Black Lake Currents Fall 2021
Highlights from Jay Carter
The Black Lake Association has new goals and objectives. One of our most important goals continues to be encouraging more active membership participation. All our members are now invited to attend all of our meetings. We are also working on weed control, improving lake access, installing cameras at the state boat launch, navigational aids throughout the lake and obtaining grants whenever possible.
- Our annual members meeting was held on July 10. Jay Carter was elected President and John Compo Vice President. Carol Adamczk, Mike Chetwin and Scott Roof were elected board members. Lisa Schnorr has replaced Marsha Arend as Secretary. The Black Lake Association thanks Marsha for all she has done for us and welcomes Lisa.
- We have formally revised our position on mechanical weed harvesting.
- We have increased our membership by over 70 in 2021.
- Board Member Michelle Gallagher has secured $ 27,500 grant from St. Lawrence County in addition to $ 500 from the town of Macomb for weed harvesting in the north end of the lake. The Town of Morristown has also contributed $ 2,000 to this effort. A boating channel has now been cut and residents are very happy with this.
- Our Rollway Bay parking lot property has been cleared, leveled and turned over to the Town of Macomb for finishing.
- Our CSLAP and Boat Steward Programs are continuing.
- In August, we partnered with Save The River and other organizations to pull the invasive species water chestnuts from the lake near the Oswegatchie. Vice President John Compo will lead a much larger effort for this in the coming year.
- We are hoping that the Town of Morristown will take over the State Boat Launch so we can make needed improvements to it.
- Our Board member Michelle Gallagher is working to organize a Black Lake Summit Meeting later this fall to address issues common to all our organizations and get 'on the same page' to obtain grants, etc.
- In accordance with our new bylaws, our membership season has been changed to May 1 through April 30. Anyone who has paid their 2021 dues is now a member until May 1, 2022.
- Board Member Scott Roof is marking rocks, shoals, etc. around the lake for boaters' safety.
- Board Members Mike Rowley, Mike Chetwin and John VanSchaick, along with consultant Jake Gilmour are working on installing cameras at the state boat launch. We are hoping the Town of Morristown will take this over soon so we can achieve this along with other improvements.
The Black Lake Association was founded in 1982 to champion environmental issues and to address the challenges that impact the Black Lake Watershed.
Our mission is to protect and preserve the ecosystems of Black Lake and to enhance water quality, fishing, boating safety and the aesthetic value of the lake for the benefit of all those who use it. We are a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. Contributions or gifts are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
In This Issue:
* Board of Directors
* Financial Update
* Black Lake Association Revised Position on Weed Harvesting
* Save The River Water Chestnuts
* Photo Gallery
* CSLAP Program
* Boat Steward Program Update
* Grants Update
* Proposed Improvements to Boat Launch
* Rollway Bay Parking Lot
* Membership Application
"Perfect sincerity and transparency make a great part of beauty, as in dewdrops, lakes and diamonds." From the journal, (June 20, 1840), by Henry David Thoreau..
Board of Directors:
Jay Carter - President
John Compo - Vice President
Lisa Schnorr - Secretary
Ronni (Veronica) Badini - Treasurer
The Black Lake Association currently has total assets of $ 28,806 Cash $ 8,889 and Vanguard Investments of $ 19,917. We have received $ 6,905 in membership dues and $ 6,250 in donations of which the Black Lake Fish and Game Association contributed $ 3,300 and Black Lake Chamber of Commerce contributed $ 500 towards our Rollway Bay Parking Lot Project. We also generated $ 2,075 from a 'Go Fund Me' Facebook Campaign for this project The Town of Morristown gave us $ 2,000 towards Weed Control and our Vanguard Investments generated $ 1,428 in Interest. Our major expenditures included $ 10,894 (gross amount for Rollway Bay Project), $ 1,103 Insurance, $ 370 for CSLAP Equipment and Fees, $ 355 for NSFOLA Dues and $ 2,500 paid so far for Weed Harvesting. We currently have 304 members and are hoping to increase this number significantly in 2022. We are now using Mail Chimp for our communication with members. It is a free service. For those of you who are receiving a hard copy, If you would send us your email address it will not be shared with anyone else.
