Lake Status Reports
Japanese Knotweed 2022
The knotweed plants on our dam were treated by Nature Conservancy pesticide applicators last fall. There were only a few plants. This year there are two plants that have sprouted again. The Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has promised to treat them again this fall. Roy and I have been monitoring the knotweed along Mill Creek since 2012. We have identified 23 sites on 11 properties. Most of these sites have been treated and most of the plants have died. There are three properties downstream from the dam with knotweed which The Nature Conservancy will continue to treat. However, due to limited time and resources, they will not be treated this year. They hope as they continue to retreat other properties some will remain “clean” and not require treatment, allowing the private contractor to get to our properties next year.
Japanese Knotweed 2021
The knotweed plants on our dam were treated by Nature Conservancy pesticide applicators last fall. You may have noticed the bare spots where the grass around the knotweed plants was also killed. They have already visited the dam this month and did find a few small plants surviving. They will treat them again sometime later this year.
Roy and I have been monitoring the knotweed along Mill Creek since 2012. We have identified 23 sites on 11 properties. Most of these sites have been treated and most of the plants have died. There are four properties downstream from the dam with knotweed which the Nature Conservancy will continue to treat. I have obtained signed permission forms from the owners of these properties. Roy has again hiked the these properties to locate surviving knotweed plots. They will be treated by a private contractor. As for the other seven land owners, we have asked them to try to keep their knotweed plants under control themselves.
Submitted by Bob Manning
Wildlife Report 2022
This year’s report starts with last Fall’s sightings. In early October as the story goes a moose swam from Garnet Lake Lodge to the Murphys. at that point the moose encountered the Friedell’s dog, so he quickly swam back across to the Thomsons’s beach and up their yard. Luckily the Thomsons were able to get a video to memorialize the moose. A few days later Roy and I were canoeing at the end of the lake. We saw something swimming across in front of us. We assumed it was the moose, but unfortunately it turned out to be a bear instead. The last loon we sighted before the ice formed was late October. 2022 ice out recorded April 7 by Bob Manning who also reported the first loon sighting 4/10!
3 nesting pairs this year. 1. usual bog pair, 2. the Back Bay pair, and 3. Corwin’s island pair. They nested in early June, and the chicks arrived the end of June for the first 2 pair. The Corwin Island pair had lost their eggs the first time, they had returned to try again, but after July 4th they had not produced any chicks and were off the nest. We had heard that there were actually people on the island and of course we know how busy that week was. We are not sure what to do if they decide to nest again next year. Tom is willing to have some official signs put up if the pair decides to nest next year. First of all we are surprised that we had a third nesting pair on our lake. Each pair needs their own territory. As you can see they have divided up the lake into thirds. Our lake has about 127 hectares (3130 acres of surface water). Most pairs need 60 to 80 hectares of surface water although our lake has these extra bays and visual barriers to keep them separate. Perhaps a 3rd nesting pair will not succeed anyway. You will ask why you see and hear all these loons gather early in the morning. They are probably some of our own loons plus visitors from other nearby lakes. I don’t know the answer to that, but they sure make lots of noise and look like
they are having fun! Roy and I did the Annual Loon Survey July 16. Our 6 adult loons did not cooperate. WE were only able to say we had one family of 2 adults and 2 chicks near the bog, and another family of 1 adult and 1 chick in the back bay. The rest were either flying or somewhere we couldn’t find them. Judy and Steve Thomson are the loon surveyors of Lizard Pond. They spotted a flying loon come in and land at their lake. Probably the loon had been playing over at Garnet Lake. Garnet Lake is a member of the Friendly Loon Certification Program part of the Loon . The Bruschis, The Corwins, the Burgesses, the Thomsons, and the Keats are tasked with educating the people on the lake about the loons and their behavior. We have a fish Tackle canister at the boat launch which we clean up. This is what Greg Bruschi found last week. There is a Lead Tackle Buy Back program where if you take an ounce or more of lead shots to The Crossroads in Chestertown you will get a $10 voucher to buy non-lead tackle There have been sightings of eagles and osprey and hawks. WE recently saw a lineup of 12 small mallard ducklings in the stump area. We are on the lookout for the return of the monarchs. There was a recent article that they have
been on the decline around here. There has been a similar yellow and black butterfly flitting around. Anyone else have any interesting sightings? The last item I thought was fun this year is the free Merlin App from Cornell Ornithology. for anyone interested in trying to identify our local birds. We never knew there were so many
different kinds of birds. The other day we were at the end of the lake, turned on the app to find out there was a scarlet tanager. Sure enough there he was up in the tree above us. I would be happy to share how you get and use this app.
