Proposition 1 passed last week. It authorizes state bond funds for environmental infrastructure—including $650 million for clean water projects. The Otsego Lake community should make a proposal to address harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the lake.
The funding proposal should come from the Village, the townships and the county. The proposal should be crafted by the lake stakeholders and experts—led by the Biological Field Station.
HABs can be reduced by better watershed management and in-lake remediation. As of last week, state funds may be available to support our effort to keep Glimmerglass Lake from turning into Pea Soup Pond.
The Otsego Lake and SUNY Oneonta communities worked together to protect property, life, and the environment around Otsego Lake on Saturday, November 5.
Saturday morning had me concerned about whether the autumn no-wake zone buoy Buoyfest would be a success or would be only the first day of a multiple day effort to retrieve our NWZBs. Winds were strong enough to cause concern, and we had lost the services of four divers, who we had planned to work with us, in the 24 hours prior to the event.
Health and other good reasons prevented those four divers from participating. The preparation work provided on Friday by Otsego Lake Association members Bill Richtsmeier, Mickie Richtsmeier, Doug Willies and Peter Regan facilitated an early departure. The focus and experience of graduate students Sarah Coney and Brian Hefferon provided core successes which inspired our SUNY Oneonta undergraduate students and recent graduates, Liv Bartik, Alan Brault, Zach Lebid, and Katlin Mancusi, to see the work through to completion.
The OLA Board of Directors was well represented, providing essential tender services: Wayne Bunn, Peter Regan and Kiyoko Yokota. Chuck Hascup masterfully employed his barge to support our work. I am grateful to all.
The last two NWZBs, at Springfield Landing and Lake Front, will be retrieved and swapped for spar buoys, as is our tradition, on the weekend prior to Christmas Eve. That typically involves breaking through thin ice along the shoreline to reach those buoys, but the shallow depths involved encourage a lighthearted attitude about this December work.
Paul H. Lord SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station Divemaster and Instructor
Otsego County and Central New York are expected to hit peak leaf peeping season in the coming days, with foliage estimated at 65 percent changed in Cooperstown last week according to the I LOVE NY “Fall Foliage Report.” This year, shades of orange and yellow seem to be outshining the reds, as shown here. The top photo showcases the view from Beaver Meadow Road in Cooperstown, the middle picture is a shapshot of Allen Lake Road in Richfield Springs and, below, a flock of Canada geese enjoy their layover in Otsego Lake on their way to points south.
Labor Day. The end of an exceptional summer in Cooperstown. Dare we say exceptional? Yes we can, despite the ominous glooms of COVID and recent blooms of algae.
Our Main Street businesses are still here. They may not have had their best summer, and they may still be sadly short-handed, but they are proudly displaying their wares and energetically inviting shoppers into their establishments. The Hall of Fame reopened its doors for Induction Weekend, welcoming pre-COVID crowds for a celebratory salute to the national pastime. Baseball fans swarmed the streets, and the Village was clean within hours. Doubleday Field is refurbished and Dreams Park is back. Our Village is alive.
The summer of 2022 will be remembered as the year our beloved Lake Otsego first suffered a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB).
The conditions which allow a HAB to occur are known. This column reviews Village of Cooperstown public beaches, boat launch sites and most importantly, Village drinking water.
The SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station (BFS) has monitored lake conditions for decades. This summer, when Glimmerglass State Park first noted an algae bloom on July 27 and closed, BFS began twice weekly testing at locations around the lake. The results of those tests are on their website — suny.oneonta.edu/biological-field-station.
Otsego Lake Association (OLA) board members have been working on a project to help fund the repair on the weather station buoy just beyond Five Mile Point.
“The buoy is just north of Five Mile Point in the middle of the lake. It’s called a Continuing Lake Monitoring Buoy (CLMB),” Debra Creedon, OLA board member, said.
“The CLMB is a computer that is encased and sub-merged that monitors wind direction and speed, air and water temperatures, precipitation and light levels among other things. It gathers important research, which provides high-frequency data for lake and climate research worldwide,” Jim Howarth, co-president of OLA, said.
As summer winds down and autumn approaches, there is perhaps no better time to get out and enjoy the beauty of Otsego County’s pristine lakes and waterways.
For people who own their own boats, this time of year is generally when they begin to taper down their activity after a long summer of many days on the water, but for those who don’t have a boat of their own it is an excellent time to rent one from one of the local boat rental operations. From fast-moving power boats, to spacious pontoon boats, to kayaks and canoes, numerous local rental opportunities exist.
