DEC Calls Little Lake a Wetland , then Reverses Decision after LSCCF, Others Push Back

The LSCCF’s plans to do a dredging project in the northwest part of Little Lake got a temporary setback when Perry Thomas, manager of DEC’s Lakes and Ponds Division, made the shocking announcement at a recent meeting that the entire Little Lake area, over 100 acres of lake, had been newly designated as wetlands under the wetlands protection act.

The opposition to this decision from the LSCCF, the Lake St. Catherine Association, the Wells Select Board, and local residents came quickly and forcefully.  What criteria and what data were used to make this decision?  Why weren’t those involved in monitoring the lake consulted?   How would this affect dredging and other restoration projects?  How badly will this erode property values?   What does this mean for the future of the lake?

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Resident’s Petition Brings About Joint Meeting

A recent petition drawn up by a local Wells resident called upon the state of Vermont to dredge Little Lake, claiming that the current money being spent is not working to keep the lake navigable.  Another Wells resident recently distributed the email addresses of some state officials and encouraged residents to contact staff members of the Department of Environmental Conservation to say that they were dissatisfied with the conditions in the lake.

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Aeration Now Active on West Side of Little Lake

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.

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