What is the Otisco Lake Watershed Management Plan?
The Otisco Lake Watershed Management Plan is a document that summarizes current and historical
environmental characteristics, and presents goals and recommendations for the protection and management
of the lake and watershed. Development of the management plan, made possible through funding from the
New York State Department of State, has provided an opportunity for municipalities, homeowners, citizen
groups, and county, state, and federal agencies to work together to develop a strategy for the long-term
improvement of surface and ground water resources. For the past two years, state and local stakeholders
have been collecting and analyzing data, identifying land and watershed issues of concern, and compiling a
comprehensive collection of goals and recommendations. By working together and pooling agency resources,
we were able to boost our efficiency, reduce our project costs, and ensure that the management planning
process remained a local level initiative.
Management Plan Vision and Goals
Conserve, protect, and restore water quality and natural resources in the Otisco Lake watershed in order to support recreational opportunities, economic growth, and quality of life.
Goal 1: Promote activities to ensure a dependable water supply for current and future needs
Goal 2: Preserve agriculture land and open space
Goal 3: Monitor and manage invasive species
Goal 4: Reduce soil erosion and stormwater runoff
Goal 5: Preserve and enhance wildlife habitat
Otisco Lake Management Plan
There are three PDFs in the management plan. Please click the links below to view or download these documents.
Please email comments and feedback to Derek Conant email@example.com
CCE Onondaga will be hosting a Septic Maintenance and Well Water Testing Workshop on August 13th at 6:00 pm at The Creamery in Skaneateles. Join us for an evening of discussion on common septic system issues, well water pollutants and maintenance of home water systems.
Attendees can pick up E. coli water testing kits from the Syracuse Water Department in Skaneateles. Simply register for the workshop by visiting this website, pick up your water testing kit, and come to the Creamery on August 13th for an educational evening.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County has joined with Onondaga Soil and Water Conservation District, Onondaga Farm Bureau and Tre-G Farms to create a special event for the public: Day on the Farm. This is a chance to connect (or reconnect with) Onondaga County agriculture and find out what makes Onondaga County so special. Onondaga County ranks 12th in New York in agricultural production and includes dairy, fruit, vegetable, field crops, poultry, beef, hops and maple products. Tre-G Farms is operated by Jim and Sue Smith and is an award winning farm for its conservation practices.
Activities include a farm tour wagon ride, agriculture displays and demonstrations and kid friendly activities. Admission, the tour and activities are all FREE. Lunch will be sold and served by the Tully Future Farmers of America (FFA). Chicken BBQ and hotdogs will be sold.
Tre-G Farms is located on Rt. 20, 10 miles east of LaFayette and the Rt. 81 exit.
The latest issue of Skaneateles Lake Wave Reviews is now available for your viewing pleasure. In this issue we discuss Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, New Regulations for Clean/Drain/Dry procedures at all boat launching facilities, conservation efforts in the watershed and an overview on legacy planning.
Wave Reviews is a bi-annual newsletter that Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County produces, providing information on water quality in the Statelessness Lake Watershed. Contributions often come from Onondaga County Soil & Water, the Finger Lakes Land Trust, and others involved in environmental issues in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed. The program is funded by the City of Syracuse Water Department.
You can visit the Skaneateles Lake Watershed webpage at any time.
By Jessi Lyons, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County
The invasive insect, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) also known as HWA has recently been confirmed on hemlock trees in the Bahar Nature Reserve along the western shore of Skaneateles Lake in the Town of Niles, and recently confirmed by the NYS DEC along the eastern shore in the Town of Spafford. HWA was first confirmed in Cayuga County in 2012, and has significantly expanded its range into the Owasco Lake Watershed and into Fillmore Glen State Park.
HWA is a tiny aphid-like insect that feeds on twigs at the base of hemlock needles. The damage prevents the transport of nutrients to the needles and buds, effectively starving the tree. Tree death commonly occurs six or more years after infestation in the Finger Lakes region, but may cause death within 4 years in warmer states. HWA gets its name from the white waxy hairs that protects the insect while it feeds in the winter, appearing like masses of white wool along the stems of hemlock branches.
Hemlock trees are known as keystone species – other species of plants and wildlife depend on hemlock trees as a food source, shelter, and insulation during summer and winter months. Without hemlock, the remaining ecological community also becomes threatened. Hemlock are found in the deep coves and steep slopes characteristic of the southern end of Skaneateles Lake and much of the Finger Lakes region.
HWA has been in eastern US for well over 60 years, but didn’t get a foothold in NY until it was found in the lower Hudson Valley in the mid 1980’s. It has rapidly spread in recent years, likely aided by mild temperatures. Recent cold weather has helped to slow the spread of HWA, but because it reproduces quickly, will have only a short term impact. Highly effective pesticide treatments are available, and research into biological controls in the Finger Lakes region is continuing.
Skaneateles Lake is the drinking water for the City of Syracuse and the widespread loss of hemlock has ecological consequences that can trigger loss of water quality in the lake. Treating hemlock trees for HWA should be done with caution in order to prevent unnecessary pesticide contamination into the Lake. There are effective products that can be used by homeowners or by certified pesticide applicators. The good news is that the systemic insecticide Imidacloprid is effective up to seven years, and application methods keep the pesticide contained within the tree, therefore reducing negative impacts to other species and water quality.
Please visit www.nyis.info for more information about Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and to read recent articles addressing HWA in New York State.