Lake Beseck Living

~All things Lake Beseck brought together in one informative space~

Whether you are interested in family activities in the area, efforts being made toward issues such as weed control and algae of the lake, becoming a volunteer, or you want to stay on top of crime events in the area, this is the place to be.

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee August 25, 2019

1. Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 7:04 P.M.

2. Members Present

Rob Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Amy Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Hannah Malcolm, Darin Overton, Melissa Kowal, Kathy Kukowski, Rick Santos. Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:08 P.M.

3. Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of 6-26-2019 without changes made by Rick Santos, seconded by Randy Bernotas. Passed Unanimously.

4. Public Comment

Mary Pitruzello, Troop 33 Scoutmaster joined the meeting to introduce herself and offer services from the Boy Scouts who need 4 hours of conservation work to gain rank.  2 scouts are looking to gain rank in the next 4 months.  There will be more scouts in need of hours next year as well. She stated that she is always open to proposals for Eagle Scout projects.

5. AER – Benthic Barrier Permitting Update

Prior to Larry Marsicano, AER calling into the meeting, Ed Bailey quickly briefed the committee about his phone conversation with Larry following an email that AER received from DEEP stating that they could not issue a License to private individuals for benthic barriers after concerns were raised about enforcement of the License and insurance liability, sureties, and indemnification to the State.  Ed suggested that one way of possibly satisfying DEEP would be for homeowners to contract with a reputable company that would install the mats for them. Larry will inquire to New England Environmental and C&D for pricing. Following up on a question from Darin Overton about how to acquire a certification for installing mats, Larry suggested that if a person wishing to get certified owns a business, they would already have liability insurance. Larry suggested that we could also inquire to CT Agricultural Experiment Station, who is looking to sustain their program, to see if it is something that they would be willing to take on for a charge. Melissa Kowal suggested that maybe the Ag Station could also certify people to install the mats. Larry is expecting a draft of conditions from DEEP for benthic barrier permitting on Thursday.  Ed will follow up after having a better understanding of what they will allow. Larry also spoke about utilizing lake drawdowns as a resource to help with some of the vegetation issues in the lake. In his experience, he has found that if the lakebed is allowed enough time to de-water prior to the first hard frost that typically occurs the first week of January, you will have the most success with weed control. He also noted that he could not speak on Potamogeton’s but did advise that a temperature just at the freezing point, and a lack of de-watering will not kill the roots of milfoil, it requires subfreezing conditions which is difficult to achieve if the sediment is still saturated. If properly de-watered, it would only require 24-48 hours of 28 degree temperatures to see results.

6. Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation and Remediation

Amy spoke about ongoing complaints that she has received about weeds around docks, some people stated that the plants look different. Photos of the aquatic plants and entanglements were sent to her. Amy requested the help of Rob Poturnicki, Ed Bailey and Buddy Altobello to venture out onto the lake by boat to look at the plants and to collect samples for the CT Agricultural Experiment Station for I.D. The following were some of the plants that were identified.

On the west side of the lake from the beach to the Irish’s

Clasping-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus)

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)


On the east side of the lake in front of Lakeview Estates

Clasping-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus)

Water Stargrass (Zosterella dubia)

Small Pondweed (Potamogeton pusillus)

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)


On the east side of the lake in front of Randy Bernotas

Clasping-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus)

Water Stargrass (Zosterella dubia)


In the north cove

Clasping-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus)

Small Pondweed (Potamogeton pusillus)

Water Stargrass (Zosterella dubia)

Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

Western waterweed (Elodea nuttallii


Amy stated that Potamogeton perfoliatus appeared to be the dominating culprit of most complaints, with an abundance in all areas sampled. Aerial footage was also obtained.

Amy passed around photos that she took of the plants that were collected in each area of the the lake. She also explained that some of the plants resemble other plants. For example, Elodea can look similar to Hydrilla, Coontail and Milfoil look similar, Pondweeds like Curly-leaf Pondweed and Clasping-leaf Pondweed have similar flowers. She also passed around a photo of the Lake Bottom Blankets that were tested in a 40’ x 100’ section of the swim area at the beach in April. The barriers were removed 2 months later, in June. Aerial footage was taken in September, 3 months after their removal, revealing a defined weed-free area to date where the mats were previously installed.

Upon discussion with Greg Bugbee about remediation suggestions for the nuisance plants, his recommendation was to try to get the issues with the drawdowns resolved and to implement the deepest drawdown possible. Regarding inquiries made about spot treatments with a newer product called ProcellaCor that is being touted as a safer and a more environmentally friendly herbicide, both Greg and Mark stated that it targets dicot plants such as Milfoil and would not work or would have minimal effect on the plants recently identified. When asked about other options, Greg said that he has never treated Potamogeton perfoliatus, and does not know of an herbicide that would work. He had experience with treating a plant that closely resembles it – his experience was that it would kill the leaves, brown the stems but the stalks would remain, and begin to grow again.

7. Selectman Report – Drawdown Update

Ed informed the committee about a meeting he is trying to coordinate with DEEP as early as next week to discuss the issues with achieving adequate drawdown levels. Ed read the mandated drawdown to the committee. “Water level draw downs shall be three feet during even-numbered years with completion achieved by December first of such year and maintained until March first of the following year. Water level draw downs shall be six feet during odd-numbered years achieved by November first of such year and maintained until December thirty-first of such year; a three-foot water level draw down shall be maintained thereafter until March first of the following year.”

Rick Santos asked if written procedures are in place for DEEP staff for drawing the lake down. Ed will inquire. Darin Overton offered to meet DEEP staff at the dam to monitor how much water is coming out, how open the valve is, etc. He could also put a flow meter on to determine how much water is coming out.

Larry advised that by postponing the refill even by 2 weeks, it could be beneficial. Members of the committee discussed if legislation could be amended to get the most benefit from the drawdowns. Ed commented that it took an act of God to get the legislation that we now have in place. Amy stated that Bashan Lake was trying to get legislation in place similar to Beseck that would mandate a drawdown plan for their lake. Craig Lundell will follow up with Bill Denya about this.

Ed handed out information about efforts being made by Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments encouraging DEEP to enhance their Clean, Drain, Dry program to include all public boat launches throughout the boating season including an enhancement of DEEP’s public outreach and aquatic awareness campaign.

8. Misc.

Ed informed members that a culvert collapsed on Cherokee Rd and approximately 90 feet of it was replaced.  This will help to prevent sedimentation into the lake as well as property damage if it were to become blocked up and water flooded outside of the confines of the culvert.

9. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Craig Lundell. Passed unanimously.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:19 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Poturnicki


Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee June 26, 2019


1. Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 7:06 PM.

2. Members Present

Robert Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Amy Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Rebecca Adams, Rick Santos, Hannah Malcolm, Scott MacDonald, Kathy Kukowski. Larry Marsicano was also present.

3. Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of 2/27/19 without changes made by Rebecca Adams, seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.


4. Public Comment

No public comment was made.

5. AER Report - plant survey, benthic barrier permitting, HB6637

Larry Marsicano reported that the benthic barriers at the lake have now been removed; it remains to be seen whether such short-term use proves effective. Regarding homeowners interested in using barriers, Larry had a “cordial” conversation Dawn McKay of DEEP, explaining what we were doing to identify the state-listed endangered species, including surveying 112 spots that support plant growth. He pointed out that only 82 acres are shallow enough to support plants. He shared a map with the Committee that identifies “areas of concern,” where potamogeton vaseyi grows or might be growing.  Of the 112 spots, they found potamogeton vaseyi in 19 of the surveyed spots.


In response to a question from Randy Bernotas, Larry clarified that the state’s primary reason for protecting potamogeton vaseyi is based on maintaining the ecological diversity of the plant life in the state.  Jim Irish asked, if the plant can hybridize, how Larry knows they’re counting pure p. vaseyi rather than a hybrid.  Larry said Mark June-Wells would have to answer that in more detail, but that Mark is definitely taking that issue into consideration when identifying the plants.


Larry reported that he and Mark have completed most of the plant control application, although he still needs to include the individual site plans for the benthic barriers, which vary greatly in terms of the size of the area homeowners want to cover. Larry also indicated he would include herbicides and rakes in the proposal as well, to give the state additional options. He expects the state will come back with partial approvals and recommendations.


Jim Irish asked if there is such a thing as an herbicide that targets only the milfoil or the pondweed and leaves the p. vaseyi undamaged. Larry said he believes there might be a new product on the market that targets monocots and that he would ask Mark.


Larry also reported that HB6637 passed, a bill that provides municipalities and towns with matching  grants for invasive plant control initiatives

6. Watershed Sign

Amy showed committee members the final version of the watershed roadside sign notifying drivers that they are entering the watershed. She tested the size and visibility by driving past it and proposed making the sign larger. She and Ed Bailey identified seven places where the sign can be placed for easy viewing by drivers. Larry Marsicano offered to do a story on the signs for the CFL newsletter.


Motion to approve the watershed sign design and to approve the creation of nine signs and posting them at appropriate places, made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Rebecca Adams. Passed unanimously.


7. Cyanobacteria testing

Amy reported that Western CT State University will conduct cyanobacteria testing weekly, giving us the results on Fridays. Larry will also be doing testing in deeper water, counting cells.


8. Election of Officers

The following officers were nominated and approved by the Committee:

Chair:  Amy Poturnicki

 Vice-Chair: Craig Lundell

 Secretary:  Rebecca Adams


9. Meeting Dates for 2019/2020

Jim Irish pointed out that the Board of Education meets 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, which makes it hard for him to make all meetings. Amy noted she can only attend on Wednesdays, and that Jim does an admirable job making the meetings he can.


Motion to continue meeting on the 4th Wednesday made by Rebecca Adams, seconded by Craig Lundell.  Passed unanimously.


2019                                 2020

July 24                             January 22

August 28                        February 26

September 25                 March 25

October 23                      April 22

November 27                  May 27

December 25                  June 24

10. Misc.

Members discussed the proposed restaurant at the corner of Lake Rd. and Baileyville Rd.

 Members welcomed new member Scott MacDonald.

11. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by Amy Poturnicki. Passed unanimously.


Meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

 Daria Vander Veer



Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee February 27, 2019


1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:04pm.

2. Members Present

Amy Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, John Lindner, Rick Santos, Hannah Malcolm. Ed Bailey, Matt Voyt and Larry Marsicano were also present. Rebecca Adams joined the meeting at 7:07pm. Darin Overton joined the meeting at 7:24 and departed at 7:55.

3. Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

4. Matt Voyt, New England Aquatic Services – Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting

Matt described the services NEAS provides as “alternatives to pesticides.” He described in detail the process: two divers, using pontoon boats, go down with suction tubes and pull up as much material as possible (as opposed to cutting the plants).  They bag up the material and cart it offsite.  Billing is by the hour, ($300/hr for two divers) and they customize work and billing based on the job.  They can scale up from an individual hourly rate to cover a larger job.

Rick Santos asked if they could accommodate a protected species, and Matt indicated they could educate their divers to identify the plant in question, or possibly block off the affected areas to avoid impacting the plants.

Ed Bailey asked how the plant material is handled once it’s sucked up; Matt indicated sometimes it can be dropped at a local brush dump site.  If not, NEAS can take it back to their facility, although that’s a long trip so they recommend local dumping if possible.

Hannah Malcolm asked how often the work has to be done (in other words, how long do the plants stay cleared).  Matt stated it depends on the type of soil, the type of plant, and how heavy the growth is. “You’re always going to have regrowth, but the plan would be to keep beating back the growth so that each year, it doesn’t come back as strong the next year, and each year you have to do less.”

Matt stated no permit is needed for suction harvesting, as long as soil isn’t being removed.  Larry Marsicano, however, noted that that DEEP is going to insist on an assessment of the status of the state-listed species (p. vaseyi) before any work is done in Lake Beseck.

In response to Randy Bernotas’ question, Matt estimated that in a single hour, his group could probably clear a 20’x20’ patch. The goal, if everything goes well, would be to clear 1/8 of an acre per day. Amy Poturnicki pointed out that there are 120 acres in the lake, but the intent would be to just clear the areas around docks and recreation areas. Matt noted this type of cleanup is a lot of the work they do.

Rick Santos asked how an area could be cleared if it’s too shallow for divers; Matt said they could still use the suction in shallow areas by hand-pulling the plants and feeding them into the suction hose.

Matt went on to describe the machinery NEAS uses – most of the boat is metal grating and they use mesh bags, so the water sucked up with the plants returns immediately to the lake.

Matt talked about the challenge of getting up the “root ball” when pulling milfoil; if you can get the whole root ball up, you reduce the chances that the plant will return. Pondweed involves trying to pull up the entire root, moving along and trying not to break the line.

Amy asked about the timing of the work. Matt said it’s a matter of doing it within the growing season; depending on the project, it makes sense to work earlier around docks so homeowners can enjoy the entire season (June/July). However, less mass gets pulled the earlier in the season the work is done. Larger projects can be done later in the season.  Amy noted that it might be better to have the work done later, when the milfoil comes in after the curlyleaf pondweed. Matt agreed that if milfoil is the bigger concern then later would be better.

Matt said his question would be what the state would require to protect the protected species, whether it be a physical setback and/or education courtesy of Mark June-Wells.

John and Randy both speculated on how bad the weed situation has been in recent years, and where the worst growth occurs. Amy remarked that this year may provide a good picture of how bad the problem is becoming because there was no winter drawdown.

Matt noted that his company’s services might not be as cost-effective if we were aiming to control, for instance, 20 acres of heavy milfoil infestation in the middle of the lake. His company is more effective for control in specific, smaller areas such as around docks or swim areas.

