little Lake in the Lake St. Catherine Watershed”, and will be implemented in partnership with the LSCA, the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund (LSCCF) and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District (PMNRCD).

    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. Four categories are assessed: The driveway and parking area, the structure (which includes roof, drainage, and septic), the recreation area (the lawn/footprint of non-natural, high-use yard areas), and the shoreline buffer area.

    The goal of the Lake Wise program, from the Lake Wise website:

    "The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a 'model' shoreland property. The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake."

    In 2020, the LSCA earned the same grant from LCBP to perform Lake Wise assessments, and to help property owners with projects on their land to mitigate stormwater runoff into the lake. Then, the LSCA partnered with PMNRCD on this project and began the outreach to the lake community. This effort, combined with the efforts in 2018 and 2019 resulted in 11 lake properties winning the Lake Wise Award in 2020.

    The Liberatores, Oxbow Bay: One of 11 properties to earn a Lake Wise Award in 2020 on Lake St. Catherine
    The Liberatores, Oxbow Bay: One of 11 properties to earn a Lake Wise Award in 2020 on LSC

    Stormwater has a widespread environmental impact which makes it a growing concern in Vermont. In a statewide effort, towns and local organizations are working to implement large scale projects to help clean stormwater before it enters water bodies. Work is being done from the headwaters all the way down to the stream outlets. Excess nutrients in the water contribute to problems which affect both human and wildlife health including; lower oxygen levels in the water, toxic algae blooms, and excessive plant growth.

    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.

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

    This is such an important program for long term health of Lake St. Catherine, and we can all pitch in to make a difference.

    If you are a Little Lake property owner who would like to be part of this program, please contact us at info@lakestcatherine.org so we can add you to our 2021 list. We’ll contact you in the spring to set up an appointment. We are also accepting requests for ANY property owners on LSC. If you’d like to be part of the Lake Wise program, we want to hear from you.

    Next year, our overall goal is to earn 10 Lake Wise Awards for property owners, with at least one of those being the first for Little Lake.

    - You can read more about the Lake Wise Program on Lake St. Catherine by clicking here.
    - You can read about the 11 properties that earned the Lake Wise Award in 2020 by clicking here.

    The LSCA is very happy to be working together with the LSCCF on this important project for Little Lake in 2021. This project represents just one of the two initiatives that the LSCA and the LSCCF will be working together on in 2021. Soon, we’ll have additional information to share on the second joint project, milfoil control in Little Lake.

    So, send us an email at info@lakestcatherine.org and we’ll get you signed up for 2021. Thank you!

  • 6 Dec 2020 10:51 AM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello LSC.

    We are excited to announce that we have launched a newly designed and updated website at www.lakestcatherine.org

    We still have some work to do, but you'll immediately notice a new design, updated pages, new pages, and lots of new photos. Thank you to everyone who had contributed photos for the new site! We did our best to incorporate as many as we could.

    Along with the new look and all the new LSC related information we've added, there are a bunch of new features we'll be able to offer members and visitors. We'll continue to update the site over the winter, and we'll let you know as we roll out these new website features.

    For example:

    • Members can upload a photo and type up a bio for their entry in the online LSCA Membership Directory.
    • Members will be able to download an app for your phone or tablet (iOS and Android). In this app, you can view the member directory, see your membership status, renew your membership, and view your new digital LSCA Membership card.
    • Becoming a member, or renewing your membership online is much easier now. We've been able to consolidate the membership level choices, and after you have selected the membership level, if you'd like - you'll have the opportunity to add an additional contribution to the LSCA in the amount of your choosing. This will be ready to roll as we head into the new year and launch our 2021 Membership Drive.

    Soon, current members will receive an email from the new site with instructions on how to set up your account. Your membership record from the old site was imported into the new one, you'll just need to set a password. Keep an eye out for that later today. If you'd like to become a new member, please wait a few days as our payment processing will be added early this week.

    As always, our Blog and Facebook pages will be constantly updated with the latest LSC information and news - so please check those often.

    While we've done our best to test drive the new site looking for issues or typos, we may have missed some. If you come across anything that is not working properly, or if you see a typo, or if you have any issues setting up your new site account, please let us know. 

    We'd also like to know what you think of the new site! Let us know here: info@lakestcatherine.org. We hope you enjoy the new site.