Wildlife Report 2021
Ice out was around April 7th, about the same as last year. Spring brought some interesting migratory birds to the lake such as hooded mergansers. As far as the geese problem that we had last year, we were lucky this year. There were many geese spending the night here on their flight north, but none set up residence. One early morning I saw a V of 24 geese take off from our lake flying over the dam. We have not seen any geese on the lake and only one family off Garnet Lake Rd N.
We have a cute family of mergansers, a female with 8 babies. she has done a good job of protecting them against the eagle and osprey lurking around. No real mallard families this year, mainly adult groupings.
As far as the loon story on Garnet Lake, we continue to have 2 pairs of loons plus our 5th loon back by mid April, if not right after ice out. Of the two pairs, one pair was in the back bay and one pair was by the large bog in front of Candace and Bob’s place. It appeared that neither pair could nest, as the bogs have been disintegrating every year. We saw a pair try to build a nest, but the next day they were back in the water, and one would be struggling to get up on the bog. the following day there would be a loon on another bog patch. Usually they would have nested before Memorial Day, but it wasn’t until Mid June that each pair had found some skimpy area to nest. We kept having the rainfalls which meant that their nests sank closer to the lake each time. Around July 9 miraculously we had 3 chicks hatch. 1 at the middle bog and 2 further to the south. We were thankful they had hatched as both nests soon became submerged with all the rain we had gotten.
We are partnering with the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation in a new program called the Loon Friendly Certification Program. Our committee are Elizabeth Corwin, Tom Corwin, Rick Palmer, Greg and Sandy Bruschi, Gary Bruschi, and Diane and John Burgess. The main commitments are to put up a fishline receptacle by the boat launch and check it frequently, educate visitors about loon safe boating and recreation, and organize a cleanup around the lake. We are also expected to pay $100 a year, which was covered by Greg and Sandy this past year, and is a line item in our next years budget. We have brochures to pass out to everyone, and extras for those who rent out their places.
Roy and I surveyed Garnet Lake for the Annual New York Common Loon Survey (which is part of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation in Saranac Lake) on Saturday, July 17 from 8-9. We found the 5 resident adult loons with one chick belonging to the front bog area loons and 2 chicks belonging to the Back Bay loons! In addition, Judy and Steve Thomson decided this year to survey Lizard Pond for the Survey and luckily they found one loon there. Unfortunately they got caught in a downpour while hiking and canoeing back home.
The turtles laid their eggs in mid June. They love sandy soil including Joe Bernat’s wildflower garden! Baby turtles will appear toward the end of August.
We have spotted the Pectinatella Magnifica jelly like bryozoans moss animals. This year there seem to be many of them partway past the bog area. You will see these pectin balls on dead trees under the water.
Lots of swallowtail butterflies around, and now the monarchs are appearing around the milkweed.
There was an article in Adirondack Life in their Great Outdoors Guide for 2021 featuring a Garnet Lake otter.
Others reported one bear sighting on the east side of the lake late at night, and another noted some Bald Eagle activity on occasion.