Black Lake Association Revised Position on Weed Harvesting
In the spring of 2015, our former President, Richard Henderson, published a position on Mechanical Aquatic Weed Harvesting on Black Lake. The position was strongly against this harvesting and cited many reasons for the opinion. The paper also suggested ‘alternate ways’ to solve the problem such as hand pulling and benthic mats.
Our current board has rescinded this position. Since 2015 the ‘weed problem’ has gotten worse and worse and in some cases, residents can no longer even use their boats. We realize that hand pulling and/or mats could work for small areas but are totally inadequate for the whole of Black Lake. Therefore, we now fully support Mechanical Weed Harvesting and have also received major funding from other sources to accomplish this goal. St. Lawrence County has provided $ 27,500, Town of Morristown $ 2,000 and Town of Macomb $ 500. We have made significant progress this year, especially in the north end of the lake and hope to continue each year hereafter.
Save The River Water Chestnuts
Until this year there had been no water chestnuts confirmed to be growing in Black Lake. However, there was a find of a single rosette where Black Lake meets the Oswegatchie earlier this summer. This has been reported in IMapinvasives. On August 5, SLELO partners and volunteers conducted two water chestnut pulls, one on Guffin Bay in Dexer, NY, and another on the Oswegatchie River in the village of Heuvelton, NY. An estimated combined total of 510 pounds of water chestnuts were removed. Save The River NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NY State Parks & Historic Sites, Student Conservation, along with our Association and multiple volunteers aided these efforts. The story of the pull was covered by Channel 7 Watertown News. We have a mid summer project planned for 2022 where we will recruit volunteers to continue this hand pulling effort at the Oswegatchie. We also hope to utilize a small mechanical harvesting machine to aid with this effort.
Citizen's Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP)
(Source NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)
The Citizen's Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) is a volunteer monitoring and education program that is managed cooperatively by DEC and NYSFOLA. The program was adapted from successful programs in Vermont, Maine, Minnesota and Illinois. CSLAP was established in 1985 by DEC and NYSFOLA to help understanding lake conditions and use the data to inform lake management plans. Volunteers are trained in approved sampling methods. Certified labs are used to analyze the water samples. Lake data are interpreted by professionals. Trained CSLAP volunteers regularly collect data from more than 150 lakes annually and over 2,000 volunteers have sampled more than 270 lakes since 1985. Regular monitoring keeps track of existing problems, detects threats to lakes before they become a problem and helps to evaluate lake conditions throughout NYS. CSLAP reports are created from data collected from May through October. We were not able to utilize this program in 2020 but we are now fortunate enough to rejoin it thanks to Mike Chetwin and our new volunteers, Libby Chetwin and John Compo. We have been assured that we can again participate in this program in spite of state budget cuts.
Boat Steward Program Update (Jim Anthony)
Boat Steward Data from AWI for Black Lake State Boat Launch
From May 29, 2021 to Labor Day Weekend
Black Lake BoatsLaunching
Number of Boats Inspected1,2681,121
Total # of Boats w/organismsTotal # of Boats with AISTotal # of Visitors
* Aquatic Invasive Species
Grants Update (Michelle Gallagher)
When you write grants there is so much information you need. You have to know the area, project and the studies out there. You need information in writing to back up the information presented in the grant.
This winter I started doing a lot of research of the whole area, studies and making contacts. Also building connections with the towns, county and other organizations. Some of these grants you only have 6 weeks to 12 weeks to prepare for, not leaving much time. Then you wait the same amount of time for an answer or longer. Grant writing can be a full time job, and I do not have that kind of time to spend on it. I want to thank everyone that helped me with these grants. I have tried to thank them along the way, I apologize if I forgot anyone.
From September 2020 through early spring of 2021 was spent applying for 3 grants. The project I used was for Mechanical Harvesting of Eurasian Milfoil on the Northern End of Edwardsville Bridge. I also spent these months making connections, with some of the towns, government agencies and the St. Lawrence County Chair, Planning and Environmental Committee. After several phone calls, emails, letters and meetings, we discussed the possibility of the County funding part of our project. I began trying to get the towns involved to help provide some funding for this project. If we can get this project funded every year, we can start working on grants to fund new projects.
