Announcements

The Lake Iroquois Monitor: Fall 2019 Newsletter is here

posted Oct 6, 2019, 6:15 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

The Fall 2019 edition of The Lake Iroquois Monitor is here!  Read the latest stories about: 
- Beebe Lane Improvement Project
- The DASH Boat harvesting Milfoil
- The 2019 Greeter Program recap
- Loons
- Lake Monitoring
- And, of course, we hope you join early for your 2020 membership

Interim Report on Aquatic Vegetation of Lake Iroquois

posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:49 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

Published in September 2019 is the Interim Report on Aquatic Vegetation. The report was conducted at the request of the Lake Iroquois Association and provides and overview of existing aquatic plant communities and exotic species infestations.  It pays particular focus to Eurasian watermilfoil.  A more detail report is expected soon, but the preliminary data is available now.  

(See the attached file below to read the Interim Report)

PROTECT THE LOONS ON LAKE IROQUOIS!

posted Jul 21, 2019, 1:56 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

We have babies on the lake!  The loon pair that has summered on Lake Iroquois for several years, have successfully nested this year.  Loons and chicks are especially vulnerable at this stage.  They have many dangers ahead of them, from snapping turtles, bald eagles, intruder loons, etc. and don't need any further stresses from human activity.  Here are a few pointers to protect our loon family and to help them thrive:

Avoid Nesting Areas: Please observe the warning signs and remain outside of the nesting area.

Keep Your Distance: Enjoy loons from a distance through binoculars. Keep a distance of 100 yards or more from them.  When paddling, never pursue loons for a photo or a closer look. A loon constantly swimming away from you is a stressed loon.

Slow Down: Loon chicks can be difficult to see. If boating at high speeds, note where the loon family is and avoid that area. Please observe the “no wake speed” law within 200 feet of shorelines. Speeding boats have been known to run over loons, injuring or killing them.

Get the Lead Out: Fish responsibly. Loons, like many birds, ingest small pebbles in order to help digest their food. Unfortunately, if the material they collect contains lead from sinkers or jigs, poisoning and death may result, so please do not use lead when fishing on the lake.

Reel In When Loons are Diving Nearby: Loons will take live bait and lures. Nearly 50% of loon deaths are caused by ingesting lead fishing gear or injury from fishing line entanglement and hooks.

Take Action: It is against the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act to harass migratory birds in the U.S. Please report any loon harassment to your local game warden or state police.

Plant Native Vegetation: If you own shoreline, let your lawn grow wild to create wildlife habitat. Leave woody debris and underwater plants for aquatic insects, fish, and loons. If you need a mowed area, keep it 15-20 feet from shore.

Enjoy: Vermont’s lakes and ponds can be home to both people and loons, if we treat them with respect and are good stewards of forested shorelines and underwater habitat.

For further information about loons and the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, go to:  https://vtecostudies.org/projects/lakes-ponds/common-loon-conservation/vermont-loon-conservation-project/

Lake Iroquois Greeter Program Returns for 2019 Season

posted Jul 21, 2019, 1:51 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2019  

Media Contact
Erik Wells
Assistant to the Town Manager
802-876-1168
ewells@willistonvt.org


GRANT FUNDS TO HELP PREVENT SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES
Lake Iroquois Greeter Program Returns for 2019 Season

WILLISTON – A greeter program is taking place again this year to help prevent the spread of invasive species at Lake Iroquois.

The Town of Williston and the Lake Iroquois Association have partnered to run the greeter and boat wash program for the summer 2019 at the Lake Iroquois Public Access. It will employ five greeters plus a manager to inform lake visitors about invasive species and inspect and wash boats and other watercraft to make sure these species are not brought into Lake Iroquois. In addition, the greeters will ensure that invasive milfoil present at Lake Iroquois isn’t attached to watercrafts after use at the lake by inspecting and washing boats as they exit the lake.

This grant will also help fund Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) of milfoil at the lake.  The DASH boat will be on the lake removing milfoil later in the summer.

Funding for the greeter program and DASH is made possible through a $14,800 grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. The greeters will be at the lake each Friday afternoon and all-day Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day Weekend.  

The Lake Iroquois Association and the Town of Williston are looking forward to another successful summer in 2019 to prevent the spread of invasive species at Lake Iroquois using the greeter program.


