Lake Management Committee Meeting
October 17, 2015
Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Fred Bunger (chairman), Barbara Bunger, Matt Cohen, Dave Craw, Brad Dubler, Ron Flaum, Lindsay LeBrecht, Jed Luchow, Debbie Ruggeiri, Keith Schaefer,  Buddy Sinisi, Russ Stein, Stu Troyetsky, Ed Werfelman, George Knoecklein of North East Aquatic Research and Marc Bellaud of Aquatic Control Technology(ACT).

The 2015 reports and plans for 2016 are as follows.


 Weed Control: 

-       Control of invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil and Curly Leaf Pondweed was planned using Sonar®, a systemic herbicide, as it promised control of without requiring a swimming restriction.  50 acres of Copake Lake were treated in 4 stages to maintain a concentration at the roots of the plants  Treatment was to begin May 6th, but was delayed 3 weeks waiting for the DEC permit.  Applications of Sonar® were made May 27th, June 17th, July 8th and July 29th .  The treatments were not effective on the milfoil and there was vigorous growth through the end of the boating season with topped-out milfoil beds reaching 74 acres.  In addition, a native plant, water star grass was very abundant.  Only in late September in mucky bottom areas was some evidence of milfoil  die-off noticed.  ACT acknowledged that the treatment did not perform as expected and has extended several discounts on their work in 2015 and 2016.

-       An explosive growth of a tough stringy pondweed Potomagoeton Strictifolius in early July fouled motorboat propellers and caused boating issues. To remove the floating mats of the stringy weed, clean-up crews were hired for hand-pulling and a weed harvester was contracted from ACT to harvest for 4 days July 14-18.


-       2016 PLANNING: Neither Aquathol K® (used in 2014) nor Sonar® used this year gave acceptable control of milfoil.  ACT has recommended a return to Reward® (diquat) to give better control of Milfoil.  New York requires a 14 day swimming restriction for Reward®, altough neither EPA nor any other state require such a restriction.  It was  recommended that the treatment be done after Memorial Day so that there is sufficient weed growth and warmer water for the Reward®, a contact herbicide, to be more effective. 

The growth of strictifolius will be monitored and harvesting scheduled if necessary.  An alternate treatment with Aquathol® may be considered.

Action: Marc to pursue DEC permits for Reward® .  Tentative schedule for the one-time treatment is June 1.  The postings will show a swimming restriction for 14 days.  Lake residents will be informed that the EPA and other states do not have swimming restrictions on Reward®.

 Permits  will also be sought  for a tentative July treatment of strictifolius with Aquathol® .


Water Clarity/Algae :

-       Water clarity throughout 2015 was exceptional with no readings less than 13 feet.  

-       Discussed that the 5 foot clarity target be dropped as we are now using specifc algae species criteria for planning copper sulfate application.

-       Filamentous algae appeared in some areas of the lake and was treated with copper sulfate during the July 8th and July 29th weed treatments.

-        The blue-green algae, Gloeotrichia, was monitored throughout 2015 to try to avoid a cyanobacteria algae bloom like the August 2014 bloom.  The growth increased in August, so copper sulfate was applied August 12th which seemed to head-off a bloom at that time.  An algae bloom occurred in early October, typical of the Fall “lake turnover” caused by water temperature changes.

2016 PLANNING:  ACT will apply for permits to treat with copper sulfate in July and August if needed.   The dates will be left open pending algae surveys done during the planned bi-weekly lake monitoring visits by George K .  A 7-day notice will be required and swimming restrictions will be limited to the treated areas only.   All LMC members were encouraged to be vigilant and keep everyone informed of algae status.  


Health Monitoring & Testing:

-       2015 monitoring for coliform bacteria showed no readings even close to  the reportable limit of 200 colonies per 100ml.  Highest reading was 40, seen in 3 locations July 2nd and in one location August 31st.

-       2016 PLANNING:  Monitoring of 13 locations is planned for the last week of June, the last week of July and late August.


Lake Level & Dam:

-       The late thaw of ice delayed the closing of the dam valve until April 1. Copake Lake rainfall from January to the end of May was more than 6 inches below normal (8 inches vs. normal 14.8 inches).   The 50 year record drought left the lake 9 inches below the spillway on Memorial Day.  Abundant rain brought the level up to normal by the end of June.

-       There was much discussion of the reason for drawdown and the strategy for maintaining lake level. Shoreline damage can be caused by ice in the Winter and by high water levels during the Spring and Summer.  To avoid ice damage the valve in the dam is opened in November to draw down the level of the lake18 inches. Once the threat of ice damage is passed, the valve in the dam is closed to raise the level of the lake.  Normally, the lake is full by mid-May with the water flowing over the spillway.

