MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials have released details of a report that tracked aquatic invasive species in Chautauqua Lake.
Ecology and Environment, Inc. was contracted by the county to analyze methods to control aquatic invasive and nuisance plants in the lake.
To control these aquatic invasive plant species, the report recommends to: regularly monitor plant communities to track herbicide results and plant regrowth in order to make informed management decisions, utilize the most effective combinations of available biological, chemical, and physical management techniques and tools available, and rotate herbicides used at a given site in order to prevent herbicide resistance in targeted plants.
“It is important that we have an approach to periodically evaluate our decisions and goals for Chautauqua Lake, and E&E’s white paper will help us establish best management practices for our Comprehensive Lake Management Strategy,” explained Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development.
Since 1937 county officials said there have been 51 aquatic plant species identified in Chautauqua Lake.
While most of the plant diversity consists of native species, there is an abundance of Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed in the lake.
These two highly invasive, non-native, aquatic plant species were first documented in the lake in 1972 and 1937, respectively, and continue to have an impact on the health of Chautauqua Lake.
Some of the physical management techniques that have or could be pursued are mechanical harvesting, hydroraking, hand harvesting, dredging, and water level control.
Biological techniques that have or could be implemented are the introduction of fish, insects, or pathogens that will impact the targeted plant species.
County officials said they will use the data from this report to further develop lake management techniques.
To view a copy of the full report, visit www.co.chautauqua.ny.us/186/County-Executive.