Otsego Lake, the “jewel in the crown” of county lakes, offers several possibilities.
On behalf of the Otsego Lake Association (OLA), we wish to say thank you so much for your wonderful coverage, and article with our logo in the August 18 edition of The Freeman’s Journal, of our Annual Membership Meeting held on August 13. It was greatly appreciated and reporter Gilbert Vincent did an excellent job with the details. The area residents and lakeside property owners are now much more informed about Otsego Lake and what OLA does to protect it — truly a local treasure that we all love.
According to Holly Waterfield, CLM SUNY Oneonta Cooperstown Campus Biological Field Station Main Laboratory the Biological Field Station (BFS) collected samples for toxin analysis around Otsego Lake in the last few days. All sites had detectable levels of the toxin microcystin; some much higher than Monday. Results for each location are below. We provide these results for informational purposes and to aid in decision-making; these results represent a snapshot in time. Bloom conditions are known to change rapidly with weather. We have learned that when there are visible accumulations on the shoreline or the water surface, caution is warranted. A link to DOH guidance is below. The cyanobacteria causing the bloom is called Microcystis aeruginosa.
The much maligned zebra mussels are being blamed for the blue green algae bloom, which is partially true.
But we cannot control the zebra mussels, so we should focus on what we can control that is exacerbating the blooms: runoff of chemical fertilizer and failed septic systems, both of which feed the algae.
We know where the chemical fertilizers are coming from. We know where the failed septic systems are. If we do something about those pollutants, we can reduce the toxic algae blooms.
ART BY THE LAKE – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Join artists of upstate New York to celebrate the beauty of nature and Otsego Lake. On show will be pastels, watercolor, oil, acrylics, photography, and many more mediums with demonstrations throughout the day. On the lawn of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit fenimoreartmuseum.org
Plan to float your boat – rain or shine – in the Otsego Lake Association’s Annual “We Love Our Lake” Decorated Boat Parade to begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 3.
The parade will form off Three Mile Point, then proceed slowly along the westerly side of the lake, and end at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. The lead boat will be decorated and marked with OLA banners.
After a two-year pandemic pause, the Otsego Lake Association will again judge boats, award prizes, and have candy for participants. The parade welcomes boats large and small — including antique or classic, human-powered, wind-powered, electric, jet, outboard, or inboard/outboard powered. OLA encourages boaters to decorate using the theme “Our Lake is a Treasure,” but welcomes decorations of any sort – unusual, humorous, patriotic, party-themed, sports, military, or no decoration at all – it’s up to the boater.
Boaters may join the parade at any time or place along the route, especially for non-motorized boaters who might not want to travel the full route.
Mid-January’s cold snap invited winter sports enthusiasts onto the ice covering the southeastern corner of Otsego Lake last weekend, amazing a few passersby who wondered about their safety.
“That’s as risky a behavior as I’ve ever seen for this time of year,” said Matt Albright, Assistant to the Director of the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station. “That ice couldn’t have been more than an inch thick.”
“It might be as early in the season as I’ve ever seen anyone out there,” he continued, noting he watched a pair of intrepid ice fishers as they stepped farther from the edge along the streets of the Lakeland Shores development. “I love ice fishing myself, but these guys must be really devoted to it!”
Why not add a full-line, local-focus gift shop to an already bustling restaurant and boutique in the midst of a pandemic when even the most seasoned merchants can’t be sure of the next set of rules that might change the whole way they have to do business?
That’s indeed what Cory Moffat did in May of this year, when she opened the doors of The Mingo Market, on the grounds of Sam Smith’s Boatyard on Route 80, just outside of Cooperstown’s village limits. It’s the same Otsego Lake location that features the Blue Mingo Grill.
“This building has been a few things,” Mrs. Moffat said as she toured the shop, a structure that once housed the boat shop for her father, Sam Smith. “Cooperstown Christmas, then an antique shop, and a junk shop. When we decided to clear it out for The Mingo Market, we had three dumpsters full of things to throw out.”
PHOTOGRAPHY EXCURSION – 7 – 8 a.m. Enjoy early morning walk and photo lesson all about how to photograph Otsego lake at sunrise. Presented by staff member Kevin Gray providing tips on composition, light & shadow, techniques and more. Cost, $17/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org