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News of Otsego County

Otsego lake association

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.

In Red, White, Blue, 50 Boats On Parade

In Red, White, Blue,

50 Boats On Parade

Jane Forbes Clark’s turquoise Marra Mattah, top photo, one of a handful of antique electronic launches on Glimmerglass, leads this afternoon’s annual Otsego Lake Association Fourth of July Boat Parade, which included 45-50 decorated vessels this year.  Lower left, David Rees of Oneonta, with wife Helen, waves jauntily as he passes Lakefront Park, Cooperstown.  Lower right, Margaret McGowan, enjoying her recent retirement with the sale of Cooperstown Ambulance, sports the colors of the day – red, white and blue.  The parade began at 3 p.m. off Three Mile Point, with Paul Lord, aboard the Biological Field Station’s pontoon boat, let off a fog-horn blast.  The boats then lined up and headed south along the west side of the lake, to cheers from other boats and picnickers ashore, past The Otesago to Lakefront Park.  Another boat parade is planned at 6 this evening at the Canadarago Lake Boat Launch, followed by fireworks there at 10 p.m.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Independence Day Boat Parade 07-04-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 4

Independence Day Boat Parade

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BOAT PARADE – 3 p.m. Get out for the annual ‘We Love Our Lake’ decorated boat parade. This years theme ‘Lets Celebrate – It’s The 4th Of July.’ All boats welcome from human powered to motor powered and all in between. Participants are reminded to practice social distancing. Parade assembles at 3 Mile Point and proceeds on West Side of the Lake to Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. 518-542-6630 or visit otsegolakeassociation.org for info.

Take Control! Consider Otsego Lake Association

EDITORIAL

Take Control! Consider

Otsego Lake Association

Annual Meeting at 9 a.m. This Saturday

Otsego Lake Association Co-Presidents David Sanford, left, and Jim Howarth, right, chat with boat stewards Sierra Stickney, Oneonta, and Luis Suatoni, Springfield Center, at the boat-cleaning station at Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

With so many areas of American life seemingly spinning out of control, there’s a contrary example in the Otsego Lake Association (OLA).

Its “100-percent volunteers,” according to Jim Howarth, co-president with David Sanford, are focused on a common mission: “Protecting the health, beauty and wellbeing” of the lake.

OLA stalwart Paul Lord shows a sample of the
European Frog Bit, Otsego Lake’s latest invasive.

Listening to them, it’s clear:  Local volunteers, working together, can get a lot done.

There are larger non-profit, governmental and educational entities focused on the wellbeing of James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass, a national environmental icon – the OCCA, Otsego 2000, SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station (BFS), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, to name only a few – but the nimble OLA is a PT boat amid, if not aircraft carriers, the mid-size cruisers.

In advance of its annual meeting – this Saturday, Aug. 10, at Cooperstown’s Fairy Spring Park on East Lake Road; coffee and donuts at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting at 9-11 a.m., including conferring the annual Lake Citizen Award – Howarth and Sanford stopped by the other day to help raise the visibility of a story of accomplishment.

Like many OLA members, the two motivations came out of many happy personal experiences. Sanford recalls when commercial fishing was still allowed on the lake, and a daily staple at the Cooperstown Diner was Otsego Bass caught that morning. A student at SUNY Oneonta in the 1970s, Howarth remembers renting a motorbike from Thayer’s at $5 a day to take his future bride Susan onto the lake. Or a canoe ride, $2 a day.

OCCA Executive Orzetti Lake Association’s ‘Citizen’

OCCA Executive Orzetti

Lake Association’s ‘Citizen’

At the Otsego Lake Association’s 25th annual meeting Saturday at the Glimmerglass Festival, Paul H. Lord, Biological Field Station dive master, left, congratulates Master Scuba Diver Dale E. Webster, who received the OLA’s 2018 Diver Commendation Award.  In the center is Leslie Orzetti, executive director, Otsego County Conservation Association, who received the Lake Citizen Award.  The program, “Winter on Otsego Lake,” was presented by Tom Heitz.  (Paul Donnelly photos for AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUG. 12
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUG. 12

Tour County Farms

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FAMILY FARM DAY – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit local farms in Otsego and Schoharie counties and bring home a cooler of farm fresh goods. Call (518) 234-4303, ext. 119 or visit FamilyFarmDay.org

CLOSING CONCERT – 8 p.m. End the season with an exploration of feminine sovereignty through dance, song, and text by Laura Carelss, dancer, choreographer, and actress, in the World Premier of “She Wolves.” Tickets, $15 adults, $12 youth, seniors, and veterans. The Church, at the decommissioned Baptist Church, 2381 St. Hwy. 205, Mount Vision. www.upsi-ny.com/upcoming-events-news/

New Boat-Washing Station Expected At Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park By ’16

New Boat-Washing Station Expected

At Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park In ’16

Paul Lord, an Otsego Lake Association board member from the Town of Otsego, reports a boat-washing station, aimed at preventing invasive species from entering Glimmerglass' waters, will be functioning in Cooperstown's Lakefront Park by next May.  The apparatus, which will be next to the park's restrooms on Fish Road, will be connected with the village's wastewater system to speed up the process of filling and emptying a portable pool.  Also at the meeting, held on the porch of the Otsego Golf Course clubhouse at the lake's north end, also including a report on historic structures around the lake by CGP Professors Cindy Falk and Will Walker,.  Tim Pokorny, a biologist at SUNY Oneonta's Biological Field Station, reported that zebra mussels have made the lake's waters so clear that alewives, introduced illegally into the lake in 1985, can now be seen by their natural predators and have all but disappeared, allowing native fish -- trout, smelt and whitefish -- to rebound strongly.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Paul Lord, an Otsego Lake Association board member from the Town of Otsego, reports a new boat-washing station, aimed at preventing invasive species from entering Glimmerglass’ waters, will be functioning in Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park by next May. The apparatus, which will be next to the park’s restrooms on Fish Road, will be connected with the village’s wastewater system to speed up a process that now involves filling and emptying a portable pool. Also at the meeting, held on the porch of the Otsego Golf Course clubhouse at the lake’s north end, there was a report on historic structures around the lake by CGP Professors Cindy Falk and Will Walker. Tim Pokorny, a biologist at SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station, reported that zebra mussels have made the lake’s waters so clear that alewives, introduced illegally into the lake in 1985, can now be seen by their natural predators and have all but disappeared, allowing native fish – trout, smelt and whitefish – to rebound strongly. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
2nd Annual Boat Parade Circles Otsego Lake

2nd Annual Boat Parade Circles Otsego Lake

The Otsego Lake Association's webmaster Tim Pokorny sent along images of the OLA's second annual Fourth of July Boat Parade, which sailed from Three Mile Point last evening, passed Cooperstown's Lake Front Park, then went back to its beginning.  Tim also sent a link to more photos.
The Otsego Lake Association’s webmaster Tim Pokorny sent along images of the OLA’s second annual Fourth of July Boat Parade, which sailed from Three Mile Point last evening, passed Cooperstown’s Lake Front Park, then went back to its beginning. Tim also sent a link to more photos.
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