Matt also provided his expertise on benthic barriers and their effectiveness.  His company does install and remove/clean the barriers each season; they have had good success at keeping areas clear, although he cautioned that if the water is too shallow or heavy boat action keeps the water too disturbed, barriers might not be effective.

Ed Bailey asked about whether it is worthwhile to have barriers down for only a short period of time, such as at the swim area at the start of the season. Matt mentioned that if the swim area is six feet or more deep, you can leave the barriers in place and there’s usually no problem with people walking on them. He said he has heard about lakes having success with putting barriers in early, and then removing them, and being able to keep the plants at bay for the rest of the summer.

Matt indicated he would be happy to come take a look at our lake and provide free estimates. Rick Santos suggested dock owners might be willing to share the cost, and it would get people more involved in the process.

Ed Bailey noted that the first challenge is to get a permit; once that is in place, dock owners would be able to avail themselves of Matt’s services. Matt noted that his company is a contractor for the state and does some work for them.

5. Larry Marsicano, AER Report - Annual Report, Legislation for Lake Funding, Project Permits

Larry described the pending legislation that will require boats to purchase a stamp, the proceeds of which will be used to increase ramp monitors on the CT river to control hydrilla, which is rapidly becoming a serious problem. Funding will also then also be available for grants to fund invasive species control. Larry passed out the proposed language and a sample letter of support and encouraged members to contact their representatives and support the bill.

Larry also gave an overview of the year’s work he did on the lake for AER.  Some indicators of lake health are improving; Secchi depth transparency is greater, although the lake was stratified as early as May. Clarity was good until late August, although the lake still becomes anoxic, when mixing does not occur. Nutrient levels were “modest” up until late August, when nutrients build up from both runoff and the lake bottom itself.  Larry answered questions from Ed Bailey about how the amount of rain impacts water clarity and algae growth. He talked about how algae levels were very good until August-October, when blue-green algae became more common, but were not a major concern this past year. Larry talked about the life cycle of blue-green algae, which he believes is key to understanding how to manage algae.

Larry also mentioned that Mark has done a statistical analysis of water quality from 2014-2019. He praised Mark’s ability to analyze data and said that, based on Mark’s analysis, the trend in general is looking good for the lake; phosphorous and nitrogen are both going down, and oxygen levels are going up. He mentioned that wind and rain, which stir up the lake, can be both a help and a problem; the help comes when stirring the water gets more oxygen into the lower levels of the lake.

Larry praised the committee for the work it has done, especially with outreach and education, and cited examples of how Candlewood & Brookfield Lakes have leveraged land use regulations to control impervious surface and force owners who add impervious surface to their property to come up with storm water management plans to ameliorate the situation they are creating.

Rebecca noted that this would be a good item for P&Z and Inland Wetlands to work together to have language to make sure homeowners take the right steps. Ed Bailey noted that P&Z plans to revisit and update their regulations this year; Rebecca said she would work with P&Z as chair of Inland Wetlands to incorporate the appropriate language.

Larry described some proposed changes to the AER’s monitoring of Lake Beseck going forward -- including changes to the number and types of trips to monitor specific lake data -- which have been provided to Ed and Amy. He went over the responses to committee questions that Mark June-Wells had provided via email.

6. Hannah Malcolm, Park & Recreation Report, display Lake Bottom Blanket

Hannah brought a mat for committee members to see. She and Amy explained the features of the mats; the ten mats that were purchased won’t cover the entire swim area but will cover a large portion. The mats include slots for rebar that will hold them in place and holes to allow gasses to pass through. Hannah showed a video of the mats being installed.

Hannah and Ed Bailey talked about additional plans to continue to improve the beach area. She also mentioned there will be work at the dog park as well this summer.

7. Spring Projects and Outreach

Amy has been talking with Greg Bugbee of the CT Agricultural Experimental Station about education projects for the committee and the public, and has scheduled the following events:

4/18, 9:00am, Greg will come out with the state boat and help install 80% of the mats.

4/27, 10:00am Greg will come out again and the public, including managers of other lakes, would be invited to come see the rest of the mats being installed. Randy said he would invite Bayshan Lake, and the invitation will go out on the CFL emailing list. Coffee and snacks will probably be served.

Committee members discussed whether the plant sale should happen again this year. Amy pointed out that most of the infrastructure is now in place so a sale would be easy to hold again. John Lindner said he thought the sale had been a success.  Members agreed the sale would happen again this year.

Amy mentioned that if homeowners want to install mats, DEEP is going to insist upon a plant survey before issuing permits. The timing of the study is going to make work in 2019 challenging, and the cost is high ($2825). Rick Santos recommended surveying the lakeside homeowners to determine interest. Ed Bailey recommended a mailing to homeowners. Committee members discussed how homeowners might respond to the estimated cost and amount of labor & time involved in utilizing the mats; Amy advocated letting the survey/permitting process run this year to set any interested homeowners up to start using mats next year; Ed Bailey agreed.

Motion to fund the plant survey for this year made by Rebecca Adams and seconded by John Lindner. Passed unanimously.

8. Selectman Report

Ed expressed his approval for all the hard work the committee has done and emphasized that Larry Marsicano’s report brings encouraging news of the lake’s improving health. He indicated funding for the committee’s activities will continue. Ed handed out a flyer from RiverCog showing rain barrel and composting machines for sale.

9. Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the October 24, 2018 meeting without changes made by Daria Vander Veer and seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

10. Misc.

Rick Santos mentioned he has been asked by residents about the restoration of the lighthouse in Fowler Development and how such a project could be funded.

11. Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 9:17pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Daria Vander Veer



Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee October 24, 2018

1.     Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM.

2.     Members Present

Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, Hannah Malcolm, Melissa Kowal, Cathy Kukowski, Rebecca Adams, Rick Santos, John Lindner, James Irish, Craig Lundell. Randy Bernotas joined the meeting at 7:07. Len Suzio and Buddy Altobello were also present. Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:16.

3.     Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of July 25, 2018 without amendments by Melissa Kowal; seconded by Rick Santos. Passed unanimously.

4.     Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

5.     Lake Vegetation

Amy Poturnicki passed around photos of parts of the lake with heavy amounts of vegetation and described how this year saw dramatically increased amounts of vegetation. Amy read parts of a memo from Mark June-Wells indicating that the plant community was reflective of that prior to the dam repair. Mark’s memo also indicated benthic barriers and/or a harvester would be good options for Lake Beseck.

Amy noted that the current State Inland Wetlands permit allow for vegetation management in the beach swim area through April 2024, and CT NDDB Determination is good through December 2021. In response to a question from Jim Irish, Amy confirmed that only benthic barriers are allowed; we just have to re-submit the land rights application. Use of rakes was not previously submitted for the beach.

Amy reported that she has had three meetings with DEEP, along with Len Suzio and Buddy Altobello, about vegetation control measures for lakeside homeowners, many of whom are having trouble with their boat docks or swimming areas getting clogged with vegetation. However, the presence of the potamogeton vaseyi, a protected native species, has indefinitely blocked any additional progress with DEEP, which leaves us with permits only for the beach swim area. Committee members discussed other options we could raise with DEEP, including permits to control invasives in the areas where no potamogeton vaseyi has been found. James Irish asked about the possibility of challenging the identification of potamogeton vaseyi. Amy replied the plant has been positively identified by a UConn expert, so a challenge is not possible unless we pursue genetic testing. She was advised that it would be expensive and risky if, for example, the comparison sample the testers use is a hybridized sample of potamogeton vaseyi.

Amy pointed out that DEEP has actually identified two protected species in the lake, so the situation is even more problematic with the newly discovered abundance of the protected native plants; grass carp, therefore are not currently an option since they would eat protected and invasive plants alike.

Ed Bailey asked about the selective use of herbicides; Amy said herbicides were an option, but that Mark June-Wells has warned that herbicides might increase algae levels over time, are an annual expensive endeavor, they are also challenging to deploy in terms of public opinion.

Members discussed whether harvesting is still an option, whether done at a specific time of year or at a height level that would avoid the protected plants. Amy Poturnicki pointed out that you can now purchase harvesters for $60,000. When discussing sharing a harvester with other towns, Ed Bailey noted that he has heard recommendations against sharing such machines with other lakes, since it is very difficult to fully clean out all plant bits and thus there is a risk of cross-contamination. Amy said she will ask Mark June-Wells for his further thoughts on a harvester option.

The committee discussed the purchasing and installation of the benthic mats; Jim Irish suggested that, if the mats should be installed during the early spring prior to the refill in March, we would need to purchase the mats by January. Amy indicated most of the data on mat types and cost have already been collected. Amy also mentioned that one strategy being tested is to have the mats down for just one month, which knocks back the vegetation enough to keep it away for the rest of the summer.

6.     Funding for Lakes

Amy called Connie Trolle, CT Federation of Lakes, on speaker phone so she could tell the committee about funding opportunities for lakes. Connie mentioned she had recently had a discussion with a staffer in Chris Murphy’s office about funds available through the EPA. Another idea she was recently able to get approved is license plates, starting in 2020, that include the motto “Save the Lakes;” funding from their sale will be earmarked for lake projects.

Connie also described a recent meeting with state representatives, including Craig Miner, in which the CT Federation of Lakes lobbied for sustainable sources of funding for lake projects, particularly invasives control. She felt the meeting was productive; ideas to raise new revenue included the sale of boat stickers for non-CT residents using CT lakes. Connie said she also pushed the DEEP to speed up the permitting process for projects, and to start encouraging inland wetlands commissions to push for low-impact development and projects like rain gardens and buffer zones.

Randy Bernotas wondered about the possible political clout of the largest lakes if they joined together. Connie mentioned that the biggest lakes, including Bantam and Waramaug, are privately funded. She said the general attitude, based on experience, seems to be “we will have to do this ourselves.” In response to a question from Len Suzio, Connie further stated the funding sources vary from 501c(3) organizations to lake authorities (Candlewood); Len Suzio noted the federal tax-deductible nature of some organizations might be useful for encouraging contributions for Lake Beseck, and mulled over if such tax deduction could be implemented at the state level as well.

Ed Bailey said it’s been mentioned to him that one way to raise funds is to create a stormwater taxing district and wondered whether Connie knew of any successful ones. She did not and suggested that in the current political climate an additional tax would be difficult to implement.

Members asked Connie about harvesting; she indicated that Bantam uses chemical treatments because harvesting is “like mowing the lawn.” However, she believes she knows about some lakes that own harvesters and may be looking to sell them. She described the success her lake has had with chemical treatments, which they now only have to do on a portion of the lake every year, and she said several invasive species have been eliminated via chemical treatments.

After the call ended, committee members discussed what was learned from Connie; Ed Bailey noted that herbicide applications are cost-effective and proven to work. Amy indicated she would revisit the issue with Mark June-Wells, since apparently some new products have become available. John Lindner said he wasn’t crazy about the use of chemicals but wondered about a better legislative fix for the delay in the permitting process. Rebecca mentioned it takes a concerted effort by a dedicated group to bring the permitting delays to light and press to get them resolved.

Committee members agreed with John Lindner’s assertion that at a minimum, we should get moving on the benthic barriers. Amy Poturnicki mentioned that Mark June-Wells is working on a barrier use plan with Larry Marsicano already. Suggestions were made for a spring workshop to educate residents, perhaps including a presentation by a benthic mat manufacturer.

Amy suggested the Committee join the CT Federation of Lakes as a group.

Motion for the Committee to purchase an annual membership in the CT Federation of Lakes made by John Lindner; seconded by Rebecca Adams. Passed unanimously.

7.     Selectman Report

Ed Bailey told the committee that at a recent meeting of the Lower CT River Congress of Governments, he learned about hydrilla, an invasive that is becoming a problem in the southern part of the CT river. Introduced in 2008 in the Croton Reservoir in NY State, it has rapidly spread throughout NY. DEEP has taken no action so far on this threat.

Ed reiterated that state funding continues to be tight, and the upcoming budget negotiations will be difficult. He elaborated on the concept of the stormwater taxing district, initiated by the town and perhaps levied on residents of the Lake Beseck watershed, which could be a strong source of funding for the lake. Rebecca Adams offered some legal and political insights about how such a district might be set up. Other examples, such as lake associations that function like a homeowner’s association, were also discussed as ways to raise funds from the residents and then control those funds.

8.     Misc.

Hannah Malcolm reported that the wall at the beach is holding up beautifully, except for one spot to the north end, where there is no wall and some ruts are appearing after heavy rain. There is one area, where there is apparently hardpan underneath the sand, where water pushes up to the surface and then ponds or creates ruts. This area may be a good candidate for a drainage project. The plantings are also doing well. Hannah also discussed the pipe at the north end and the state of the hedgerow near it. Ed Bailey indicated repair of the pipe was “on the list” and could be performed next spring.

9.     Adjourn

Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Rebecca Adams; seconded by Craig Lundell. Passed unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee July 25, 2018


1.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:04PM.

2.    Members Present
Melissa Kowal, Rick Santos, Kathy Kukowski, Jan Wojas, Amy Poturnicki, Robert Portunicki, Larry Marsicano, Hannah Malcolm, James Irish, John Lindner

3.    Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of May 23, 2018 made by Rick Santos; seconded by Amy Poturnicki. Passed; Kowal, Santos, Kukowski, Vander Veer abstaining, all others in favor.

4.    Public Comment
Two members of the public were present to learn about the Committee.

5.    Chairman Report
Amy passed around some photos of the Open House at the Beach; 60 people signed the attendance sheet but many more than that attended. Larry’s presentation was very well received. Amy listed the activities, including hands-on learning workshops by Larry Marsicano and Greg Bugby, among others; boat rides; and a visit from the lifeguards and the resident state trooper.

