BEMUS POINT – A small portion of Chautauqua Lake will be treated with chemical herbicide starting today in an effort to fight an overabundance of weeds.
The Post-Journal is reporting the treatment will take place in areas of Bemus Bay after the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation gave its recent approval. The three zones that will be treated are located near the top of Lakeside Drive and the other closer to the village. A total of six zones had been requested by the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP) in the initial application.
Earlier this year, a group of property owners engaged the Town of Ellery and Village of Bemus Point to submit a permit application to the DEC for a permit to use the herbicides Aquathol K (Endothall) and Navigate (2-4 D) on the submerged aquatic vegetation in Bemus Bay.
While CLP assisted with the application and supports the use of herbicide, other Chautauqua Lake-based organization are against it.
“Chautauqua Lake Association leadership has taken into account the many aspects of its experience and has reviewed the current environmental condition of the lake, especially Bemus Bay. As a result, the CLA leadership is not recommending a herbicide approach to managing submerged aquatic vegetation in Chautauqua Lake at this time,” the CLA stated on its website in a posting from April 2017.
And the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy also stated on its website, “[The Conservancy] has empathy for the property owners whose use and enjoyment of the lake has been disrupted by dense patches of vegetation.. however, the CWC also has concerns about the permit application/use of herbicides in the lake – namely, that the application does not include an environmental impact statement, that the application does not demonstrate that the treatment will achieve the applicants’ intended outcome and that the application does not demonstrate the necessity to use herbicides in 2017 based upon plant cover (density) and percentage of non-native invasive species.”
The herbicide will be used to battle invasive weeds, such as Eurasian Milfoil.
The DEC has limited herbicide application to 200 feet from the shoreline and treated zones would reportedly be safe again for human use 24 hours after treatment.