Submitted by Steve Thompson
Garnet Lake- Aquatic Invasive Plant Monitoring 2022
Garnet Lake participates in the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) with respect to aquatic invasive plants. APPIP has coordinated a volunteer lake monitoring program for 20 years, an effort that is currently titled Lake Protectors. There are workshops each year which provide updates and identification techniques for lake stewards. Steve Thomson attended the workshop held by Zoom this year in June. These sessions offer training in identification of AIS and a presentation of new and existing information on the status of the lakes in the Adirondack Park with regard to AIS. Lake Protectors survey their lakes at least once between mid-July and the end of September and submit a report to APPIP on their findings. Judy Thomson and Roy and Sue Keats assist Steve Thomson on the survey which was completed the week of July 24, 2022. To date no aquatic invasive plants have been found in the waters of Garnet Lake. We continue to be in early detection mode at the present time. We do not have resources to systematically check boats entering and leaving the lake so that our efforts in early detection is the method for us to avoid the costly control and management consequences if AIS were to be found in the lake. Last summer Adirondack Research, a private company that performs professional lake environmental services, surveyed our lake for APPIP and confirmed that there were no aquatic invasive plants in our lake. While APPIP selects 30-50 lakes each year for Adirondack Research to survey, they are not able to tell us when we might be selected for a professional look again. However they do recommend that every three to five years we should consider having Adirondack Research do a professional AIS survey as well as a survey of the physical characteristics of the lake (depth, hardness, plant height, etc.). We would have to hire them to perform this service if APPIP does not select Garnet Lake as one of the lakes to be surveyed in 2024 or 2025. APPIP also suggests that every six to ten years a fish population survey and an in-depth plant census of both native and non-native plants be done. We will look into this in the future and make recommendations to the board as to whether to contract professional surveys. What we do: We do regular monitoring of the lake, essentially in water that is 6 feet or less, in weed beds around the lake. APIPP asks each volunteer responsible for lake aquatic invasive species (AIS) to survey the lake at least once between the middle of July and September. We actually have surveyed the lake up to four times in this time period in previous years. I then submit a report to APIPP informing them of our activities and our findings. We plan a follow up survey in August on a clear, calm day. As we paddle the lake frequently, we survey unofficially as well. Surveys like ours have been done on 450 Adirondack lakes and AIS have been found in about 25% of those surveyed (113). So the good news is that 3 out of 4 of the surveyed lakes are so far free of aquatic invasive species and we are in that group. There are local lakes which have AIS (Loon, Minerva, Lake George, Schroon, Hadlock Pond, and more). Their associations or municipalities have invested considerable resources to control the spread of invasives in their waters. In many cases that total eradication has not been accomplished, the investment in managing AIS continues. The economic and environmental consequences of dealing with this problem are serious. Early detection is the best way to avoid these negative consequences. Potential Threats: Since boats and trailers are the main vectors for the introduction of aquatic invasive species into a lake, we need to be concerned since we have a public boat launch on the lake. We do not have the volunteer capacity, or financial resources to staff a checkpoint for boats leaving or entering the lake. Outside resources are limited and are utilized for the larger and higher priority lakes in the Park. While boat washing stations and launch checkpoints are used at some, resources for lakes such as Garnet are generally not available. There is DEC signage at the Garnet Lake launch site which clearly emphasizes to boaters that regular “clean, drain, and dry” methods are recommended to keep boats free of aquatic invasive species. DEC installed a barrier in 2018 which prevents trailers from entering the lake to launch watercraft. This in effect limits the size of boats that can enter the lake from the public site. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been considerably more boat traffic through the launch site and day use sites along the east side of the lake. Thus there is an increase in the likelihood that some boats may bring in invasives. Vigilance is important. We also ask that those who rent their properties clearly inform renters that they must clean, drain, and dry all their personal boats before (and after) launching on Garnet Lake. Eurasian Watermilfoil is the most common aquatic invasive found in Adirondack Lakes and is spread both by fragmentation and seeds. There are 8 target plant species (and 8 target animal species) that are threats to Adirondack waters, although some of these have not yet been found or are found in very few water bodies in the Park. Boats with intakes and propellers can easily transport and deposit fragments in the lake. Canoes and kayaks can also transport invasive species, although the incidence is much lower. It is possible that waterfowl can transmit AIS as well but the extent of that is not really known. It only takes one boat or other vector to start a plant and most invasives spread rather quickly once established. Our lake is shallow, warms more quickly than most lakes, and has a lake bed that is rich in organic matter. These conditions are ideal for plant growth. Currently we have a healthy diversity of native water plants but aquatic invasive species can overtake this balance if we are not actively working to keep them out. Below is a list of target AIS and a few comments on each:
-Eurasian Watermilfoil- found in 65 Adirondack Lakes
-Variable Leaf Milfoil- found in Northern and Western Adirondacks
-Fanwort- found in 4 lakes in the Adirondacks (also Oneida Lake)
-Waterchestnut- very prevalent in the Mohawk River
-Starry Stonewort- not found in the Adirondack Park thusfar
-Curly Leaf Pondweed-
-Hydrilla- not found in the Park, but is a real problem on Cayuga Lake and surrounding tributaries
Some animal species of concern are Spiny Waterflea (which forms a thick slime around fishing line and is virtually invisible) Zebra Mussels, Asian Clam, Quaga Mussels, Rusty Crayfish, Round Gobi. Lake Champlain has a number of these invasives so the threat is out there.