There have been reports of beds of weeds on the lake surface; Amy took some pictures and indicated Larry M. would report.

6.    AER Report
Larry Marsicano complimented the Committee on the open house; he mentioned at Candlewood he purchased the equipment for his presentation for all the local schools, and could do that for us if interested.

This year Larry did more work on site at the lake and has noticed significantly better water clarity this year over last year, which is puzzling since the nutrient levels are not lower. He believes the improvement may be climate-related, because the temperatures have been fairly cool.  However, he cautioned that in general blue-green algae (which cause the most toxic blooms) like warmer, stiller climates and thus may cause more problems in future.

James Irish what other things besides algae affect Secchi disk transparency. Larry indicated that any suspended sediments or clays tend to lower water clarity, so he tries to avoid taking measurements near the shoreline where erosion might occur. 

Larry also mentioned the weekly microcystin testing that is now taking place, to help local officials determine more accurately whether the beach should be closed. So far this year the measured levels have been quite low.

Addressing the complaints about weeds, Larry indicated potamogeton pusillus and the Eurasian watermilfoil were the two main components. Mark June-Wells will take a look in August to confirm the identification. Larry did mention he does not see the milfoil yet making mats on the surface. Kathy Kukowski noted that down by Lakeview Estates the plants are close to the surface and the boats are chopping it up. Larry also mentioned that this year, at Candlewood, the milfoil is not coming to the surface as it usually does, and that he believes the grass carp appear to be keeping it in check.

Larry also mentioned that Oct. 12-13 will be the annual meeting of the CT Federation of Lakes, including presentations about grass carp, and he encouraged members to attend.
In response to a question from Amy, Larry updated new members on the presence of potamogeton vaseyi in Lake Beseck and how it has put any weed control projects on hold indefinitely. He recommended trying to invoke Dr. Wong’s assistance on the DNA testing to possibly eliminate the likelihood that what we have is in fact the protected species.

Larry proceeded to update the new committee members on the other options for aquatic plant control. He described some of the activities done for “Lake Awareness Week,” including raising awareness of legislators about the current plight of lakes. He intends to poll CFL members to bring those concerns to Hartford in the near future.

7.    Election of Officers
Motion by Robert Poturnicki to re-elect the slate of current officers (Amy Poturnicki, chair; Craig Lundell, vice-chair; Daria Vander Veer, secretary); seconded by James Irish.  Passed unanimously.

8.    Meeting Dates
   The meeting dates for 2018-2019 were proposed as follows:
    2018:    August 22, September 26, October 24, November 28, December 26
    2019:     January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24, May 22, June 26
Motion to approve the 2018-2019 meeting dates made by Melissa Kowal; seconded by Rick Santos. Passed unanimously.

9.    Misc.
John Lindner reported on the progress he and his neighbor have made installing dry wells on their properties to collect rain water and control runoff.  He showed the committee photos and described the lessons he has learned in doing this small-scale project. 

Kathy Kukowski indicated all 22 resident homes at Lakeview Estates have been sold and everyone is settling in. Members discussed the issue of erosion at LE and the plan approved by the Inland Wetlands Commission.

Hannah presented Amy with flowers in appreciation of her work with the committee. Members congratulated her on her hard work and excellent results this year.

10. Adjourn
Motion to adjourn made by Robert Poturnicki; seconded by Melissa Kowal.  The meeting adjourned at 8:17PM.

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee May 23, 2018

1. Call to Order - Meeting was called to order at 7:28 p.m.

2. Members Present - Amy Poturnicki, Rick Santos, Craig Lundell, John Lindner, Randy Bernotas, Rob Poturnicki, Hannah Malcolm, Edward Bailey, Rebecca Adams

3. Approval of Minutes Motion to approve the March 2018 minutes made by Rick Santos, seconded by Craig Lundell; passed unanimously.

4. Public Comment - None

5. Beach Project – Members walked the beach while Amy updated everyone on the progress of the various projects that continue at the beach. There was a delay with Kenny Jay beginning the retaining wall extension/drainage due to equipment being serviced but plans to begin this week. An additional dry well and swale is being planned with town to further assist with erosion in other areas; coir logs to be removed around sand dune once erosion to this area is resolved. Hannah was able to secure pilings that were generously donated and will be delivered possibly this week. They will be installed in place of the temporary wooden fence for a more decorative and nautical look. The breached drainage pipes on the north end of the beach was discussed; only partial planting can be done until the pipe repairs are made. The area continues to be very wet.

6. June Open House at Beach – Members discussed ideas for the June 16 open house at the beach to be held from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Larry Marsicano will be present to do the EnviroScape demo. Edwin Wong Ph. D. offered to speak about cyanobacteria. He will be doing cyano testing at the beach this summer. Educational materials and signs to be placed throughout beach in project areas. Other attractions such as boat rides, a tipi, breakfast, cotton candy, beach passes, “meet the lifeguards”, “meet the troopers” were discussed. Advertising was also discussed.

7. Misc. – Ed Bailey spoke about FY 2018/2019 budget, and funds added for Lake Beseck Remediation. He plans to re-appoint the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Environment Committee at the next Selectman meeting.  Hannah added that Park & Rec has funds to add lifeguards a couple of weeks early for additional beach coverage this year.

8. Adjourn – Motion to adjourn by Rick Santos, seconded by Randy Bernotas; passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Amy Poturnicki

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee Wednesday MARCH 28, 2018

1.       Call to Order 

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM.

2.       Members Present 

Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, Rebecca Adams, Rick Santos, Randy Bernotas, Hannah Malcolm, Craig Lundell, John Lindner, Daria Vander Veer.  Peter Parker, Town of Middlefield, and Larry Marsicano of AER was also in attendance.  Darin Overton joined the meeting at 7:10 PM.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 9:05 PM.

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve agenda for 3/28/18 meeting made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Rick Santos; passed unanimously.

4.        Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the January 24, 2018 meeting made by Rob Poturnicki and seconded by Craig Lundell; passed unanimously.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman Report

Amy Poturnicki noted that the lake level is coming up, but more slowly than expected; a weir board got caught in the intake valve. Divers had to be sent down, and the issue was fixed, but the water level is still not where it should be. Amy will contact DEEP in the upcoming week about adjusting the water flow.

7.       AER Report

Larry Marsicano began by talking about a program at Candlewood where they were taking weekly samples to check for toxins created by blue-green algae. Amy had asked Larry to look into whether the  program was possible for us; it is possible to have algae testing done at cost for $1,000 through a summer monitoring program offered by WCSU. Samples would be collected every Thursday to September 5th. An email with results would be distributed on Friday afternoon. The data can be used in assessing the extent of the health risk from exposure to Microcystins for the upcoming weekend.

Larry also described his experience working with DEEP on whether we will need permits to do plant management on the lake bottom. The answer was “yes;” Larry described the process he went through to get permission to control vegetation at the beach.  He noted he had more trouble getting permission to control vegetation in front of homes along the shoreline. For those locations, individual requests would need to be made so DEEP can determine whether the home is near endangered species and look into what kind of control methods will be used. Larry felt that if it looks like it’s going to be a bad year, there may be a way to fastrack the requests using boilerplate for each home plot.

Larry also priced out floating islands; he explained how companies gauge the size and number of islands needed based on phosphorus load. Using the reports from Milone & MacBroom, he came up with load numbers.  The first estimate was $177,000, but he believes the actual cost would be much lower; each island is about 88 square feet and costs about $2,250 + shipping. Larry listed some of the benefits of the islands, including fish habitat, lowering bug levels and reducing phosphorus.

Randy Bernotas said that as a shoreline homeowner, he doesn’t have confidence in the state to provide guidance or approval. Many homeowners will take these matters into their own hands if approval doesn’t arrive quickly; Larry agreed that he tried to impress on DEEP that if they are unresponsive, they forfeit their ability to know what homeowners are actually doing along the shoreline.

Rebecca Adams said that she has reviewed the legal documentation and believes that DEEP does not actually have jurisdiction over much of the situations that Larry was describing.

Randy Bernotas asked whether the algae testing would be for the whole lake or just the beach; the prevailing winds mean that the north end of the lake will be a source of algae for the rest of the lake. Larry Marsicano said the focus in testing was just on the public beach; he’ll mention the north end of the lake to the researchers.

Jon Lindner asked whether the floating islands will help with the algae in the north end of the lake. Larry said he believed so. He has left us some paperwork on the floating islands; Amy noted that Mark June-Wells says that the islands are something we can scale back and do slowly, in parts, over time.

8.       Kathy Connelly Beach presentation

Before Kathy Connelly made her presentation, Amy Poturnicki noted a problem with the earthen berm plan in regard to the likelihood of it being undermined by wave action from boats unless riprap was installed on the lake side of the berm. Additional concerns include the installation of sand over the earthen berm which may be difficult to maintain. Amy mentioned that the sand dune that was installed last summer has flattened and eroded. Peter Parker also raised issues with maintaining a swale on the beach side of the earthen berm that was included in Kathy’s plan. Kathy Connelly pointed out that plants would be putting down some deep roots eventually to remedy those problems, but that would take some time.

Peter Parker indicated that the entire area north of the guard chair is deep sand and said the hillside dune and the new gutters on the pavilion have already slowed the erosion. He described a clay pipe that comes out right where the berm was going to be installed. This pipe probably pre-dates the town owning the beach and creates a sinkhole during heavy rains. Peter Parker made a few recommendations, and also described an additional problem with a drainage pipe that runs along the far northern edge of the beach.

Amy Poturnicki had visited the site with Darin Overton who made suggestions on ways to reduce erosion with the creation of a gentle swale, some re-grading on the northern end, and the extension of the retaining wall and drainage along the hillside. He argued that ultimately there will need to be flat, grassed surface in the north area to relieve some of the sand erosion.

Kathy Connelly reminded the group of the two objectives (control erosion & geese). She also addressed Darin’s suggestions and pointed out that adding canopy will dramatically reduce the amount of heavy rain that lands directly on the beach and causes runoff trenches. She said it’s important that we keep talking about the vegetation on the hillside as ultimately contributing to the solution.

Kathy Connelly continued with her presentation, discussing native grasses. She made recommendations for warm season grasses that turn green in summer. These involve minimal maintenance (annual trimming). She provided examples of grasses at different heights. The committee discussed various options for both ends of the beach, including incorporating some boulders that Peter Parker has collected, with grasses in between. Additional methods of geese control were discussed, including nautical-themed pylons with rope for fencing. The committee agreed that they preferred a combination of grasses and boulders rather than a berm, which might concentrate stormwater runoff and create additional problems.

Motion to abandon the installation of a berm in the northern end of the lake made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Randy Bernotas; passed unanimously.

9.       Spring Projects

Amy informed the group that she and Rebecca Adams have met to consider ways to reach out to the community and re-invigorate the LakeSmart program. One idea was giving wholesale pricing on native plants extended to watershed residents. Kathy Connelly can do a presentation about native plantings at an event. Later in June, an open house could be held. Amy went over the results of a survey which indicated that people were interested in plants for their yards. (she is still waiting for more people to respond). The group agreed the challenge is to get people who don’t live right on the lake’s edge to realize they have an impact simply by living in the watershed. Proposals included adding some signs reminding people they are entering the Lake Beseck watershed.

Motion to purchase signage denoting the Lake Beseck watershed area to be placed around the lake area made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Rebecca Adams; passed unanimously.

The group discussed having Kathy Connolly do a presentation on Earth Day and how to use the wholesale plant pricing as an incentive to attend. Kathy can also offer individual site assessments for a fee. The challenge is maintaining interest between the event and May, when planting would actually return. Robert Poturnicki noted that if people had the chance to order plants at the presentation, they will arrive in 2-3 weeks, just in time for planting. Amy stressed the importance of following up with attendees to ensure they get their orders in, since they may not be ready to place orders the day of the workshop. Rebecca Adams recommended collecting people’s emails when they take an order form so we can follow up.  John Lindner also suggested sending out the order forms in advance of the Earth Day event so people can turn in the forms at the event.

Motion to pursue a plant sale and workshop made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Rebecca Adams; passed unanimously.

10.   Selectman Report

Ed Bailey reported that the budget has been submitted to the BOF (annual meeting early May), which includes an additional $1000 for the Committee to do algae testing. The Committee’s other funding was unchanged.

11.   Wetland Enforcement Officer Report

Randy Bernotas updated the group on 55 Lake Road and 111 Lake Shore Road.

12.   Park and Recreation Director Report

Hannah updated the group about possible plans to hire more lifeguards; she plans to continue to work with P&R on erosion issues at the beach.

13.   Misc.

14.   Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Darin O

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee January 24, 2018

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting

Wednesday January 24, 2018

7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center


1. Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 7:06 P.M.

2. Members Present

Amy Poturnicki, Rob Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Rick Santos, John Lindner, Jim Irish, Craig Lundell, Rebecca Adams joined the meeting at 7:45p.

3. Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve agenda for July 24, 2018 without changes made by Randy Bernotas, seconded by Jim Irish. Passed unanimously.

4. Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of September 27, 2017 without changes made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Rick Santos.  Passed unanimously.

5. Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6. Chairman Report

Amy updated the committee on the inquiry made to DEEP in September 2017 requesting that a contingency plan be put in place for future weed management. She reminded the committee that as a result of the Potamogeton vaseyi present in lake that DEEP stated that the threatened species would impede future projects.  A request was made to determine if tools such as weed cutters, and lake bottom blankets would be allowed to assist homeowners with weed management. She reported that word was received back from DEEP on 1-23-2018 that all management activities will need to be authorized by a Special Use license, involving the NDDB and CT Endangered Species Act.  