 Copy of press release from Town of Williston - June 25, 2019

LIA Midwinter Report - A letter from Chris

posted Mar 9, 2019, 5:42 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

February, 2019

 

Dear Friends of Lake Iroquois,

 

The winter has brought a lot of snow and much fun on the lake.  Many of our weekends have been spent watching area community members from surrounding towns coming to the lake to play.  Skaters, skiers, ice fishers, snowmobiles and at times dozens of hockey players land at the lake for the day.  On occasion we enjoy the dirt bikes racing on a figure eight track.  This reminds me of coming to the lake as a teenager from our farm in Richmond on weekends learning the ropes of driving on ice with cleats on our tires during sponsored Sports Car Club of Vermont Rallies. Most everyone out on the lake during the weekend braved the cold and enjoyed the snow and ice.  Living on the lake allows so many moments of enjoyment even during the off season.  If you haven't spent time hiking the LIRD trails or joining the dozens of dog walkers or xcountry skiers on our network of trails, you certainly are missing out, even in the dead of the winter.  Tons of fun is enjoyed by many!  

Speaking of tons of fun, your board of directors of the Lake Iroquois Association has spent the past several months planning our spring and summer projects for the lake.  We have spent many hours working collaboratively to build education programs for a healthier lake.  A number of your board members spent a morning in Montpelier in December meeting with DEC's Commissioner Emily Boedecker reviewing our failed herbicide permit and what we can do as a board to determine the best management plan for dealing with Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) in the future.  We continue to work tirelessly to research every method that exists to mitigate the spread of this huge problem.  We have not ruled out the possibility of applying for a permit from the state for  a new herbicide that has just been introduced in Vermont for controlling EWM, called Procellachlor.  There are several lakes in Vermont that have already applied to the state for a permit to use it this summer to combat EWM.  Because we at the LIA are still in the investigative stages of this product, we feel that more time is necessary to research this herbicide and its uses. We will also be observing the outcomes of other Vermont lake permit applications and the effects on EWM if their permits are issued.   Stay tuned for more information on this in the coming months.

A quick reminder that it took us over three years to do all of the research and planning to reduce and control EWM in the lake and to develop the separate permit applications needed to use DASH, benthic mats, and herbicide to combat EWM.   Funding, community discussions with residents, lakeshore property owners, community members, a long list of meetings with state and municipal agencies and finally selecting a licensed aquatic contractor to help with our many details required by the permit process.  The daunting task of coordinating all of this takes enormous time and we all realize that our volunteers have professional work lives that require as much time or more.  For that reason, we are going to take our time with the next steps.  We’ll continue our research and we will continue to consult with other lake associations, DEC scientists, and other experts, as well as with the surrounding towns, residents, and lake users.

As I write this many of your board members have just completed hours of paper work doing the final reports that are necessary for the federal and state grant projects that we completed this year.  Even as we finish up the reports for the summer of 2018, we are also applying for new grants for projects for the 2019 season, including continued funding for the greeter program, for another aquatic plant survey, for additional diver assisted suction harvesting (DASH) of EWM, and for the continuation of our tributary sampling program.  In collaboration with LIRD, we have already received a planning grant to develop a design to mitigate the erosion and runoff problems coming from Beebe Lane at the north end of the lake. 

I have just had the pleasure of meeting with the Town Managers and Selectboards of the towns of Williston, Hinesburg, and Richmond.  Every year we meet with each town and review our programs and outline our plans for the coming year.  Over the years, our association has gained much deserved respect as we have worked hand in hand with these municipalities and with the relevant state agencies.  This recognition on both the local and state levels has come through the hard work of many previous and current LIA board members who deserve so much credit for the high quality of the many projects undertaken by the association.  In particular, the LIA greeter and boat wash station program has been recognized by the DEC as a model for other lakes in the state.

I feel very fortunate to be one of the many volunteers  carrying on the torch of such an amazing group and organization. Let's face it, without these efforts who knows what the health of the lake would be today.  As I have said so many times in front of the Selectboards, we have an amazing resource with our lake and recreation lands surrounding it, enjoyed by thousands of users every year.  Let's make certain that  generations to come can continue to enjoy the beauty and wonderful resource that the Beebe Family decades ago provided to our communities.  Let's be honest here, we are the lucky ones, and we should be thankful and gracious for the opportunity to carry a healthy lake forward for another several decades of use.  Working as hard as your volunteers do today is a small part of that accomplishment and commitment.