In January I started receiving the grant responses back in the mail. The 1st grant was awarded to 6 cemeteries, and 7 churches. The 2nd grant three different organizations applied for three different projects on Black Lake. This grant was firstname.lastname@example.org. awarded for a study on the lake. The 3rd grant was awarded the beginning of July, for humanitarian projects due to the Covid pandemic. At this time I went back to the county with the grant information I received. In early August the county agreed to help partially fund the project providing $27,500 of the total budget of $30,000.
Each year there are at least 3 to 4 grants that can be applied for on a regular basis. Each grant will have to be for a different project or phases of a larger project. Moving forward as a group with everyone’s help we need to come up with projects that will benefit the lake. Once we have projects I will apply for these grants. We encourage everyone on the lake or surrounding the lake to attend our meetings, get involved, and bring your ideas for projects. All of us need to join together to protect and preserve the lake. The future of the lake depends on all of us doing our part.
There will be a Black Lake Summit meeting October 29, 2021 at the Morristown Fire Hall from 4-6pm. The purpose of this first meeting is to start coordinating our efforts as one group to benefit the lake and the St. Lawrence County Watershed. At this time we will start working on a St. Lawrence County Watershed Management Plan. This summit meeting will include, local organizations, government agencies, county departments, towns, business owners, and residents on the lake. There will be another meeting in November and will be posted on our website. Please feel free to email your ideas to myself or anyone on the board.
Proposed Improvements to Boat Launch
The Black Lake Association has compiled a list of actions we believe would enhance the site, increase accessibility, capacity and efficiency. The Black Lake Association, in concert with The Black Fish & Game Association and the Chippewa Sportsman Club, together representing over 1,000 concerned residents of the area, fully realizes and understands that NYS does not have the resources to implement most of our recommendations and that these could be financed by our Associations or local municipalities.
- Install a dock on the north side of the ramp (deeper water) to facilitate vessels broken down or waiting to pull out or pick up passengers etc.
- Extend the current floating dock and make it the same width as the sliding dock.
- Remove the two bollards at the top of the ramp and replace them with painted lines on the pavement ... at the same width as the floating dock.
- Adjust the 'no parking' signs in the parking lot to perhaps include arrows or concrete dividers to make it easier that there is an access lane to enter/exit to the rear portion of the parking lot.
- Extend gravel to the west end of the existing parking lot to facilitate exiting the parking lot via proposed Black Lake Association extended parking lot to County Route # 6 (extended parking for lake access only property owners).
- make the existing steel wall accessible to boats on the lakeside by installing stairs to the water.
- Install a lower steel wall outboard of the existing wall that is consistent with normal lake levels so that boats may tie to the wall.
- Remove entirely the existing sliding dock assembly to provide a third launch access lane and install a dock at each side of the existing wall into the lake.
- Widen the access road to allow 2 way traffic.
- dredge in front of the ramp, especially on the south side, to facilitate deeper water.
- Install a break wall on the south side of the ramp to prevent silt buildup, thus limiting access to the south launch lane.
Black Lake represents the largest economic source for St. Lawrence County. Providing a better access point to the lake is vital to the area growth. A point worthy of consideration might be turn over control of the launch site to the Town of Morristown. They are willing to assume it where other local economic resources may be readily available to provide for a better access site.
Rollway Bay Parking Lot
Parking for Ice Fishermen Before
Parking for Ice Fishermen Now and Will Be Better After Macomb Spreads Gravel
Access to Black Lake has historically been limited to the state boat launch on County Route # 6. In order to improve this access to the water, The Black Lake Association has purchased a parcel of land, directly across Black Lake Road from the Rollway Bay water access point. This has been turned over to the town of Macomb. The land has been cleared by the Association at an additional cost of 2,180 The lot will provide free off road parking for the ice fishermen in the winter and owners of small watercraft during lake season. The Black Lake Fish and Game Association has contributed 3,300 to this project and the Chamber of Commerce gave us 500. Another 2,075 has been donated on a Facebook "Go Fund Me" Fundraiser. We hope that Macomb will spread the gravel before this upcoming ice fishing season.