She reported that the Landscape Designer finished plans for the north end of the beach to resume planting this spring with similar plantings of grasses, landscape rocks, water plants, and a few dwarf white pine shrubs mixed in. An earthen berm under the sand dune was suggested to stabilize the dune with drainage on the uphill side of the dune.

Amy reported that Darin Overton from Milone & MacBroom met with her and Ed Bailey at the beach to make suggestions regarding drainage to help with ongoing erosion issues.

He suggested to:

1.            Re-grade the parking lot back toward the catch basin on Lake Shore Dr. Create a swale in the grassy area to divert water. (this would prevent water from running down the beach hillside)

2.            Extend the new wall south along the bottom of the hillside, not to go into the tree line (approx. 60’) -the landscaper would likely step the wall to grade (this will create seating, and also stop and divert water)

3.            A perforated 4” pipe would run at the bottom of the hillside along the wall with filter cloth and stone over the top. The pipe would empty into a swale at the end of the wall then run along the end of the handicap pavement, south of the tree, and into the lake

4.            On the north end of the beach, he suggested to create a swale in front of the earthen berm pitched back toward the north where it would be directed to an area within the broken drainage pipe.  A custom catch basin could be built in place where the pipe is currently broken.

7. Lake Beseck Annual Water Quality Report

Mark June-Wells reviewed the annual Lake Water Quality Report via phone at 7:32p. Mark believes that the lake is now recovering from the dam repair and is near its historical phosphorus concentrations.  He noted that water clarity was good early in the season through April, May, June. By July, blue-green algae dominated, and water clarity diminished until September. Three genera of cyanotoxin producing blue-green algae were found. (Dolichosperum spp., Microsystis spp., Aphanizomemnon spp.) which were dominant in July and August. In September, water temperatures began to drop, and water clarity increased. Recommendations were made to continue monitoring, consider treating when water quality reaches critical levels with Copper Sulfate, Alum, Peroxide based algicide, or Aeration.  

Several questions were asked by committee members.  We learned that:

-Ice cover may result in smaller concentrations of blue-green algae

-Treatment would have to be throughout the lake as a whole

-The State of CT does not test for cyanotoxin levels

-Treatment would be during heightened algae levels

8. Wetland Enforcement Officer Report

Randy Bernotas reported on happenings around the lake. 55 Lake Rd will have a public hearing regarding a 2 story colonial project, Rovers is requesting permission to rebuild their seawall, 159 Baileyville Rd inquired about a project that would involve removing large trees from hillside to the water,

14 Rosemary Ln is replacing a seawall, the Kickapoo structure fire has been inspected and there is no threat of erosion. Randy has been tracking the water level of the lake and noted that it was not drawn down 6 feet.  Other committee members agreed that they observed that as well.

9. Park and Recreation Director Report

Hannah not present due to passing of Grandmother but has been busy at beach working with Amy, Ed and the Landscape Designer to prep for spring planning.  The new pavilion wall is in place.  Hannah will get a quote for an extension of the wall along the beach hillside per recommendation of engineer.

10. Spring Projects

Amy discussed spring projects, and the idea of hosting an open house at the beach to showcase improvements and promote the Lake Smart Program. Ed was not present but she conveyed that he suggested that this could take place during the 2nd week of June, after Old Home Days.  Amy asked the committee if they would like to offer other public education.  John Lindner suggested face to face connections with lake residents about the Lake Smart Program, perhaps with assistance from Boy Scouts, or environmental clubs at schools, etc. Rick Santos raised the point that many assume that this applies more to waterfront homeowners.  The committee discussed ways to educate people in the watershed how their participation can make a difference.  The committee discussed their own participation in the program as an example to others. Amy asked if the committee would like to send out an educational mailer this spring. Rob Poturnicki suggested featuring a photo of the watershed area on the mailer, others agreed. Rebecca Adams volunteered to assist Amy with the mailer.

Motion by Amy Poturnicki to produce an educational mailer, speak to people in person about the Lake Smart Program, host an open house at the beach. Seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

11. Misc.


12. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Rebecca Adams, seconded by Craig Lundell.  Passed unanimously; meeting adjourned at 8:35 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Amy Poturnicki

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee September 27, 2017

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting
Wednesday September 27, 2017, 7:00 PM
Middlefield Community Center

1. Call to Order
Meeting was called to order at 7:02 P.M.

2. Members Present
Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Daria Vander Veer, Hannah Malcolm, Rick Santos, James Irish.  Mark June-Wells and Len Suzio were also present.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:10. Rebecca Adams and John Lindner joined the meeting at 7:15.

3. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda for September 27, 2017 without changes made by Randy Bernotas and seconded by James Irish.  Passed unanimously.

4. Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of June 28, 2017 with no changes made by Robert Poturnicki and seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

5. Public Comment
No members of the public were present.

6. Chairman Report

Amy reported that committee members have met with Kathy Connolly, the landscape architect, several times; sod has been removed at one end of the beach near the paved ramp and plants will be installed.  We have also been able to get about twenty free 10-foot-long coir logs from a job site in Old Lyme; the only cost will be to pick them up and have them delivered, a savings of approximately $1500.  The logs will be delivered Friday morning.

Amy passed around an updated version of Kathy Connolly’s drawing for plantings.  Some of the potentially taller plantings have been replaced with lower ones to preserve the line of sight for the nearby houses.  In response to a question from Jim Irish, Amy confirmed that there will also be plantings at the northern end of the beach as well, and that the landscaping project will go in phases.

The goose population is growing smaller; typically they show up when the flag lines have been taken down by humans, possibly kayakers.

Amy reported on the meeting earlier today with the DEEP.  She provided some of the plant survey maps that Greg Bugbee of the CT Agricultural/Experimental Station brought to the meeting.  Greg has identified several patches around the lake that may contain the protected species Potamogeton vaseyi, which may impede efforts to control plants in the lake.  Amy mentioned that the “protected species” status may be changed in the next year or so, especially if ten or more lakes are determined to have this plant.

Amy reported that Greg has found 23 native plants in the lake this year, a significantly larger number than prior to the drawdown. Ed Bailey mentioned that the important goal is to keep any one species from dominating, and Mark June-Wells agreed.

Amy mentioned that we need to continue to find ways to control invasives; the option of benthic barriers, or “bottom blankets,” can be effective if they are put in in April and taken out one month later, and are a comparatively cheap option.  Mark June-Wells indicated the barriers are fairly easy to use on a small scale, particularly in places like the beach swimming area, and said that if anyone was interested he could help with a bulk purchase discount. Hannah Malcolm said she would start researching prices and availability for use at the swimming area. Purchase of a harvester is still also a possibility; Mark June-Wells indicated there are some reasonably priced machines available.  The committee discussed possible ways of funding a harvester, including STEAP grants, and the logistics of where and how it would be stored and maintained.

Amy related that at the DEEP meeting, Larry Marsicano (manager of Candlewood Lake) said that he has had success with deeper and/or earlier drawdowns. It was suggested to start collecting data on weather, snowfall, temperatures, water depth and resultant plant populations to determine whether changing the drawdown would help and what changes would need to be made.  Mark June-Wells said there are easy ways, and fairly inexpensive tools to collect the information. The committee discussed the current statute that dictates Lake Beseck drawdowns and how the technology has changed for controlling the lake level.

James Irish asked whether a genetic analysis had been done to determine whether the plant Greg Bugbee had found was actually Potamogeton vaseyi.  Ed Bailey replied that Greg seemed pretty certain it was, and Ed felt it was not currently worth spending the money on DNA analysis. He pointed out that we were not likely to get any permits to take action on the invasives at this time since they don’t currently seem to be a problem.  Amy replied that since the committee that reviews protected species meets infrequently, perhaps it is still in our interest to bring our issues to the committee.

Len Suzio reminded the committee that even if the milfoil wasn’t a problem this year, it was safe to assume it would be a problem in future, and we should continue to pursue ways to control it in future. He felt a harvester would be a good investment that might pay off if the plant matter collected could be sold to local farmers.  He also urged the committee to start collecting more data to better understand what factors are influencing the plant population.

7. Selectmen Report                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Ed recapped the main points covered in the meeting with DEEP, including data collection, statutory changes, using a harvester, the plant survey. He indicated a new level gauge for the lake needs to be installed.  Ed also answered questions about the new guard rails put up around the northern end of the lake; John Lindner mentioned the original plans of adding plantings along that stretch of land, and urged the committee again to pursue that project.
8. Mark June-Wells Report
Mark June-Wells mentioned there had been some algae bloom in the past week, but that all other processes are continuing as normal.

9. Project updates                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 Hannah Malcolm said Parks & Rec has put out bids for a retaining wall in front of the pavilion to help limit erosion. 

10. Misc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Randy suggested that some entity, perhaps the Lake Association, should write a letter to the DEEP thanking them for the good work on the dam.

John Linder noted that since the jumpstart of the “Lake Smart” program, there hasn’t been any followup. He recommended taking the matter up again at a future meeting.  Ed Bailey suggested having Greg Bugbee come give a presentation on the benthic barriers in the spring as part of a kickoff event in the spring. 

11. Adjourn
Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Robert Poturnicki  and seconded by Rebecca Adams. Passed unanimously; meeting adjourned at 8:25 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Daria Vander Veer

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee June 28 2017

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting Minutes

Wednesday June 28, 2017 7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center


1. Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 7:02 P.M.

2. Members Present

Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, Daria Vander Veer, Randy Bernotas, John Lindner, Rick Santos, Hannah Malcolm, Edward Bailey. James Irish joined the meeting at 7:09.  Mark June-Wells was also present.

3. Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda for June 28, 2018 without changes made by Amy Poturnicki; seconded by Robert Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

4. Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for March 29 and April 12 without changes made by Amy Poturnicki; seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

5.  Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6. Chairman Report

LakeSmart program: Amy Poturnicki thanked everyone who contributed to getting the program implemented on such short notice, including Larry Marsicano, who spoke about the LakeSmart Program, and Mark June-Wells, who spoke about the state of the lake, best management practices, chemical vs organic fertilizers, initiatives underway. Local politicians spoke about town & DEEP initiatives. A landscape architect from Milone & MacBroom spoke about native plants and buffer gardens. Turnout was good and attendees left with a lot of materials and information after enjoying a free breakfast spread.

Amy also described having landscape designers out to the beach to look at the options.  We received proposals and received approval from the town to proceed with Kathy Connolly, landscape architect, to create plan for buffer/anti-geese zones at the beach.

Amy described the recent plant survey by DEEP staff, which found widespread amounts of what they are calling Potamogeton vaseyi, which is a “threatened” species. If it is in fact this plant, it may impede future projects at the lake, including the carp project.

7. Selectmen Report

Edward Bailey reported that Inland Wetlands Commission has made a motion to request that a guard rail be installed at the northern end of the lake to prevent parking and the erosion it is causing. An area has been staked out; Ed invited members to look at the staked area and send him any comments.  Members made additional suggestions about potential locations for guard rails.

8. Mark June-Wells Report

Mark June-Wells addressed the issue of the identification of Potamogeton vaseyi.  He described how plants are commonly identified (by their reproductive components such as flowers and seeds). Vaseyi used to be  identified by counting the veins in a leaf, but now it is identified by a structure at the bottom of the leaf. The difference between this species and Potamogeton bicupulatis, using this new distinction, is miniscule; it’s also possible that Potamogeton species will interbreed, which further blurs the line for distinguishing vaseyi from others.

Mark explained that if the plant had been found in only one patch, we could probably work around it; but since the state has identified several locations throughout the lake, he recommends that we contest the identification and request genetic/DNA testing.  If the identification is correct, virtually of our management options – including harvesting, pesticides, and grass carp – would be off the table.

In response to a question from Daria Vander Veer, Mark indicated that there is a procedure to contest the finding, which involves a memo to high-ranking DEEP officials from the first selectman requesting a review of the finding.  It is possible the town would need to pay for the genetic testing, which is fairly commonplace now. Mark indicated he should be involved with the design of the survey and testing to ensure that the state’s procedures are reasonable and fair.

In response to a question from Ed Bailey, Mark indicated that nine lakes in CT have this plant but he will need to determine how much they have.  If ten lakes turn out to have this plant, the plant moves from “threatened” status to “item of concern.”  The state’s concern is preservation of biodiversity. They also, however, have their concerns about the grass carp project.

Mark answered several detailed questions about the Potamogeton species, its vulnerability to harvesting and carp, and its presence in CT lakes.

Amy Poturnicki indicated that based on this development, our best option is to proceed with genetic testing to protect our future lake management projects. James Irish pointed out that it is important that we work closely with DEEP on the experimental design. He also recommended getting agreement in advance on how identification is done.

In response to a question from Randy Bernotas, Mark June-Wells indicated there was only one other endangered species that has been found in the lake in the past, but the state has never mentioned it.  The next meeting with the state is scheduled for August 30; Amy indicated that might get moved up if Mark can get information about a geneticist soon.

Motion to proceed with genetic testing and a challenge to the state’s findings made by Amy Poturnicki; seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

9. Carp Project

See Mark June-Wells’ report.

10. Beach Erosion/Geese Control

Kathy Connolly, landscape designer, made a presentation about the beach project.  She discussed the potential goals of the project, which include control of the goose population and control of the erosion and sand loss during storms because of the steep slope.  She showed mockups and made different recommendations while asking about the possible problems or challenges the committee foresees in creating a new beach topography. Committee members provided feedback and asked questions about options. Concern was raised about the area being closed in too much. Hannah Malcolm mentioned that the swim area is currently much smaller than is listed on the permit; Ed Bailey suggested that if the roped-off swim area is larger, the swim ropes might help with repelling geese as well. Amy Poturnicki agreed, and felt it would be a nice resolution, but noted that the geese are often on the beach even during the winter, she suggested that ropes would have to be in place and clipped to pilings in that area to deter geese in the off-season.