Speaking of history.... Here's a huge task for each of you and your neighbors!  We would like to include the history of each property on Lake Iroquois in a book to be published in the near future tentatively called " A Lake Iroquois Legacy Continues".  There are so many properties on the lake that many of us have heard stories about.  There are also many we know nothing about.  We would love to hear and read these stories.  So there has been discussion about soliciting a few volunteers on the lake that can help get the word out and share the task of compiling the data: stories, previous owners, family histories, etc.  This is one more fun aspect of living on the lake.  We may know who lives in a specific camp on the lake but we many not know anything about the history of that camp.  This is not going to be an easy task for the camps that have history dating back 130+ years.  You could share some of the stories that surround some of the characters on the lake. For example, my family had a story of " GoGo" living up in the woods each year, who would occasionally come out of the woods at night while we were enjoying a bonfire.  Our kids still to this day enjoy the horrors of the GoGo story.  In fact, those stories had such an impact that my son did his senior film documentary in college on this man. More to come on "GoGo" in the future.  Meanwhile, we would love to gather your family history and stories, and even early photos to share of your camp. Remember we need your help to make this happen,  Please contact me if you’re interested in helping on this.  We need a few volunteers to coordinate this program.  We hope to publish in early 2020 to be available for the summer reading sessions along the lake.  

 

Finally, I can’t forget to remind you that if you haven’t sent in your 2019 membership dues yet to join this amazing lake association, now is a great time to do it.  And please, if you can, include an additional donation.  We can’t do any of this without your help and support.  As an all-volunteer organization, every penny you send in dues and donations goes to support our water quality projects and lake user educational programs. We have a lot of projects going on in the coming year, so I hope we can count on your support.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this short update. Thank-you again for your support of our beautiful lake!   

 

Let's look forward to spring daffodils and sunny warm weather ahead!

  

Chris Conant

President,

Lake Iroquois Association



Tributary Water Quality Monitoring Report - 2018

posted Dec 8, 2018, 3:32 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

Read the recently released Tributary Water Quality Monitoring Report for Lake Iroquois.  



LAKE IROQUOIS ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO STATE PERMIT DENIAL

posted Nov 1, 2018, 5:22 PM by Lake Iroquois Association   [ updated Nov 1, 2018, 5:23 PM ]

Press Release: October 19, 2018

Contacts: Chris Conant, President, Lake Iroquois Association dmconant@aol.com 802-316-6714

Jamie Carroll, Secretary, Lake Iroquois Association jamie@jamiecarroll.com 802-989-9439

LAKE IROQUOIS ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO STATE PERMIT DENIAL

Recently the Lake Iroquois Association (LIA) was notified of the denial of a permit application to treat Lake Iroquois with herbicide Sonar to significantly reduce the prevalence of the invasive species Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM). LIA partnered with the town of Williston on this application. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) considered this permit application for nearly two-years. This was proposed to prevent further native species loss and reduce the impact on recreational uses of the lake. In 2014 LIA contracted with Northeast Aquatics to conduct an aquatic plant survey prior to the permit application. That survey found that 70.7 acres of the lake was infested by Eurasian Water Milfoil.  This is 67% of the lake’s littoral zone (area of a lake in which aquatic plants grow) and suggested that an additional 33 acres of milfoil colonization is possible.  EWM has become the dominant aquatic plant in the lake. Another survey in 2017 found similar results. Since applying for the Sonar treatment LIA has conducted Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) and installed Benthic Barriers in the lake to control the EWM in the most heavily infested areas of the lake.

Following nearly a decade of work to limit nutrient flows into the lake by stream remediation projects, implementing a greeter program at the state fishing access to prevent further invasives from entering the lake, instituting many educational programs including publication of a lakeshore property owners manual, and working with property owners to create shoreline riparian buffers, LIA embarked on the EWM control program at the request of lake users. The plant survey was commissioned in 2014 and in 2015/2016 LIA met several times with VT DEC staff, as well with local town Selectboards and Conservations Commissions, representatives from other lake associations, and Lake Iroquois property owners and users to discuss control options. This culminated in applications for a DASH permit in early 2016 and the application for the Sonar permit in November 2016. Sonar has been used safely in Vermont lakes since 2000 to control EWM and has been widely used in other states to control this invasive species, including in drinking water reservoirs.  The proposed treatment concentrations were well below EPA guidelines for drinking water.  