Garnet Lake- Aquatic Invasive Plant Monitoring 2021
Garnet Lake participates in the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program(APIPP) andspecifically with respect to aquatic invasive plants. There are workshops eachyear which provide updates and identification techniques for lake stewards. Judy andSteveThomson usually attend this program but were unable to do so this year. Aquaticinvasive plants have not been found in the waters of Garnet Lake to date. We continueto be in early detection mode at the present time. Since resources to systematicallycheck boats entering and leaving the lake is largely impractical froma financial andmanpower perspective, early detection is the way for us to avoid the costly control andmanagement consequences if aquatic invasives were to be found in the lake.
What we do: We do regular monitoring of the lake, essentially in water that is 6feet or less, in weed beds around the lake. APIPP asks each volunteer responsible for lakeaquatic invasive species (AIS) to survey the lake at least once between the middleof July and September. We actually have surveyed the lake up to four times in this timeperiod in previous years. (Roy and Sue Keats and Judy Thomson have assistedmeinthis effort). We then submit a report to APIPP informing them of our activities andour findings. We surveyed the lake on July 27 this year and plan a follow up survey inAugust on a clear, calm day. As we paddle the lake frequently, we survey unofficiallyaswell. Surveys like ours have been done on over 400 Adirondack lakes and AIShavebeen found in about 25%of those surveyed. So the good news is that 3 out of 4of thesurveyed lakes are so far free of aquatic invasive species and we are in that group.
There are local lakes which have AIS (Loon, Minerva, Lake George, Hadlock Pond, andmore). Their associations or municipalities have invested considerable resourcestocontrol the spread of invasives in their waters. In many cases that total eradicationhasnot been accomplished, the investment in managing AIS continues. The economicandenvironmental consequences of dealing with this problem are serious. Preventionandearly detection are the best ways to avoid these negative consequences.
Potential Threats: Since boats and trailers are the main vectors for the introductionof aquatic invasive species into a lake, we need to be concerned since we have apublicboat launch on the lake. We do not have the volunteer capacity, or financial resourcesto staff a checkpoint for boats leaving or entering the lake. Outside resources arelimitedand are utilized for the larger and higher priority lakes in the Park. While boat washingstations and launch checkpoints are used at some, resources for lakes such as Garnet are generally not available. There is DEC signage at the Garnet Lake launch sitewhichclearly emphasizes to boaters that regular “clean, drain, and dry” methods are recommended to keep boats free of aquatic invasive species. DEC installed a barrier in2018 which prevents trailers from entering the lake to launch watercraft. This ineffect limits the size of boats that can enter the lake from the public site. This year as aresult of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been considerably more boat traffic throughthelaunch site and day use sites along the east side of the lake. Thus there is an increasein the likelihood that some boats may bring in invasives. Vigilance is important.
Eurasian Milfoil is the most common aquatic invasive found in Adirondack Lakes andisspread both by fragmentation and seeds. Other priority target AIS (found in Adirondackwaters) are Curly Leaf Pondweed, Variable-leaf Milfoil, and Water Chestnut. Thereareseven others which have been found in very few lakes and ponds in the Park. Boatswith intakes and propellers can easily transport and deposit fragments in the lake. Canoes and kayaks can also transport invasive species, although the incidenceismuchlower. It is possible that waterfowl can transmit AIS as well but the extent of that isnot really known.
Our lake is shallow, warms more quickly than most lakes, and has a lake bed that isrichin organic matter. These conditions are ideal for plant growth. Currently we haveahealthy diversity of native water plants but aquatic invasive species can overtakethisbalance if we are not actively working to keep them out.
Submitted by Steve Thompson
Adirondack Lake Assessment Program 2020
This will be the 19th year that we have participated in this program. There were 66 Adirondack lakes taking part in ALAP last year. The water samples are sent to Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute for chemical analysis. They are no longer providing us with a yearly summary stating - “In an effort to improve reporting efficiency, maintain financial viability, and avoid unnecessary redundancies, the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) will move from producing an annual report to a five-year reporting cycle. During the interim years, the ALAP coordinators will provide a summary of the current year’s data to participating lakes.”
Submitted by Bob Manning
SUMMARY OF DATA -
To the left are the graphs provided by last years report. If you have any questions or you would like to compare our lake to other lakes see –
https://adirondacklakeassessmentprogram.org/. The 2018 report provides very comprehensive explanations of their procedures and the meaning of the various