Motion to create a subcommittee to go over the proposed landscaping options by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by James Irish. The committee to include Amy, Daria, Hannah, and at least one other Park & Rec Committee member and another member of the community who uses the beach frequently. Passed unanimously.

11. Election of Officers

Motion by Robert Poturnicki to keep slate as is; seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously

12. Future Meeting Dates

Motion to keep meetings 4th Weds of every month made by Amy Poturnicki; seconded by James Irish.  Passed unanimously.

13. Misc.

Amy introduced two new committee members, Rick Santos and Hannah Malcolm of the Parks & Rec Commission.

14. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Rob Poturnicki; seconded by Randy Bernotas. Meeting adjourned 9:02 PM.

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee April 12, 2017

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Workshop

Wednesday April 12, 2017  7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center

1. Call to Order

Workshop was called to order at 7:10p

In attendance:  John Lindner, Rebecca Adams, Randy Bernotas, Robert Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Ed Bailey, Craig Lundell, Jim Irish

2. LakeSmart Home Program

Committee reviewed LakeSmart Home Program material put together by LakeSmart sub-committee.

3. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn at 8:15p made by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted by Amy Poturnicki

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee March 29, 2017

Lake Beseck Environment Committee
Special Meeting
Wednesday March 29, 2017, 7:00 PM
Middlefield Community Center

1.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Amy Poturnicki.

2.    Members Present
Randy Bernotas, Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, John Lindner, Daria Vander Veer, Rebecca Adams, Jon Brayshaw, Ed Bailey, Craig Lundell.   Buddy Altobello, Len Suzio, Larry Marsicano and Mark June-Wells also attended.

3.    Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda for March 29, 2017 special meeting made by Rebecca Adams; seconded by Robert Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

4.    Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of January 23, 2017 without changes made by Robert Poturnicki; seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

5.    Welcome and remarks by State Senator Len Suzio, and State Representative Buddy Altobello
Buddy Altobello told the committee that reps at the state level are dealing mainly with the budget and a host of bills; he indicated “everything is on the table” and the current atmosphere is “contentious,” which makes it difficult to predict what issues will be resolved and when.
Len Suzio mentioned that there is still grant money available, but it’s not clear where it will be awarded.  It does mean our STEAP proposal still has a chance – Ed Bailey indicated our application will be resubmitted shortly. The theme for grants this year is “intertown” issues. Len indicated he is aware of Lake Beseck issues and promised he would work on them, particularly trying to get a response from DEEP about the carp proposal.

6.    Public Comment
No members of the public were present.

7.    Chairman’s Report
Amy reported there was a delay in getting the lake water back to its spring level due to a problem with the key for closing the gate valve.  This problem has been fixed and the levels appear to be returning to normal. 
Amy indicated she is receiving pictures of geese on the beach already this spring; it is not yet as bad as it has been in past years, but it is important to keep working on that project to preserve water quality at the beach.
Despite repeated contact efforts, we haven’t heard from Country Flower Farms about the landscaping project; we will keep working but may need to focus on other projects in the meantime.

8.    Selectman’s Report  
Ed Bailey indicated there will be another round of STEAP grants this spring (there have been two rounds of awards for FY 2017 so far). Our current request – to improve the culvert on Lake Shore Drive and install a vortechnic unit at the outlet next to the beach  -- needs some updating, but Ed Bailey believes it is strong and will resubmit it. 
The First Selectman’s budget has been submitted to the Board of Finance, which they now have three months to consider. The numbers for our committee ($11,000 in the operating budget and approx. $10,000 for Mark June Wells in the capital account) are essentially the same as last year. The BOF has been supportive of efforts to improve the lake, and the monies in the last five years are the largest committed so far.
Ed Bailey passed out copies of Mark June Wells’ FY2016 “State of the Water Quality Report,” which is the second such report, and pointed out that this is the first consistent monitoring the lake has ever had. He also reviewed the general state of financial affairs for the town with respect to the state.
Jon Brayshaw noted he is looking forward to working on lake issues.

9.    Mark June-Wells Report
Mark went through the FY2016 report, and stressed that there has been a decrease in the overall phosphorus levels at the lake over the past three years.  This means a lower risk of algal blooms, and it suggests that the projects we have been undertaking “are working.” He outlined the actions taken recently during, or as a result of, the dam drawdown, including control of terrestrials and some sediment removal. Mark also mentioned that the dam drawdown caused the lake to lose 21 of the original 27 species of aquatic plants; that population decimation will need to be addressed.  Randy Bernotas asked whether the plants were truly gone or just not visible at present; Mark replied that, in the second year after the lake refill, we’ve seen explosions of the invasive species (pondweed and milfoil). He again mentioned grass carp as the most inexpensive and eco-friendly way to combat the milfoil problem; he is working with other lakes to analyze their carp programs, and has found that carp do not negatively affect water quality and can reduce milfoil populations significantly. In general, Bass populations in the lakes he has studied improved, possibly an indirect effect of the presence of carp.
However, Mark noted that if our grass carp proposal is rejected, he has already done risk assessments for herbicide options; another choice is harvesters, either rented or purchased by the town.  Either way, plant management must be a priority in the coming year.
Randy Bernotas expressed frustration that the committee is being held hostage by the DEEP’s failure to respond to the request to use carp; Len Suzio promised to follow up on the issue.  Len asked about the ideal time to introduce carp; Larry Marsicano, head of the CT Federation of Lakes and the Candlewood Lake Association, replied that early summer is the best time for maximum growth of the fish. Len also asked about dead plants from the use of herbicides; Mark acknowledged that adding to the biomass will increase phosphorous and the risk of algal blooms in future. He mentioned Rogers lake, which is mesotrophic, which used herbicides and experienced significant de-oxygenation shortly after. 
Mark June-Wells also mentioned the proposed Lake Smart Program and the watershed improvements (STEAP), floating islands and aeration as other ways the improve water quality.
John Lindner asked about the harvesting option; Mark June-Wells indicated the advantage is that the harvester actually removes the biomass from the lake, but a large-scale harvester costs $200,000 new/$100,000 used. Larry Marsicano mentioned that an individual at Lake Candlewood has purchased an eco-harvester --  which in theory pulls up the plants rather than just cutting them – although he is still learning how to use it. Larry also mentioned the cuttings themselves can be converted to mulch, and Candlewood is looking into options in that regard.
Len Suzio asked about the possibility of several lakes sharing the cost of an eco-harvester.  Mark June-Wells indicated it could be done, particularly if the lakes are infested with the same kinds of invasives. He estimated Lake Beseck’s littoral zone could be treated in perhaps 1-2 weeks, which would allow several small lakes to get their weeds harvested over a single summer. Len asked Mark for information about the harvesters and a list of other lakes that might be good candidates for a shared harvester.  Ed Bailey mentioned we had made a proposal that included a harvester in the past which was rejected, but which included much higher estimated costs for the town to own and maintain its own harvester.
John Lindner asked about the floating islands and the possible cost; Mark June-Wells indicated he felt it would be better to start with the Lake Smart program and asked Larry Marsicano to discuss.
Larry indicated that the Lake Smart program stresses better stewardship of the lake, often using pledge-level activities for individuals to participate on a small scale. He recommends creating a list of which BMPs (best management practices) we want to promote for Lake Beseck, and then reaching out to residents who will pledge to do these things and rewarding them – often with a plaque or similar signage. CFL has some basic signs we can use. Larry stressed that “engagement is key;” the movement tends to build on itself as people become proud of their efforts. Candlewood used Eagle Scout projects to move the program along. In response to a question from John Lindner, Larry confirmed that some residents simply won’t participate; the idea is to concentrate on the people who want to participate to increase social pressure on others.
Larry Marsicano handed out maps from Lake Candlewood’s program to radio-tag the grass carp to study where they are congregating (near the largest milfoil populations); individuals were given a chance to “adopt a carp.” 

10.    Projects/Outreach

  •  Lake Smart Program

Motion by Amy Poturnicki to create a subcommittee, consisting of Daria Vander Veer, Amy Poturnicki, John Linder, and Rebecca Adams, tasked with working with Mark June-Wells to create a Lake Smart Program for Lake Beseck, including a plan of action for implementation. Seconded by Randy Bernotas. Passed unanimously.

  • Beach Erosion/Geese Control 
  • Earth Day Sat April 22 suggestions – Mark June-Wells is ready to give a presentation on rain gardens/buffer zones and how to create them. 

Motion by Amy Poturnicki to hold the Earth Day workshop on rain gardens and buffer zones on April 22, 2017 from 9-10:30; seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

  • Open Forum – Amy Poturnicki described the previous open forums; no action was taken.

11.    Budget

Amy Poturnicki indicated the committee has about $6,000 remaining in the budget; she asked for project ideas for the upcoming year.  Suggestions included buffer zones around the northern curve of the lake to decrease erosion and prevent parking along the shoreline; purchase and installation of pet waste stations throughout the neighborhood; a lake cleanup day in the fall; purchase of Lake Smart signage; and floating islands for the northern portion of the lake. 

12.    Future Meeting Dates

Amy has looked at the town calendar and proposed meeting on Wednesdays in future; she suggested the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Motion to move the committee meeting dates to the fourth Wednesday of every month, with the next three dates being April 26, May 24, and June 28, 2017 made by Amy Poturnicki; seconded by Randy Bernotas. Passed unanimously.

13.    Misc.
No miscellaneous business.

14. Adjourn
Motion to adjourn made by Ed Bailey; seconded by Robert Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 9:11 PM.

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee January 23, 2017

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting

Monday January 23, 2017 7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center

1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:08pm. 

2. Members Present
Craig Lundell, Amy Poturnicki, Rob Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Jon Brayshaw, Daria Vander Veer, Rebecca Adams, John Lindner, Jay Brown.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:11pm. 3. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda of January 23, 2017 made by Amy Poturnicki; seconded by   Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously. 

4. Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of August 22, 2016, without amendments, made by  Amy Poturnicki; seconded by Craig Lundell.  Passed unanimously. 

5. Public Comment
No members of the public were present. 

6. Chairman’s Report
Amy reported that there has been no news on the STEAP grant; we have had no communication from DEEP. 

7. Selectmen’s Report  
Ed Bailey reported that no STEAP grants have been awarded at all since our last meeting, although there is still money available so there is some hope for the end of the fiscal year. The state is under extreme financial duress, so the near future “doesn’t look good.” Rebecca Adams agreed and supplied some additional details; she indicated new projects are facing a serious lack of funding. Jon Brayshaw asked whether funds for this committee were being included in the new budget.  Ed Bailey indicated that funding for small towns in general is endangered. 
Ed also reported that Mark has not heard anything from DEEP about our proposal to put carp into the lake; there is a general sense the fisheries staff are opposed to the idea. Rebecca Adams noted that the carp plan is a good example of a project that we could push for since it is a fiscally responsible option from the state’s perspective. Ed Bailey noted that the state may be holding off approval pending the results of the carp project in Candlewood Lake; he will speak to Len Suzio and Buddy Altobello. 
Speaking of the town budget, Ed recommended we continue at least year’s levels. Amy will ask Mark for a quote to repeat the testing he did last year. 
John Lindner asked, if we do not get a STEAP grant, what funding the town can plan for, longterm, to support our capital projects going forward. Ed Bailey explained some options for additional funding. 
Ed Bailey updated the committee on the work the Planning & Zoning Commission has been doing on the new Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), which includes a section on natural resources and open space, including ponds and lakes in the area. The plan identifies areas of interest but does not make many specific recommendations; Amy Poturnicki mentioned that much of what the POCD provides mirrors the recommendations made by Milone & MacBroom in their management study. Ed Bailey’s recommended that we make P&Z aware of the M&M report.  Otherwise, he and Amy agreed the P&Z plan is a good beginning; Rebecca Adams advised that committee members should go directly to P&Z to make specific recommendations to incorporate into the plan.  P&Z will have a special meeting on Feb. 15th to discuss the POCD, which is available online on the town’s site.  Amy indicated she planned to attend; Rebecca, Rob, and Randy said they would join her. Members were encouraged to review the M&M study and email Amy with specific recommendations. 
In response to a question, Ed Bailey indicated that the committee was not over budget.  About $8,000 has been budgeted for the committee work and $10,000 for the testing & lake management. 

8. Mark June-Wells Report
Mark June-Wells was not present. 

9. Misc. 
The committee discussed the plans for the spring project of creating buffer gardens along the lake edge and coordinating with Country Flower Farms for educational programs and owner discounts on lake-friendly plants. 
John Lindner mentioned that the next CFL convention will be in April at the CT Agricultural Experimental Station.  Members were encouraged to attend. 

Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Robert Poturnicki; seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously. 
Meeting was adjourned at 8:25. 

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee August 22, 2016

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting
Monday August 22, 2016, 7:00 PM
Middlefield Community Center

1.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM.

2.    Members Present
John Lindner, Rebecca Adams, Randy Bernotas, Robert Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Daria Vander Veer.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:07 PM.  Craig Lundel joined the meeting at 7:18 PM.  Darin Overton joined the meeting at 7:20 PM. Mark June-Wells (consultant) was also present.

3.    Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda of August 22, 2016 without changes made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

4.    Approval of July Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of the July 25, 2016 meeting without changes made by Robert  Poturnicki, seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

5.    Public Comment
No members of the public were present.

6.    Chairman’s Report
Amy reported that residents, although still frustrated by the abundance of milfoil, are grateful for the pickup option to store any harvested milfoil at the town beach.  Geese continue to be a problem on all sides of the lake; residents have tried different approaches but nothing seems to be working very well.