    Thanks for your support of the LSCA!

  • 29 Oct 2020 6:00 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

    Hello to everyone in the Lake St. Catherine community. We have some exciting news to share with you today.

    Over the past year, the Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) and the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund (LSCCF) have been communicating and meeting to discuss the health of Little Lake.

    As you may have seen, back on August 25th, we held a joint meeting to discuss potential interventions for Little Lake. You can view a recording of that meeting here. We are happy to report that productive discussions between our two groups continued after this meeting. This culminated in an agreement to work together on projects to help address milfoil and sediment issues in Little Lake.

    We’d like to tell you about them, and also let you know how you can help - because we will need your support to make them happen.

    During a joint meeting held on October 21st, the LSCCF presented a 3 year, 6 point plan which outlines the tools they will be pursuing for the next 3 years in Little Lake. You can view this on their website.

    We presented our 3 year plan to help control milfoil in Little Lake, and our ideas to help with sedimentation issues by initiating projects in the watershed. We also briefly discussed our ambitious plan to begin work on a 10 year Lake St. Catherine Watershed Action Plan (more on this soon).

    Finding agreement on both milfoil control and watershed management tools, we’ve agreed to work together on these initiatives beginning in 2021.

    Watershed Management

    As the lakeshore around Little Lake has been developed over the past 50 years, it has suffered from cultural eutrophication (excess nutrients and sediments from human activity entering the lake). Watershed projects will help mitigate inflows of nutrients (phosphorus), sediments and pollution caused by stormwater runoff. Reducing phosphorus and sediments will limit the amount of nutrients available for weeds to grow, and the amount of muck that settles on the bottom. These watershed projects are designed to keep new nutrients and sediments from entering Little Lake and adding to the existing sediment levels.

    Lake Wise Award signIn 2021, the LSCA will again be applying for the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s Pollution Prevention grant. We earned this grant last year and used it to promote the Lake Wise Program on Lake St. Catherine.

    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. Four categories are assessed: The driveway and parking area, the structure (which includes roof, drainage, and septic), the recreation area (the lawn/footprint of non-natural, high-use yard areas), and the shoreline buffer area.

    The goal of the Lake Wise program, from the Lake Wise website:

    "The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a 'model' shoreland property. The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake."

    In 2020, this program resulted in 9 property owners winning 11 Lake Wise Awards for their properties on Lake St. Catherine. This is an outstanding achievement. These properties are models for all of us to follow as we work on making our individual properties lake friendly.

    The Herricks - one of eleven Lake Wise Award winners on Lake St. Catherine in 2020

    The LSCA worked closely with the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) performing property assessments and working with the owners to implement stormwater mitigation measures on their lakeshore. Some of these measures included rain gardens, shoreline buffer plantings, infiltration steps and other water diversion and infiltration techniques.

    This year, we’d like to expand the Lake Wise Program into Little Lake. In the grant application we will submit next week, we are happy to be partnering with the LSCCF to help make this program a success in Little Lake. We’ll work together on outreach to Little Lake residents, and the PMNRCD will again perform assessments and work with Little Lake property owners to help them make their property Lake Wise.

    While our focus in 2021 will be on Little Lake, we will continue this program lake-wide to help property owners all around Lake St. Catherine to earn this award. It may take a few years to earn this award after your initial assessment as you and the PMNRCD put in the work on your property. This year, we found that properties that were initially assessed in 2018 or 2019 were able to earn the award in 2020 as they and the PMNRCD implemented Lake Wise techniques. So, year-over-year follow up is a key component of this program.

    With this in mind, our goal with the Lake Wise program in 2021 is a successful launch in Little Lake, winning at least 10 Lake Wise awards for Lake St. Catherine as a whole and at least our first on Little Lake.

    If you would like to work to make your property Lake Wise, please contact us so we can add you to our list for a visit in 2021. We hope to hear from folks all around LSC, but especially on Little Lake! You can email us at info@lakestcatherine.org to get on the list for 2021.

    Another important watershed project is underway on Lake St. Catherine. In late 2019, the PMNRCD completed a stormwater master plan for the lake. This study inventoried 50 locations around the lake that were determined to be nutrient and sediment inputs from stormwater runoff. Six of these projects were selected to kick off the program in 2020, and plans were engineered to fix them. Four of the six initial projects are located around Little Lake, and two of these projects will be breaking ground soon. You can read the Stormwater Master Plan here.

