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News of Otsego County

biological field station

For The Love Of Boating

For The Love Of Boating

Since 1975, Larger Boats On Otsego Lake,
But Owners Using More Smaller Craft, Too

Editor’s Note: Bill Harman has led SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station on Otsego Lake since its founding.

The Otsego Lake Association’s Fourth of July Boat Parade gives boaters – ever more of them since the Biological Field Station began tracking them in 1975 – a chance to celebrate the Glimmerglass they love. In the background is Mount Wellington, the Sleeping Lion. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Bill Harman

Historically, as in all our inland lakes after the original European settlement, rowboats, canoes, and sailboats capable of carrying a few passengers dominated Otsego Lake.

Early on it provided a corridor between the waters of the Mohawk drainage and the Southern Atlantic states via the Susquehanna River and was of national importance. It was used for a diversity of commercial and military activities over that length of time.

The first dirt road was built up the east side of the lake by William Cooper in 1787. By 1818, sections of road had begun to be built along the west side of the lake between Cooperstown and Springfield, but there was no direct route until about 1917.

Those early roads did not provide access to hotels and residences along the lake since they were constructed along the ridgetops to avoid the necessity of building bridges over the many streams running to the lake.

During that period, the lake itself served for commercial as well as recreational transportation. The first steamboat was launched in 1858. The last commercial steam vessel plied the lake in 1933.

During the height of those activities in 1894, 10 steam-powered vessels were active on the lake. At least two, the “Natty Bumppo” and the “Cyclone,” could carry more than 300 passengers.

Plea To Biological Field Station: End Pesticide Use

Plea To Biological

Field Station:

End Pesticide Use

 

To the Editor:

Five years ago, CVS Pharmacy Corp., as a healthcare-product provider, made the costly but ethical decision to discontinue the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Cheers to them!
With springtime approaching, I am reminded by the CVS example of applied ethics of the decades-long silence by the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station on West Lake Road, regarding the use of pesticides and herbicides on the Leatherstocking Golf Course on Otsego Lake, the source of drinking water for the Village of Cooperstown and camps along its shore.
Since the Susquehanna River originates at the south end of the Glimmerglass, we have a downstream responsibility to the Chesapeake Bay as well.
Since biology is the study of life, where is the fundamental concern over the use of chemicals designed to kill weeds on the shore of our drinking water?
The often-heard excuse – “Nothing has ever been found in the tests” – is not reassuring.
When it does show up, it will be
too late.
Martha’s Vineyard has an organic golf course. Cooperstown should as well.

MICHAEL WHALING
Cherry Valley

 

Winter’s Official: No-Wake Buoys Removed Sunday From Otsego Lake

Winter’s Official: No-Wake Buoys

Removed Sunday From Otsego Lake

SUNY Oneonta undergrads Rachel Zeino and Jeanmarie Russell  completed the seasonal swap of non-wake-zone buoys for winter spar buoys yesterday at Springfield Landing.  They completed the task in snow sleet, rain and hail, Paul Lord, who leads the Biological Field Station diver team, reports.  This was the last no-wake zone buoy on Otsego Lake this year:  The buoy off Lakefront Park in Cooperstown was removed earlier in the day by BFS volunteer diver Pat McCormack and SUNY Oneonta grad student Sarah Coney.  (Paul Lord photos)

Interns Find American Eel In River At Cooperstown

Interns Find American Eel

In River At Cooperstown

Here’s a file photo of an American eel, the type BFS interns discovered near Cooperstown Dam.

COOPERSTOWN – Summer interns at the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station stumbled upon a surprise recently when they caught a 12-inch American eel more than 440 miles from the ocean in a habitat from which the species was thought to have been extirpated.

The interns, high school graduates Alexa Platt and Lauren Saggese, were researching near the beginning of July in the Susquehanna River near the base of the Cooperstown Dam at Otsego Lake.

Buoys Out.  Is Winter Far Behind?

Buoys Out.  Is Winter Far Behind?

Paul Lord from the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station and a team of 12 volunteer divers picked up 18 “No Wake” Buoys around Otsego Lake on Sunday, signalling the end of summer boating. The volunteer dive team has been retrieving the  buoys every year for the past 19 years. The windy conditions on Sunday made this year’s retrieval exceptionally difficult, Lord said.  (Paul Donnelly for AllOTSEGO.com)
Routine Culling Saves Black Bass

Routine Culling Saves Black Bass

The latest issue of the Biological Field Station Reporter, which arrived in the mail yesterday, reported on the narrow escape of a black bass culled from Moe Pond with a bullhead stuck in its mouth. “Given the size and rigidity of the dorsal and pectoral spines bullheads possess, this bass had a good chance of choking to death,” the Reporter reported. Moe Pond is on the BFS’ Thayer Farm property, above Otsego Lake.
The latest issue of SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station Reporter, the newsletter that arrived in the mail yesterday, reported on the narrow escape of a black bass culled from Moe Pond with a bullhead stuck in its mouth. “Given the size and rigidity of the dorsal and pectoral spines bullheads possess, this bass had a good chance of choking to death,” the Reporter reported. Moe Pond is on the BFS’ Thayer Farm property, above Otsego Lake.
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