The committee discussed the garden plan; John Lindner indicated that the owner of Country Flower Farms has been on vacation but he hopes to meet with him later this week.  Daria Vander Veer suggested that a likely spot for the “example” garden would be the northern curve of the lake, since the banks are being eroded by people parking along the edge. 

7.    Selectmen Report
Ed Bailey reported that Mark June-Wells and selectmen walked the area with state representatives, from the dam southward, to try to find a place to contain any carp that might escape from the lake; the most likely spot is just below Blackbird Tavern, where the stream narrows and there used to be a water wheel.  John Brayshaw has agreed to allow an easement to let contractors access the property to build the containment structure.  Ed plans to speak with Mickey Fowler and get his permission as well.  Mark June-Wells indicated the state representatives noted the drop after the dam and seemed confident that it would kill any escaping fish.  Ed Bailey will follow up with the state after getting permission from Mickey Fowler; however, Mark June-Wells indicated that the tenor of the meeting gave him the impression that the representatives would not approve the carp plan based on the site walk.
Ed indicated that Peter Parker is looking into boulders to put at the town beach to be part of a buffer zone near the water.

8.    Mark June-Wells Report
Mark reviewed the state of the terrestrials in the south end of the lake and modified the treatment map with the idea of retaining some terrestrials in the southern end to sequester nutrients and sediments as well as providing additional habitat for wildlife. These steps reduced the total acreage needed for the herbicide treatment.  He has sent the modified plan to the contractor to get a modified quote. Mark indicated he will donate one staff member to the committee to oversee the actual application.

Mark indicated he expects the permit to be approved within the next few days, since he has provided all the materials they require.  He also has conditional BLM approval, and we have a bid from All Habitat Services.  Mark has also reached out to Pond and Lake Connection (New Milford) for a backup bid.

Randy Bernotas asked about the cleanup of the dead plants after treatment.  Mark indicated the biomass probably wouldn’t be great enough to warrant harvesting.

In response to a question from Amy, Mark indicated that treatment should begin as soon as possible but no later than mid-September.  The committee discussed the fact that some of the terrestrials have died off because of higher water levels, and some because of human harvesting.  Mark June-Wells stated, however, that the plants growing in the shallowest waters will persist unless treated.  He predicted a roughly 90% kill rate for the treated areas.

Daria Vander Veer mentioned that it’s important to get out the word about the positive aspects of the project, including leaving some plants for habitat, etc. Another point in favor of the treatment is that it is applied directly to the plants, not put into the water, so it will not even reach lethal doses for the plants in the water itself.

Ed Bailey asked about notification requirements; Mark indicated that signage would need to be put up at the beach, boat launch, and possibly a public notice in the newspaper.  He indicated the permit would indicate the requirements for notification.  Ed Bailey recommended having Mark write up an eco-restoration paragraph describing the project, so that the committee has something to provide to people asking about the herbicide application.

Motion to have Mark June-Wells write up a brief project synopsis to provide to the public made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by John Lindner.  Passed unanimously.

Motion to make a recommendation to the First Selectmen to proceed immediately with the herbicide treatment made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by John Lindner.  Passed unanimously.

The committee discussed options for redress if the carp application is denied, including asking Mark for his thoughts on how the process works and what might happen going forward.  There was additional discussion about the lack of response from the state and some of the apparently inconsistent decisions made at the state level about various lakes.   Mark provided his understanding of the history of the permitting process, state staffing levels, and the challenges posed by the current setup.

Members discussed the need for organization and a strategy to bring attention to the current situation, including working with the CT Federation of Lakes (Mark June-Wells is a board member).  

Ed Bailey asked about the algae; Mark June-Wells indicated that it hasn’t improved much, but he has contracted with a new lab that is enumerating the algae right now.

Mark indicated that there have been no signs of any weevils lately, and the milfoil is still looking “very healthy.” He also indicated that he was on the lake ten days ago and did the fourth year of data collection as part of the research study he began; the information will be written up for publication in a journal this year.  Mark said he welcomes assistance with editing and fact-checking.

9.    Weeds
Mark mentioned he had made an error in plant identification, and he has since modified his original maps with the correction.

10.    Misc.
Randy Bernotas asked about signage at the boat ramp re: speed limits.  Ed Bailey indicated signage is the state’s responsibility.

11.    Adjourn
Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Daria Vander Veer





Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee July 25, 2016

Lake Beseck Environment Committee

Monday July 25, 2016

Special Meeting

Middlefield Community Center


1.       Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 7:08 PM.

2.       Members Present

Randy Bernotas, Amy Poturnicki, Jon Brayshaw, Robert Poturnicki, James Irish, John Lindner, Daria Vander Veer, Ed Bailey. Rebecca Adams joined the meeting at 7:10PM.  Craig Lundell joined the meeting at 7:20PM. Mark June-Wells, consultant, was also present.

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda of July 25, 2016 made by Randy Bernotas; seconded by Robert Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

4.       Approval of June Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the June 27, 2016 meeting, without changes, made by Robert Poturnicki; seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman’s Report

Weeds: cleanup of swim area took place June 28.  Amy thanked those committee members who showed up to help.  Amy continues to get complaints from residents about the chopped-up pieces of milfoil created by the boats. Amy asked the town if there is anything that can be done; she was told that residents can pile up any milfoil they harvest next to the storage container on the south end of the beach.  The town will periodically collect it.

Randy Bernotas asked Mark June-Wells how the milfoil is able to reproduce when the pieces are floating around, suspended in water; Mark indicated the pieces eventually sink and then grow roots just like any other clipping.

Ed Bailey reported that the town lifeguards have been given equipment and instructions to clean up the beach daily.

Geese: More decoys were installed, although it’s not clear that they are working effectively.  Ed Bailey went over a few other options, such as LED lights, that haven’t been tried yet.

Buffer Zone Project: Amy met with Park & Rec and they are willing to work with us on the project.  John Lindner reached out to Country Flower Farms, who were receptive. A meeting is scheduled for later this week to discuss with CFF what plants we would need them to provide and how they can offer classes for local residents.

Grass Carp: Amy spoke with Indian Springs Golf Course and they were enthusiastic about the results they got with using grass carp within two years.  Water clarity improved and algae disappeared. Craig Lundell suggested holding an “Adopt A Carp” program to raise funds to purchase the carp and raise awareness. Amy sent a memo to lake residents about the program; feedback included questions about whether the carp would actually eat the milfoil.  Mark June-Wells indicated that they would, especially since the lake is essentially a monoculture at this time. Another concern was the carp taking over the lake, but that has been solved by using sterile carp and restocking the lake on a schedule. Mark June-Wells mentioned that the data on Ball Pond showed that the impact on the fish population depends on how much habitat the carp eat, thus opening up areas for different species of fish.  

7.       Mark June-Wells Report

Grass Carp Permitting: Mark has been talking with Peter Aristad in DEEP’s fish dept.  The department requested more information about the ownership of the lands beyond the dam; Mark provided that and offered them co-authorship on a paper about the lake.  He believes they will not be willing to let us install a structure on the dam to keep the fish from heading downstream, but we may be able to put something downstream of the dam instead. Peter Aristad is currently talking to the people in Land Management and will be back in touch; Mark plans to set up a site walk to show Peter Aristad the state of the lake.  Mark says the situation is “promising,” although DEEP is still non-committal.

Jim Irish asked about a schedule for actually getting the grass carp.  Mark indicated that he has been able to give Peter Aristad him all the information he has asked for and then some. If Peter is on board, Mark believes we have a good chance of getting the permit. However, it’s clear this project won’t happen this summer; Ed Bailey indicated the biggest challenge will be coming up with a structure to contain the carp that will satisfy the DEEP. Jim Irish recommended caution in how we publicize the carp project to avoid frustration for lake residents who may not understand how slowly the permitting process works.

The committee discussed the structures that would be needed to satisfy the DEEP, how it would be cleaned and maintained, and the properties affected.

Plant Control: Mark June-Wells has applied for a multi-year permit to clear up to nine acres of phragmites in the southern end of lake: Mark thinks we should manage the area as necessary to keep the phragmites under control, especially in front of the property of one owner who can no longer use his boat due to the overgrowth.  However, Mark suggested that we might also use the phragmites’ ability to catch nutrient and sediments to our advantage by leaving some of them in place to clean the water flowing into the lake from Powder Ridge.  We have options we can exercise depending on how well the partial clearing seems to be working.  Ed Bailey pointed out the optimum treatment time is August/September, so we would need to get approval within the next 30 days to take any action this year.

Water Clarity: Mark June-Wells reported he observed 3.63 meters of water clarity this year, which is very good.  He reminded the committee about the floating island concept as “something to think about as we are designing the ecosystem that we want.” In response to a question from Jon Brayshaw, Mark indicated that the water clarity may be due to the milfoil, and that in addition, the sediments that were exposed during the drawdown may have oxidized, which would bind up the oxygen.

8.       Selectmen Report

Ed Bailey mentioned the town has been looking at the culvert under the lake at Lake Shore Dr.  They’ve applied for a STEAP grant but it likely won’t be approved until next year. The culvert is compromised and must be repaired soon.

Ed Bailey provided a native plant list provided by the CT River Coastal Conservation District that might be useful for the buffer zone project. He recommended the plants, saying he has had good success with several on the list. Randy Bernotas also indicated he has had success with clethra plants. John Lindner shared a newsletter from Candlewood Lake that includes information about plants and relevant websites. Amy recommended Craig Lundell be closely involved with the buffer zone project.

In response to a question from John Lindner, Amy indicated she’d like to see the buffer zone project start right away, given the urgency of the goose problem. The “Lake Smart” program would most likely get underway next spring.

Ed Bailey provided a report from the DEEP about geese as a state problem and the town’s response to the survey.

STEAP awards: Ed Bailey reported a round was done in February but we have heard nothing since. He expects there will not be anything more until September/October. He expects we have a good chance with our application.

9.       Election of Officers


Motion to elect Amy Poturnicki as Committee Chair for the 2016-2017 term made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by Craig Lundell; passed unanimously.

Motion to elect Craig Lundell as Committee Vice Chair for the 2016-2017 term made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Robert Poturnicki; passed unanimously.

Motion to elect Daria Vander Veer as Committee Secretary made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by Amy Poturnicki; passed unanimously.

10.   Committee meeting dates

The committee agreed that the fourth Monday of every month works well for everyone, on the following dates:

August 22, 2016, September 26, 2016, October 24, 2016, November 28, 2016, December 26, 2016,  January 23, 2017, February 27, 2017, March 27, 2017, April 24, 2017, May 22, 2017, June 26, 2017

Motion to approve the 2016-2017 calendar of meeting dates made by Ed Bailey, seconded by Robert Poturnicki; passed unanimously.

11.   Miscellaneous

12.   Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by Ed Bailey; passed unanimously.   Meeting adjourned 8:30PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Daria Vander Veer


Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee June 27, 2016

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting

Monday June 27, 2016, 7:00

Special Meeting

Middlefield Community Center


1.       Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:11 PM.

2.       Members Present

John Lindner, Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, Daria Vander Veer, Mark June-Wells, Randy Bernotas, James Irish, Craig Lundell, Rebecca Adams, Ed Bailey.

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda for 6/27/16 made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by James Irish.  Passed unanimously.

4.       Approval of May Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the May 23, 2016 meeting without changes made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman’s Report

STEAP Grant:  no news at present.

Weeds: Amy took a trip to Bashan lake to look at the equipment they are using to cut weeds.  The milfoil is definitely a serious problem in Lake Beseck this year; she has received feedback from local citizens unhappy about the amount of dying plants floating near their houses.

A cleanup of the swim area is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 at 5:00PM. 

Geese: more decoys have been ordered; the town is exploring options for how to deter the geese without having up tape that makes it look like the beach is closed.  The current tape is prone to high winds; the town is looking for a more permanent solution.  Amy noted that the water quality has remained good, which is fortunate considering other local areas have been closed.

7.       Mark June-Wells Report

Water quality and clarity have been good; in June clarity has dropped to 2 feet (from 15 feet in April), but that is normal.  The lake is already on the eutrophic side, and phosphorous levels have risen.

Mark June-Wells conducted a plant survey, and there is more bad news than good.  Good news is that some native species have begun to return.  Bad news is that potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) is also returning.  Mark also found a single plant of trapa natans (water chestnut) and destroyed it; he hopes that is the only instance.  But the main bad news is the myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil), which now inhabits 29% of the water body.  Mark found no weevils in the milfoil.  Robert Poturnicki asked if Mark has been seeing weevils in other lakes; Ed Bailey read from a newsletter for Candlewood Lake, which was exploring the use of weevils from 2008-2013 but did not succeed in getting enough weevils and finally decided to use sterile grass carp instead. 

Mark June-Wells indicated that carp can be effective, but Lake Beseck has other plant species besides milfoil the carp may prefer to eat, and the carp won’t eat ceratophyllum demersum, which we also have in the northern portion of the lake.  Mark said there is a chance the DEEP would entertain the idea of using carp in Lake Beseck; we would need about 500 fish at approx. $6 per fish, based on a formula: vegetated acreage x stocking rate (15 fish/acre) x percentage of infestation.  James Irish asked how such a process would get started, since the carp would be a minimal expense; Mark offered to begin conversations with the DEEP.  In response to questions from Amy Poturnicki, Mark June-Wells indicated we have the data to begin applying for a permit, which might require a site visit, and that the fish usually grow to full size and start making impacts in the first two years.

