Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

Truesdale Lake Update 2017


Sharing this note from David Sachs, TLPOA President, about the past summer and preliminary plans for next summer. More to come in regular updates.

As of 2016-10-24

Good day to you all on this brisk and beautiful October afternoon. I wanted to bring you up to date about Truesdale Lake – some information about this past summer and then more information about plans for Summer 2017.

First of all, this past summer was one of the most challenging and frustrating in memory. Permits to treat the lake were not granted by the DEC until mid-July – and that was only after we begged and pleaded and cajoled them to approve them. DEC had changed their permitting process – and they did so late last spring – and then it all fell apart after that.

When we were able to treat, we did so – but by mid-July that means that you are treating for algae, since weed treating is normally done in the April time frame. Some people said that the water quality was good – which it was in some parts of the lake – but the south end of the lake clearly was not good – with weeds and algae everywhere. Frustration levels were (and probably are) high.

Weed harvester July 2016

Weed harvester July 2016

For the first time ever, we tried some weed harvesting – in late July, when it became clear that the TEA beach was unusable. Weed harvesting can be helpful, but many have said that it is a lot like mowing your lawn in the middle of the summer; it looks good for a week or so, and then it must be done again. Weed harvesting seems to be a lot like that, at least during the summer, when weeds and algae are actively growing.

All of this has caused a lot of thinking about where the lake is today and where we are going. As many of you are aware, there has been a study underway for the past two years through a partnership with SUNY Oneonta, and Christian Jenne has been collecting lots of information about the lake, and has also been preparing a final report. We have his data and are expecting the report imminently.

At the same time, we have been thinking a lot about having a long-term plan developed by professionals. Towards that end, we have signed a contract with Princeton Hydro to develop such a plan. The plan will have a “short term” (1 year) component, along with a longer term (5 year) component. This should enable us to think more proactively about seeking external funding (grants) and doing things for the lake that might improve the situation. We have been working primarily with Michael Martin from Princeton Hydro. A brief bio of Michael states that:

“Michael has extensive experience in lake and watershed management, agricultural BMPs, aquatic plant and invasive species management, algal identification and control, environmental habitat and impact assessment, wetland design and restoration, and development of environmental resource geographic information systems. He has implemented monitoring and management programs on hundreds of lakes and ponds throughout New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, and Indiana. He specializes in the statistical analysis of long-term water quality, water quality response modeling and the development of TMDLs and numeric nutrient criteria.”

In addition, we have decided to work with a company called The Pond and Lake Connection, located in Newtown Connecticut. They will do much of the day-to-day work on the lake (primarily because Princeton Hydro does NOT do that). Meaning, they will be the ones who will apply for the permits, treat the weeds (hopefully in April 2017) and then treat for algae during the summer. They bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the discussion. Right now they are testing the lake for copper, in response to a new mandate from New York State that we do that, if we intend to continue to use copper sulfate (which we may or may not do). Their plan is to have our application in to the DEC by early December, so that there is ample time for it to be approved long before we need to have it in place. They also have some creative ideas about how to improve the lake, and we are looking forward to hearing what they are.

In all likelihood, there is no “quick fix” for the issues with the lake. But we do need a plan, and we do need more proactive actions. We might also need some additional funding, which we probably need to begin to think about as well. We currently receive and then spend about $25,000 each year on Truesdale Lake ($15K from TLPOA (150 members); $8K from TEA (80 members) and $2K from non-affiliated individuals (20 members). We are hopeful that a plan might provide some guidance about what needs to be done, and what it might cost to do it.

We will continue to provide monthly updates about Truesdale Lake throughout this coming year, and will hold a meeting as soon as we have more concrete information to share.