The Lake Iroquois Association has worked tirelessly in this effort over many years to research best practices for controlling EWM. The application for the Sonar permit included a 5-year plan for management which included continued use of both DASH and Benthic mats (bottom barriers) which already were in use at the lake.  Diverse funding sources, state grants, municipal contributions, and private funds help ensure the continued success of the efforts.  The goal of the use of  Sonar was not eradication but was intended to reduce the EWM enough to allow the other control methods to be effective and sustainable.

LIA has used Benthic barriers in a channel near the state fishing access to limit the spread of this invasive species. The use of Benthic Barriers is not benign because they kill all plants under them and affect fish spawning.  Therefore they can only be used in a very limited area, for example, to keep a boat channel open, but are not a solution for control of EWM in a wider area of any lake.  In 2016 and 2018 LIA hired AB Aquatics to conduct Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) of milfoil on Lake Iroquois. DASH can cause fragmentation, harvest non-target species, and disrupt the lake bottom. Again, this is a method that is part of an integrated EWM management plan but also is slow, and as noted can be disruptive to native species, as well as being very expensive.  The LIA plan was and continues to be a control program that combines these various methods, including the judicious use of herbicide at lowest effective concentrations, in such a way that this invasive is reduced and controlled so that native species can repopulate and flourish thereby enhancing the biodiversity and health of the lake ecosystem.

At the same time, the LIA continues its many other activities aimed at enhancing and maintaining the health of Lake Iroquois and its surrounding ecosystem.  These include our greeter program in which boats entering and leaving the lake are checked for invasives and cleaned at our boat wash station. Other efforts are our several stream remediation projects to reduce runoff along the west shore,  which are showing a significant reduction of nutrients and sediment entering the lake; ongoing efforts to inform and support lakeshore property owners and lake users in best management practices; help with creation of no-mow zones and riparian buffers to prevent nutrient runoff into the lake; continued monitoring and regular sampling and data collection to support evidence-based water quality activities. All of these many successful projects, the ongoing education and outreach efforts, and the 40+ years of water quality data collection have been done by dedicated volunteers, volunteers who continue to commit to the hard work of protecting and enhancing the water quality and health of Lake Iroquois and sharing their knowledge and experiences with other lake associations in the state in order to collectively protect the health of Vermont’s valuable water resources.

LIA remains committed to a program to control EWM to ensure the rich native aquatic plant community in the lake and, to eliminate the monoculture caused by the EWM infestation, so that appropriate recreational uses of the lake can continue and the health of the lake is protected. The association will continue to research ways to control EWM, to consult with other lake associations, lake users and property owners, municipalities, and the state to develop best practices and to work with all stakeholders to enhance the health of the Lake Iroquois ecosystem. 

The initial application (2240-ANC), denial, and replies to public comments are available from this web directory: https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/DEC/WSMD/Lakes/PublicNotice/2240/ 

For more information, go to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lakeiroquois/, check out our website: www.lakeiroquois.org or email us at lakeiroquoisassociation@gmail.com

Latest LIA Newsletter- Read your copy today

posted Jul 19, 2018, 5:44 PM by Lake Iroquois Association   [ updated Jul 19, 2018, 5:47 PM ]

A new guide for lakeshore property owners

posted Jul 19, 2018, 5:39 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has released a new guide for lakeshore property owners: Sharing the Edge: A Guide to Lakeshore Property Owners in Vermont.  

This guide covers permitting to describing the ideal shoreline.  It is a great resource for lifelong property owners to those that have newly acquired a place by the water.  

August 14: The Vermont Loon Conservation Project

posted Jul 19, 2018, 5:29 PM by Lake Iroquois Association

6:30 p.m. Carpenter -Carse Library, Hinesburg

Find our more about the Lake Iroquois loons and the project Vermont loon project.  In this program, Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) biologist, Eric Hanson, will discuss the amazing recovery of loons in Vermont over the past 30 years, the threats that they face, and the conservation actions that have brought them back, including capture and rescue stories. We’ll also explore their fascinating behaviors and natural history, including new research on how loons find a territory, what is being conveyed in the yodel call, and new findings on their migration pathways. The VLCP is a program of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.


View the announcement attached below


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