-       To avoid erosion damage to the shoreline caused by high water, the valve may be opened during heavy rains.

-       The lake level monitoring system is in operation with very good data on level and rainfall provided by Keith.

-       A report on dam hazard classification was submitted to the DEC in December 2015 detailing the reason the dam was mis-classified in a higher hazard class.  The DEC has the report and will make a decision pending review.

-       It was proposed to conduct a bathymetric survey of the lake to clarify the actual underwater contours of the lake.

-       2016 PLANNING: The lake will be drawn in two stages: a 12 inch drawdown in November, followed by a the full drawdown to 18 inches before the ice forms.  An assessment of the watershed moisture will be made before the ice forms.  If it is determined that the snowpack and the projected precipitation will be insufficient to refill the lake, the additional 6 inch drawdown may be cancelled. The refill will begin as soon as the ice is gone,  targeting to have the lake full May 15.  The Lake level in 2016 will, again,be totally dependent upon the weather.



Invasive Species:

-       Carp:  There were a few carp taken in the summer.  No carp were captured at the Carp tounament.  The a new tournament with later hours may be considered for 2016

-       Hydrilla and other invasives:  The discovery of hydrilla in the Hudson River raises the need for a plan for boat inspection and cleaning for outside boats entering Copake Lake.

-       2016 Plans:  Barb and Debbie will work with Buddy and Russ to see what would be required to establish a boat inspection and cleaning policy and implementation.  Carp eradication plans will be developed.


Shoreline Concerns:

-       The maintenance of healthy shorelines was discussed.  The growth of plants and bushes along the shore to prevent erosion and promote habitat is encouraged.  Planting water gardens is suggested to reduce runoff and sediment entering the lake.

-       The effect of bigger boats and bigger wakes causing shoreline damage was discussed. 

-       2016 Plans:  More education and newsletter articles to build awareness of the need to protect shorelines. The need to educate homeowners about the value of native plants versus walls  on their shorelines was discussed at length.


Stormwater & Sediment Control:   

-       The work on Pine and Elm street drainage was completed with the help of a CLCS grant

-       There was no new storm water drainage work in 2015. The Town continued cleaning of the sediment traps.

-       Information on suction dredging and weed removal was received.  There is still concern about the company promoting the service.  Also the need to define costs, benefits to the lake as a whole, disposal and permits are unknowns.

-       2016 PLANNING:  A budget of $10,000 was recommended to continue the drainage improvements to reduce sediment entering the Lake.  Further investigation of suction dredging and weed removal will be done.


CLCS Grant Program:

-       $5000 for drainage work at Elm/Pine road connection to Lakeview Rd.  was awarded and the work completed satisfactorily This work is consistent with the Phase III Stormwater Study.

-       No other grant applications have been received

-       2016 Planning:   A $20,000 grant budget was recommended for 2016.  It is suggested that the grant program give a “road show” to homeowners associations.


Community Concerns:

-       Seven responses to a CLCS e-mail request for concerns from the CLCS membership were received.  All were answered by e-mail September 13th.  The concerns ranged from lake level to slippery rocks to, of course, the weed situation.  Four of the respondents sent thank-yous for our replies.




2016 Lake Management Budget:


Aquatic Control Technology

 – Herbicide treatment (75 acres) Reward®      $24,500

-  2 applications of algaecide                                $16,000

-  Harvesting or treatment of strictifolius             $ 8,000

-  Permits, notices, surveys and reports             $ 3,500

-  discount for 2015 treatment performance        ($4,900)

                                                                        ACT Total      $47,100


North East Aquatic Technology

            - Lake monitoring and sampling  (9 visits)         $12,805

            - Testing costs including toxin analysis              $  4,490

            - Reports, presentations                                        $11,125

            - Phosphorus sampling November                     $  2,400

                                                                                                NEAR total    $30,820


Stormwater & Drainage Improvement                                                    $10,000

Water SafetyTesting                                                                                    $  1,500

Invasive fish removal                                                                                  $  3,000


Total Lake Management    $92,420



Reserve for CLCS Grants                                                                          $20,000


            Total Lake Management and Grant Reserve                           $112,420



Long Term Capital Reserves:


            -  Whole Lake treatment                                                                 $100,000

            -  Waste Water Treatment Study / Pilot Program                       $100,000

            - Dam repair                                                                                     $35,000

            -  Shoreline remediation                                                                $20,000



Submitted by Fred Bunger 10/23/15



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