    Please check out this interactive map of Lake St. Catherine that has both the Stormwater Master Plan locations and the Lake Wise award winners plotted.

    Milfoil Control

    For the past two years, we’ve been using a new, highly targeted herbicide called ProcellaCOR. It has been highly effective in controlling the milfoil levels in our treatment areas (Big Lake, Lily Pond). It has been so successful that based on preliminary results of our fall survey, next year, we are projecting to not use herbicides in the Big Lake for the first time since 2006. This is an incredible result.

    After reviewing the results of the first ProcellaCOR treatment in 2019, we saw a real opportunity to significantly reduce the amount of milfoil in LSC. At that time, we decided to set a goal to get the milfoil level down to a point that our primary control method would be our diver assisted suction harvesting (DASH) team. Learn more about our DASH team by clicking here. Achieving this goal would allow us to redirect funds to other important lake programs like improving water quality, watershed management and invasive species prevention. However, to achieve this goal, we’d need to address the largest source of milfoil in LSC, Little Lake.

    Beginning next season, we’ll initiate a 3 year plan using ProcellaCOR to gain control of milfoil in Little Lake. In year one, we’ll treat up to 40% of the milfoil which is approximately 71 acres. The year one treatment has been estimated to cost more than $30,000. If we project out the cost over the 3 year plan, the total cost could be approximately $80,000. However, that is subject to change. After year one, we’ll evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment, and make a plan for year two based on those results. It is possible that we won’t need to treat as large an area in year two or three which would decrease the total cost over the 3 year plan.

    While this plan is targeted to help improve the milfoil conditions in Little Lake, it is a benefit to the whole of Lake St. Catherine. Milfoil fragments make their way from Little Lake, through the Channel via wind and boat traffic. We’ve found that this milfoil ends up seeding new milfoil growth in the Channel, near the Sunken Island, Forest House Bay and Halls Bay. Successful treatments in Little Lake would result in the lowest overall milfoil levels in Lake St. Catherine since 2006.

    We are happy to have the backing and financial support from the LSCCF for this plan to begin in 2021.

    How You Can Help

    There are three very important ways you can help to support these plans.

    1. Donate to the cause. We haven’t yet finalized how we’ll fundraise to help cover the 3 year Little Lake milfoil control plan, but we are going to need your financial support. Soon, we’ll let you know how you can make a contribution to specifically help fund this program over the next 3 years.
    2. Get involved. Along with your financial support, there is a lot you can do as an individual to support these programs. To help support watershed programs on the lake, learn about best practices for your lakeshore property to limit the nutrients, sediments and pollution that enter the lake. Sign up to have your property to be assessed for Lake Wise in 2021. The LSCA and the PMNRCD will help you create a beautiful, lake-friendly shoreline. To help support the milfoil control program, learn to identify what milfoil looks like and do what you can to get every piece you can find out of the lake. If you see it growing near your dock or swim area, pull it out by the roots and get it out of the lake. If you see a piece or a patch floating by, scoop it out of the lake. If you see some washed up into your shoreline, clear it out. Place it on land to dry out and dispose of it like you would yard waste.
    3. Become a member. Both the LSCA and the LSCCF rely on membership dues to fund lake management programs each season. As property owners, and as people who love LSC, we need to all contribute to help keep LSC clean and beautiful.

    Summary

    The LSCA and the LSCCF have agreed to work together on milfoil control and watershed management programs in Little Lake in 2021 and beyond. We’ll be looking to the lake community for your involvement and financial support to make these programs a success.

    Lake St. Catherine is one body of water, from Lily Pond to Lake’s End. A healthy Little Lake is a benefit to all LSC property owners, regardless of where your property is. Let’s all work together in support of Little Lake, and in turn, all of Lake St. Catherine.

    We’ll have information on our joint fundraising effort soon. We hope you will support these efforts.

    Thanks for reading LSC.

    We hope you agree that these are significant steps forward for Little Lake.

    We welcome your comments. Contact us any time at info@lakestcatherine.org.

    Thank you.

    A postcard showing the south end of Lake St. Catherine, Little Lake.

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

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