The Lake Saint Catherine Conservation Fund has started up a second major aeration project on the Little Lake, celebrating this important moment in its lake restoration program with a ribbon-cutting event at lakeside. This is the second aeration project initiated by the group on Little Lake. State Representative Robin Chesnut-Tangerman was on hand to cut the ribbon for this new lake restoration project. This new project has 14 diffusers distributed over almost 20 acres of the western portion of Little Lake. The Conservation Fund’s first project covered almost 15 acres with 13 diffusers and has led to increased depth to soft bottom of the lake from 4 feet on average to 8 to 9 feet after four seasons of aeration treatment. Along with greater depth to soft bottom, the Little Lake is experiencing resurgence in the fish population and a gradual reduction in aquatic weed congestion. The Conservation Fund is eager to see this new project reverse the degradation process on the western portion of the lake as has happened on the eastern portion.
MINUTES OF ANNUAL MEETING
LAKE ST. CATHERINE CONSERVATION FUND, Inc.
Date & time: May 28, 2016, Wells Village School
Format: Annual Meeting
Attendance: Directors: Steinmetz, Emmons, Evans, Frye, Gilman, Pliner, Makepeace, Short, Peterson
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At the annual budget meeting on March 1 the voters of Wells said “Yes” to both of the LSCCF items, providing a total of $30,000 to be used in continuing our lake restoration process. We thank the people of Wells for their continued support and their faith in our efforts to bring the lake back to its previous beauty and to restore the accustomed uses of the past. The positive vote followed the town meeting on February 29 at which LSCCF members and other residents had a chance to share comments and questions about the condition of the lake and possible treatments available. Representing the LSCCF were Directors Joel Pliner, Bob Short, and Bill Frye. LSCCF President Bill Steinmetz responded with, “We do this work together ‘for the sake of the lake’ and for future generations that deserve to be blessed by this amazing natural / God-given resource. We so appreciate your vote of approval and your encouragement to move forward—which we will do!”
On February 13, the LSCCF hosted a seminar on the effects of aeration in reduction of sediment and Eurasian watermilfoil at the Wells Town Hall. The session was attended by Vermont DEC officials, LSCCF Directors, aeration expert Brian Kling, local citizens, and other lake associations (along with LSCCF, Bomoseen, Dunmore and Hortonia were represented). Representing the Vermont DEC were officials, Perry Thomas (Lakes and Ponds Program Manager), Ethan Swift (Watershed Coordinator), and Misha Cetner (Aquatic Nuisance Control). Brian Kling is a professional engineer working with Clean-Flo International, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in natural methods of improving water quality and lake restoration.
The aeration experiment is underway with the sixth grade class of the Wells Village School. Conservation Fund President Bill Steinmetz briefed these junior limnologists (lake scientists) on the lake restoration work and the role of the experiment. The students working with their teacher Barbara Pennington will keep records during the next six months as we quantify the effects of aeration and enzyme combinations on un-decomposed lake sludge. As the photos show, they are a committed and serious group of young scientists.