The Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund wishes send a resounding THANK YOU to the Town of Wells voters for the favorable motion to grant $ 20,000 to the LSCCF to offset the Funds Operational costs. The support from the people of the Town of Wells has been tremendous over the years and March 2020 Town Meeting was no different. These funds, which are for our Fiscal year beginning July 1 2020 will support our weed harvesting program, the experimental dredging project in the northwest corner of Little Lake, and the restart of the aeration system once that permit is approved by VT DEC.
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?
Watch LSCCF vice president David Emmons demonstrate the depth of Little Lake St. Catherine to hard bottom, disproving the old belief that the lake was an “impounded wetland.” Click on this link or paste it into your browser. You may need to turn up your volume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZWe-vRQEMs&feature=youtu.be
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.