Mark June-Wells also mentioned one challenge: A fence would have to be installed near the dam to prevent the fish from heading over the dam; debris will collect in any fence so it will have to be maintained.  The state will need to be involved with any such project.

Daria Vander Veer asked about whether native species could be planted if the carp knock the milfoil and other invasives back sufficiently.  Mark indicated there are nurseries that specialize in wetland plants if we wanted to buy plants to add into the lake.

Amy Poturnicki worried that the pike currently living in Lake Beseck would eat young carp.  Mark indicated we would need to buy carp large enough to survive, which would cost slightly more.

Motion that Mark June-Wells should contact the DEEP to start a dialogue about applying for the necessary permits to introduce carp into the lake, and begin the permit process.  Made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Daria Vander Veer.  Passed unanimously. 

Jim Irish recommended we move as swiftly as possible on this plan.

Mark June-Wells also submitted a report to the committee that outlined other options for treatment of invasive plants, including various herbicides and their descriptions as well as mechanical approaches such as harvesting.  Both solutions would need to be done by professionals.  John Lindner asked whether we would want to use herbicides along with carp, and Mark said no.


8.       Selectmen Report

Ed Bailey mentioned there has been a problem with people swimming at the boat launch.  The resident troopers are aware of the problem, and temporary signs have been posted; DEEP is expected to add more permanent signs shortly.

Ed Bailey demonstrated the “V cutters” that can be used to harvest plants by hand and are in use in Lake Bayshan.  There was some discussion of which organization should pay for the cutters, which can be purchased online and cost approximately $150.  The committee considered which entity would be paying for the cutters Ed Bailey had already purchased; which organizations, such as the Lake Beseck Association, might want to purchase additional cutters, and the liability challenges of determining who would be allowed to use the cutters.

9.       Weeds, geese, beach

John Lindner made recommendations of spots where we might do a demonstration of a property buffer garden so the public can see what such buffers would look like.  Ideas included the town beach, Rover’s Lodge, or the curve around the northern portion of the lake, where traffic passes by. 

Ed Bailey asked about the current status of the terrestrial plants and the permit application for treating them.  Mark June-Wells indicated that the terrestrials seem to be thinning out and that, although the permits have not been received, treatment can be applied as late as September to still be effective.

Amy Poturnicki asked Mark June-Wells for an estimate of the cost of a buffer zone at the beach.  Mark indicated that if we did it ourselves, he estimated $500 for the cost of the plants. Hiring a company to do the labor would substantially increase the cost.  The committee discussed various options for planting both on the grassy sides of the waterfront and in the sandy areas.  John Lindner recommended involving Country Flower Farms in this project; if they set up the demo they could put up a sign to earn business.

Motion to proceed with a buffer garden at the beach made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously. 

Ed Bailey pointed out that the lake is under the control of Parks & Rec; the committee will need to work with P&R on this project.

John Lindner raised the “Lake Smart Home Certification” concept as a way to increase awareness among homeowners.  We would need to tailor the items to Lake Beseck and then, perhaps, do a targeted mailing to homeowners at the water’s edge.

Amy asked Ed Bailey whether the town could provide support to those homeowners who are complaining about the amount of weeds floating past their house.  Ed indicated some limited help may be possible.

Ed Bailey discussed various options he has learned about for controlling the geese; the town is working on ways to impede the geese’s field of vision using various materials.

Ed Bailey indicated that at the June 20 BOS meeting, the committee was reappointed with all current members including John Lindner as the newest member.  Amy recommended including the new Park & Rec staffer, when he/she is hired, to be involved with the committee.

10. Adjourn


Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Craig Lundell.  Meeting adjourned 8:55 PM.

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee May 23, 2016

Lake Beseck Environment Committee Meeting

Monday May 23, 2016 - 7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center


1. Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 7:04PM.

2. Members Present

John Lindner, Amy Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Mark June-Wells, Randy Bernotas, James Irish

3. Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda of May 23 without changes made by James Irish ; seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

4. Approval of April Minutes

Motion to approve minutes of the April 2016 meeting made by Craig Lunda; seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

5. Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6. Chairman’s Report

STEAP grant – submitted by the town, but we haven’t heard anything yet.  First round has gone out, but we have heard nothing so far.

Weeds – milfoil has been spotted and is fairly dense up to 12 feet of depth.  Mark confirmedthis observation.

We have been asked to give feedback on our Canada geese population; the state’s aware of the problem and wants to know if any of the solutions they have proposed have worked.  Amy filled out the form and submitted it.

Budget: capital funding for the lake was approved a few weeks ago.  We did get approved for the plant survey and for the $15,000 capital fund.  This leaves us with a balance of close to $50,000. Jim Irish suggested that it would be a good amount for a matching grant.

The committee will also be re-approved by the Selectmen in an upcoming meeting.  Amy checked with members to make sure they are all still willing to serve.

7. Mark June-Wells Report

We have been working with Mark for almost four years, and we have a good database of information. The expected loss of quality after the massive drawdown/dam repair did not materialize, so Mark is hoping the good quality will continue. The annual stratification is occurring, of course, so the last half-meter of the lake at the bottom is deoxygenated, so internal loading (phosphorous & ammonia release) is beginning.  This is normal.  Mark recommend against any drastic measures for controlling water quality at this time, but says there are some small measures we can take.

Randy asked why the water quality is so good, and whether the cool spring helped.  Mark responded that the lake has a good flushing rate, which helps.

As far as plants, the milfoil is back and it’s growing densely and fragmenting.  Mark has not spotted any curlyleaf pondweed so far, especially in the littoral zone.  The native plant community was significantly impacted by the dam repair drawdown, from 20 species to eight or nine. That wasn’t unexpected, but it means the milfoil has more opportunity to dominate and move into the spaces left by the native plants. Many lakes are seeing productive plant communities because of the mild winter; Mark foresees this situation maintaining for at least another year. His next proposed step is a survey to quantify the size of the milfoil patches in early June so we can have a sense of the size of the problem and decide what to do next year to tackle it. Approximate cost of survey: $1200-$1500. Amy remarked that this amount was in the 2016-2017 budget. Mark will also survey the terrestrial invasives at no additional cost.

Motion for Mark June-Wells to do a survey of the milfoil population of the lake made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by John Lindner.  Passed unanimously.

Mark indicated it is time for the committee to set up some short- and long-term goals based on what information we have after four years of study. He recommends, for instance, goals for management of the milfoil, perhaps by reintroduction of the weevils, as well as other low-cost ways to maintain water quality. He suggested committee members think separately about goals and bring them to the next meeting. He also mentioned that permitting with the DEEP this year is very slow; we may be able to get permission to do something with the terrestrials, for instance, but it would be very unlikely we would get permission to do anything with the milfoil this year.

Mark indicated that he also put in a multi-year permit for chemical treatments that we can continue for up to three years with additional payments.  In response to a suggestion by Jim Irish that perhaps some raking of certain areas in the southern half might be beneficial, Mark also mentioned that some mechanical actions, like raking, may only require permission rather than a DEEP permit.

John Lindner asked for additional details about the milfoil weevils and Mark described how little is known about the weevils and promised to look for weevils while doing the survey. Amy recalled that in the past, strategies with weevils were very expensive; Mark promised to look into the potential costs.

The committee also discussed other plant options and whether natives could be introduced into the lake to help crowd out the milfoil. Mark answered questions about plant growth cycles and which areas of the lake have the greatest challenges.

8. Selectmen Report

Ed Bailey was not present for the meeting.

9. Outreach

The Town Times ran Mark’s article in a cutdown journalistic form for Earth Day. John Lindner suggested coming up with a simple program for the people right on the lake to get discounts or other easy ways to convince people to do some simple things with their lawns.  Mark June-Wells knows some people in this line of work; he can contact them for ideas. A similar idea would be a “certification,” such as the CFL uses, to show homes that are “lake-smart” and have signs on their lawns to show their level – gold, silver, etc.  Mark suggested that peer pressure might help get residents who live on the lake to do more with their properties.

Motion to implement a “Lake Smart” program for Lake Beseck made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by John Lindner.  Passed unanimously.

Randy suggested a fly-over video and pictures of the lake; Mark will look into buying a drone to get some footage.

10. Lake clean-up

The cardboard boat race is coming up on June 5th; Amy suggested the upcoming Memorial Day weekend for the cleanup. Another idea is for each person to clean his or her roads during the week; Daria suggested cleaning the northern end of the lake early one morning as a high-profile event. The Committee tentatively set 8:00 Saturday morning for the cleanup.

Motion to hold the lake cleanup on Saturday, May 28th at 8:00AM made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by John Lindner.  Passed unanimously.

11. Misc.

12. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:29PM.


Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee April 11, 2016

Lake Beseck Environment Committee

Special Meeting Minutes

Monday April 11, 2016, 7:00 PM

1.       Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.

2.       Members Present

Ed Bailey, Amy Poturnicki, Rob Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Craig Lundell, Jim Irish, Daria Vander Veer

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda without changes made by Ed Bailey and seconded by Rob Poturnicki; passed unanimously.

4.       Approval of November Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the November 23, 2015 made by Ed Bailey and seconded by Rob Poturnicki; passed unanimously.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman’s Report

The lake is finally filled; Amy reported that we were not able to act on some of the ideas of the November meeting as far as testing the cutting of the terrestrials because the water levels were too high. 

Mark wants to do a quantitative study of the plant community, now that the lake is full; Amy approached the BOF for the $1500 needed.  Jim Irish indicated that amount will be added to the $8,000 budget request.

7.       Mark June-Wells Report

Tabled in Mark’s absence.  Amy indicated that Mark is not sold on the aeration system that John Tucci had showed us, and recommends consulting with one of two chemical limnologists (Ken Wagner or Bob Cortman) that can engineer an aeration system specific to Beseck Lake.  These specialists would also be who we would want to consult with to weigh out an aeration system vs an alum treatment.

8.       First Selectman’s Report

We received the National Diversity Database analysis that was one of the required factors for getting permission to treat the terretrials with herbicides.  Mark June-Wells has recommended we give DEEP a few weeks to process before checking in with them.  The original target was to get this information to the state by March; with luck we could have a permit by the end of June.  Two endangered plants may be present in the lake that (Vasey’s pondweed and northern arrowhead) that we would need to be careful not to treat.  Mark has indicated that he has not seen these in the lake.

9.       STEAP Grant

State issued a request in December for applications.  The application will be to replace & stabilize the culvert that runs under Lake Shore Drive, install a particle separator and widen the road.  Estimated cost: $500,000.  Ed has engaged our state rep and senator to help move the application forward.  Grants are awarded in batches; we were not in the initial group so will have to wait and see.  Ed went over additional details of the proposed work to repair the culvert.

Ed passed out the 2015 summary report from Aquatic Ecosystem Research and indicated that Mark can go over the report at the next meeting.  Amy has passed some of these numbers to some people who want to look into other possible systems for filtering the water.

Jim Irish indicated the BOF has a “good appetite” for continuing to fund the activities of the committee.  He indicated the board recognizes the lake as an asset to the town and Amy has done a good job of explaining the ongoing maintenance needs.

10.   Outreach for Earth Day

Jim Irish suggested a feature-length article for the Town Times on the lake’s recent challenges with terrestrials, phosphorous loading, etc., and the committee’s efforts to effect improvement.  Amy will have Mark June-Wells draft up an article and Daria offered to help edit.

Motion to ask Mark June-Wells to write an article for the Town Times made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

11.   Misc.

Ed mentioned that the town will be using salt going forward rather than sand on the roads, in part because of the difficulty in cleaning up and disposing of the tailings afterward. It was agreed, however, that the town needs to improve the method of laying down the salt since it is currently being put down very heavily.

12.   Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Rob Poturnicki and seconded by Craig Lundell.  Meeting adjourned 8:12pm.


Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee November 23, 2015

Lake Beseck Environment Committee

Monday November 23, 2015

7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:14 PM.

2. Members Present

Ed Bailey, Jim Irish, Randy Bernotas, Rob Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Rebecca Adams, Darin Overton, Daria Vander Veer. Craig Lundell joined the meeting at 7:40.  Also present, Mark June-Wells.

3. Approval of Agenda

4. Approval of August Minutes

Motion to approve August minutes, without changes, made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Rob Poturnicki.  Motion passed unanimously.

5. Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6. Chairman’s Report

Drawdown of Lake is running behind.  Although Town received notification of the drawdown from the Commissioner in October, the division of DEEP who draws our lake down did not.  Without this paper they could not proceed.  In addition, they added that they are still learning the new weir board system. They put a call into Ted Rybak to see what they needed for a drawdown below 3 feet.  Due to confined space, there was question as to who is qualified to complete this process below the 3’ level.  Today the lake is down about 2.5 feet and is dropping about 2” per day.  TC to Ted today.  Buddy Altobello will follow up tomorrow.

Bashan Lake – Bashan Lake has been staying in contact as they feel they are heading down the same path as us regarding Cattails and Phragmites, for which they have become inundated as a result of not being able to get water back into their lake.  They sought help from several professional consultants that lead them in the direction of spraying the plants.  The Bashan Lake Assoc. raised funds for a target treatment date for Sept. 21 to maximize effectiveness.  They were set back by DEEP permitting delays that resulted in a late, Oct. 14,15 (and likely ineffective treatment due to being late in season followed by freeze) A DEEP Botanist weighing in on the NDDB review also limited use of the herbicide specifically to Phragmites, and mechanical management of cattails as follows:

Herbicide applications should be restricted to spot treatments of the invasive Common reed (Phragmites australis). The use of herbicides on annual species which have already set seed would not confer any control in 2016. In addition, cattails can be successfully managed through alternate means as noted below.”  “Although increasing water levels should reduce the density of Broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia) at Bashan Lake, control of this species may be hastened by cutting or crimping above-ground vegetation in autumn or early winter. Severing the link between roots and aerenchymal leaf tissue should induce stress by extending the period during which rhizomes must convert starches anaerobically. If pursued, mowing should be conducted using low-ground pressure equipment.”

A complaint went out to Commisioner Klee, followed by a meeting with him today.  Chuck Lee expressed that residents are over-reacting and that their lake is acting like a wetland and will return to acting like a lake once refilled.  When Bashan used Beseck as an example, Chuck stated that Lake Beseck weeds are dying off.  The new Deputy Commissioner, Mike Sullivan expressed need to address priority situations but stated that there are issues with limited staffing. 

Amy believes the experience of Bashan is a cautionary tale to us if we go the route of applying for permission to spray. 

Terrestrials – Neither the Town nor Mark heard back from DEEP after Mark’s re-eval of the lake despite multiple contact attempts.  We need to keep in mind that the Land Acquisition group meets every 3 months, next meeting would be March.  We would need to apply for any permits now for March review.  Additionally, there is only 1 person reviewing treatment permits in the entire state.

Mark advised that there is a backlog of almost 3 months.  Ed Bailey suggested we get the application in and figure out later whether we are going to do it.  Darin Overton asked what the cost of the permit would be; Mark June-Wells said it’s between $50 and $75, and he can fill it out on our behalf.  Amy mentioned that Bashan worked with both the Ag Station and DEEP, and three bids, and that all parties steered them towards spraying.  Mark indicated we can get multi-year applications; Ed recommended we apply for both spring and late fall.  Mark mentioned he doesn’t have a supervisory license so All Habitat would have to prescribe the amounts and types. Randy Bernotas asked whether the end date of the drawdown would be moved back since it didn’t start on time; he needs to work on his seawall. Mark June-Wells indicated that to control the terrestrial plants, the best approach would be to inundate the plants as quickly as possible in the spring (e.g., ideally fill the lake by March).  Amy worried that requesting a delay in filling the lake might give DEEP something else to blame for the success of the invasives. Rob Poturnicki suggested coordinating more closely with Bashan Lake to increase numbers and citizen power. Darin Overton and Mark June-Wells pointed out that Beseck has had advice from both Milone & MacBroom and Mark (and Bashan consulted with at least three organizations) and all were in favor of spraying.   In the event that it is decided that treating the terrestrials is the best course of action, Amy recommended that we go ahead and put an the application in now for spraying to prevent future delays, as well as cut the cattails per the botanist recommendation to Bashan Lake (which was to cut by “early winter.”) Darin recommended setting up a test plot with a control area and asking DEEP to send the botanist to show us how to cut.  In a few weeks the south end will be walkable if the drawdown continues. 

Motion to create three test areas to determine if cutting cattails would result in effective management made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Jim Irish.  Motion passed unanimously.

Mark June-Wells recommended three 10’x10’ plots of cut and uncut test areas to have enough to make a compelling case.  He cautioned that as the lake fills, we’ll have trouble finding the plots.  He recommended using buoys so that, as the water rises, the buoys come up and mark the areas.  He also can lend us his GPS so we can identify them easily, and each section should be marked.  Rob Poturnicki recommended three plots, each one 10’ by 20’, with one-half cut and the other uncut for side-by-side comparison.  Randy Bernotas suggested going into the middle of a thick growth area and cutting a 10x10 square so it would be easy to see whether it grows back or not.

7. Mark June-Wells Report

Mark reported that there’s been a lot of investigation of the nutrient loading on Lake Beseck and evidence now points towards internal loading as the culprit.  He handed out five pages of charts and went over them:

1)      Temp & dissolved O2 profiles. These show significantly low oxygen levels to 6 meters starting in April, building through August and falling back off again in September.  This correlates with a spike in specific conductance, which means metals (mostly iron) are present below 6 meters.

2)      RTRM (relative thermal resistance to mixing): calculated off the temperature and density of water.  Very high in the summer months below 4 meters. The upper and lower levels resist mixing and means the lower levels remain deoxygenated.  That leads to the release of nutrients, including iron, in the lower levels, and significant ion loading.

3)      Specific conductance: spike in specific conductance at deoxygenated zone, metals and nutrients are being released by the sediment due to aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Likely Iron, Ammonia and Phosphorus.

4)      Nutrients N, P: Total nitrogen (TKN) at depths of 1 meter.  We get a spike of N in the early spring due to spring flush, that is used by the algae community and drops off into August, then spikes again at the end of the season is due to mixing of the lake. Bottom water N is present primarily as ammonia and increases throughout the entire season due to lack of dissolved oxygen, which is an internal nitrogen load that is happening. Total Phosphorus results from lab were suspect April through July.  We saw an increase in October due to mixing of the lake.  Deep water P, remained consistent through majority of season, which is the internal loading of P from sediments.

5)      Algal counts and secci depths: notable is that we do not have a diatom community, and are dominated by dinoflagellates early in the season and greens and blue/greens toward the end. These tend to be associated with water clarity issues.

So what does this all mean? The lake has a significant oxygen demand on the system, which leads to an internal load in phosphorous.  The good news is that the nitrogen that’s present keeps the blue/green algae at bay.  Mark will have a summarized report that can be presented to the DEEP.

Amy Poturnicki asked how Mark’s figures compare from before and after the work on the dam.  The concern is that we would need to see a rebound of invasive plants to prove the damage the drawdown might have done. Mark agreed we should apply for an AIS grant given the milfoil seems to have rebounded so strongly.

The committee discussed ideas for increasing the visibility of what is happening; one suggestion was to go to NPR and get on John Dankowski’s show, the downside would be negative exposure for property owners, those trying to sell/rent their properties, the worry that it could impact resell value. Rebecca Adams suggested having the state rep bring up legislation in the February session that would force DEEP to come to the table and give us an opportunity to testify. It was agreed that Buddy Altobello should get involved.  Ed Bailey will speak to him and ask if a political strategy could be put into action.

Darin Overton recommended publishing a timeline that includes events and decisions – and who made them – and include Mark’s work and the natural events.  A timeline will make it clear where mistakes have been made; Amy Poturnicki asked Ed Bailey to draft one.

Randy Bernotas asked whether it was possible for the cattails and phragmites to die out.  Mark indicated he didn’t think so: Jim confirmed that the phragmites rhizomes are extremely large.

Motion to have Mark June-Wells proceed with the permitting application for spray-treating the invasive terrestrials made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Craig Lundell.  Motion passed unanimously.

8. Selectmen Report

The state is now accepting STEAP applications.  Ed Bailey indicated the town has to scope out projects the state’s looking for; construction projects tend to be favored, or things like “town center” plans to develop central part of the town.  If we get approved for the treatments he indicated that we have the monies available to do them.

9. Grants

10. Misc.

The group discussed the future of the lakeside deli.

11. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Rob Poturnicki and seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Motion passed unanimously; meeting adjourned 8:32 PM.


1.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Amy Poturnicki at 7:10 PM.

2.    Members Present
Robert Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Amy Poturnicki, Daria Vander Veer.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:12PM.  James Irish joined the meeting at 7:29. Also present, Mark June-Wells.

3.    Approval of Agenda
Motion by Amy Poturnicki to approve the agenda of August 25 without changes; second by Robert Poturnicki.  Motion approved unanimously.

4.    Approval of June Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of the June meeting, without changes, by Robert Poturnicki; second by Craig Lundell.  Motion approved with one abstention.

5.    Public Comment
No members of the public were present.

6.    Chairman’s Report  
Phraghmites and Cattails - The Town received word back from CTDEEP. They concluded that the best management action would be to reassess aquatic vegetation coverage after the lake has refilled in 2016. In their notes they suggested that most if not all of the inundated plants are unlikely to survive, they also mentioned a lack of native submergent vegetation, and that phragmites and cattails provide useable cover habitats for the fish community. They recommended that the Town request that the CT Ag Station resurvey and map aquatic vegetation in 2016. 
Mark took a second look at the weeds following DEEP’s response to the Town.  Weeds in shallow water appeared healthy and he expects them to survive and spread. In addition, he mapped out aquatic vegetation that he feels is adequate cover for the fish. His report was forwarded on to our legislators. 
Beach - We’ve been experiencing beach closures this year due to localized high bacteria levels, believed to be the result of the large numbers of geese occupying the beach this summer.  This could possibly be due to the terrestrials forcing them out of their usual territory. Abutting property owners have been chasing them away. The Town has purchased decoys as a deterrent, which seems to be working.  Lifeguards and Public Works had been trying to keep up with the amount of waste produced by the geese.  P&R is currently looking into hiring their landscaper to run through the beach, now that geese have, at least temporarily, fled the scene. Mark was working on a price quote from a lab that does estrogen testing to rule out a sewer leak.

Change in Secretary – Nominate Daria Vander Veer

Motion by Amy Poturnicki to nominate Daria Vander Veer as committee secretary; second by Ed Bailey.  Motion approved unanimously.

7.    Selectman’s Report
Ed Bailey indicated that he submitted Mark’s latest memo to Jon Brayshaw who will forward it on to the state.   Regarding the geese, efforts will need to continue.  Parks and Recreation will need to work on discouraging geese early in the spring before populations start to build up on the beach.  The committee members discussed methods for deterring the presence of the Canada geese; it was agreed that putting a barrier up along the edge of the water will discourage them from staying.  Craig Lundell maintained that a simple rope fence along the water would suffice.  Other ideas included adding floating swans to the water.  It was agreed the geese normally overnight in the southern parts of the lake, and the presence of the cattails in those areas have disturbed their normal pattern.

Jim Irish asked whether there would be a likelihood of the town getting a permit to do an application this fall; Mark noted that the state is very far behind on permitting applications, so it seems unlikely that a permit would be processed for this year.  October would be the very latest that an herbicide could be applied, which may not allow enough time for a NDDB review among other delays.

Rob Poturnicki asked what could be done during the drawdown besides spraying.  Mark June-Wells indicated that both the cattails and the phragmites replicate by rhizomes, and so would need to be pulled up by the root systems.  While they can be easy to pull out, he indicated that it would take a great deal of work to eradicate the entire rhizome without leaving some behind.  

Jim Irish noted that he has been finding milfoil around his dock and asked if anyone else had seen it.  Mark passed out his findings and stated that the milfoil is pretty well re-established along with several other native and invasive plants the lake had before.  Ed asked what, if anything, the coming six-foot drawdown this winter would do to terrestrials.  Mark indicated he didn’t think the drawdown would do very much to affect the plants and realistically they will be back regardless.  When asked what the best time next year for an herbicide application would be, Mark indicated in August, when plants are photosynthesizing and actively transporting significant amounts of material to the roots, not away from the roots.  Ed Bailey noted that people would be facing the same terrestrial problem all over again.  Mark stated that you could go a little earlier, like the end of July, you don’t want to get them when they are just popping .  The situation would require early pressuring of the state.  Amy recommended getting the state to commit now to plant remediation next year if their “wait and see” approach doesn’t work.  Ed suggested he will work with Jon Brayshaw to write a letter asking for a commitment from the state.

8.    Mark June-Wells’ Report
Mark June-Wells mentioned that the phosphorus levels dropped off “precipitously” in July, and he is not certain of the cause.  Algae levels are normal, so perhaps the explanation lies in the long-term exposure of the lake bed during the drawdown.  He indicated we are seeing new, unprecedented situations now between the extreme drawdown and the fact that there is consistent monitoring.  The water has been mostly clear, with oddly low phosphorous, to the point that Mark has been having the lab retest. He stated “We are off the norm for Lake Beseck” and we will need to see how the rest of the season goes. Rob Poturnicki noted the major melt-off at Powder Ridge. Mark stated the effects of the drawdown haven’t been what he expected, anticipating this to be the richest year for water quality and domination of algae – but instead he is seeing low nutrient levels, no algal blooms as of yet, and a quicker rebound of certain aquatic plants.  He will probably publish some of the results.  Mark described the mapping he performed of plants in the lake.  He disagreed with the assessment of the DEEP that stated aquatic plants cover only a small portion of the lake; his memo reiterated his perspective that management should take place in following the initial arrangement that was described in the interim report, he also described how terrestrial plants may be causing the problem with geese at the beach.  Rob Poturnicki noted that Bashan Lake is experiencing the same cattail problems as a result of a similar drawdown.  Mark will continue to monitor, especially keeping an eye on the Eurasian Milfoil population.

Jim Irish asked for guidance on how to eradicate the rhizomes, describing his efforts of digging deep “horned” roots out with a gardening fork. He wondered whether the committee should provide information to lake residents who might want to pull plants during the drawdown, as most having docks only took the tops off of the plants.  Mark spoke about the phragmites and two species of typha in the lake, one that is more resistant to deeper water depths that have underground rhizome systems requiring significant work, to a degree that they won’t come back. It was noted when the lake was empty, few took advantage of weed removal and that fewer would likely try to remove the entirety of these root systems.

9.    Beach Water Quality / Geese
The estrogen testing quote came back at $250 per sample.  Mark recommended testing for estrogen starting with one sample from the swim area to minimize cost; if estrogen is determined to be present then start chasing it.  Ed asked what levels would be enough to be an indication of a human waste problem; Mark will look into that.  Ed Bailey explained that if there was a leak in the sewer system, “the experience with sewer leaks we’ve had is that it is very obvious. You would smell it and you would see it, because the system is totally pressurized. If there is a breach, it is just pumping out.” He doubts that is the problem.

10.    Adjournment
Motion to adjourn by Robert Poturnicki; second by Craig Lundell.  Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10PM.