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 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.

None

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

MINUTES
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. 


10.Adjourn
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
Secretary

 

 

 

 

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

Nominations:

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

Secretary

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.

MINUTES OF LAKE BESECK ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE - AUGUST 25 2015

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.

 

 

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee - June 29 2015

Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee - June 29 2015

1) Call to order at 7:11p

2) Members present – Ed Bailey, Rob Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Randy Bernodas, Jim Irish, Craig Lundell, Rebecca Adams; also present - Jon Brayshaw, Mark June-Wells

3) Approval of Agenda - Motion by Rob Poturnicki, Second by Amy Poturnicki, all in favor

4) Public Comment – none

5) Mark June-Wells Report: on file with Town Clerk

Summary- Mark looked at distribution of terrestrial plants throughout lake, estimated at 11-17 acres. Taking a conservative approach, he mapped patches above .3 acres using a polygon, below .3 acres was marked as a point.  Reference - Map, Fig. 1 of report.  Mark stated issue is directly tied to dam repair that allowed plants to take a strong foothold by extensive drawdown of over a year and no competition of aquatic plants. He expects plants to survive in shallow waters, impacting recreation, navigational issues to boaters, and property values. Advises issue will be a long term management problem if not taken care of now, due to rapid invasion, high sedimentation that would eventually result in marshland.  Given scope of problem and variation of sediment types throughout areas of impact, two recommended approaches:  1) hydroraking – non-selective, impacting native plants, inefficient, very expensive2) herbicide – highest rate of success, Imazapyr being herbicide of choice given aquatic environment. It would have little to no impact to other aquatic plant life below water. When asked about safety, and how it is applied if State were to take herbicide approach, Mark advised it is listed on State approved list, rated very low on HHRA, degrades in 3 days under conditions in Beseck Lake, an EPA safe herbicide. Mark is willing to run full assessment of it for us. Regarding application, he advised it is done by spraying directly on plant, causing diminished protein synthesis and release of free oxygen radicals in plants within their intercellular tissues, breaking down their cell walls.

May Water Quality testing resulted in diminished oxygen of water early, as well as significant Phosphorus enrichment in bottom waters of 100 ppb, that is historically not seen until late July/Aug. Suggesting high potential of Blue Green algae earlier in season.  Organisms are temp dependent, lower water temps are holding it off.

As a result, Mark recommended managing the swim area independently with a floating boom system to isolate swim area, and local aeration.

6) Chairman’s Report:

Outreach

·        The Storm Drain Stenciling project initiated by the Lake Beseck Environment Committee was completed on June 13.  The Boy Scouts, Middlefield Park & Rec and LBA members assisted with the project. 

·        A postcard mailer went out the week of the project.  Cost $372.48

(Thank you - Ed, Rebecca, Jim, Amy)

·        Mark Dionne covered the project and wrote a nice article for the Town Times.

Phraghmites and Cattails

·        A copy of Mark’s report was forwarded on to our legislators

·        Jon Brayshaw met with CTDEEP regarding the issue

·        People have been submitting pictures of the plants 

Summer Algae Blooms

·        Middlefield Park and Rec to purchase a vinyl barrier (skirt) to protect swim area from floating debris and algae and will look into aeration for swim area

Lake Committee

·        The Lake Committee was re-appointed for another term, it was decided to go back to the original name of Lake Beseck Environment Committee.

LBA Picnic and Cardboard Boat Race

·        11:00 A.M. on July 11 –boat race after lunch, line boats up on beach at 11 A.M.

·        Lake Beseck Environment Committee Boat

·        Outreach opportunity

7) Selectman Report:

Selectmen reappointed Ad Hoc Committee under the name of Lake Beseck Environment Committee, members were added from P&R, EDC, P&Z; Funds left in committee account at approx. $300; Capitol account has approx. $25,000 plus $27,000 will be added for the 2015/2016 fiscal year, building acct up to over $50,000 for future lake projects.   

8) Approval of May Minutes – Motion by Randy Bernodas to accept minutes as written, Second by Ed Bailey, abstentions - Rebecca Adams, Craig Lundell

9) Election of Officers – Chair, Amy Poturnicki. Motion by Rebecca Adams, Second by Ed Bailey, all in favor; Vice Chair, Craig Lundell. Motion by Amy Poturnicki, Second by Randy Bernodas, all in favor; Secretary – Rebecca Adams. Motion by Ed Bailey, Second by Rob Poturnicki, all in favor

10) Committee Meeting Dates – ForthMonday of every Month at 7:00 P.M. as follows – 2015: July 27, Aug 24, Sept 28, Oct 26, Nov 23, Dec 28, 2016: Jan 25, Feb 22, March 28, April 25, May 23. Motion by Randy Bernodas to accept meeting dates as proposed,  Second by Rob Poturnicki, all in favor

11) Adjourn at 8:59 P.M. – by unanimous consent

Respectfully submitted by Amy Poturnicki

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee May 12 2015

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Special Meeting
Tuesday May 12, 2015
Middlefield Community Center


1.    Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:15pm by Amy Poturnicki.

2.    Members Present

Randy Bernotas, Amy Poturnicki, Richard Boynton, James Irish, Daria Vander Veer, Edward Bailey. Jon Brayshaw joined the meeting at 7:25pm

3.    Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda of 5/12/15 made by Randy Bernotas and seconded by Ed Bailey.  Motion carried unanimously.

4.    Approval of March 30, 2015 Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the March 30, 2015 meeting, without changes, made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Ed Bailey.  Motion carried unanimously (one abstention).

5.    Public Comment

No member of the public were in attendance.

6.    Chairman’s Report

On Earth day, the Committee had a good presence with a soil scientist from CT Ag Station who discussed environmentally friendly options when caring for lawns and gardens that will help to protect the lake. Amy demonstrated rain barrels, dog waste receptacle, and handed out informational brochures. Storm drain stencils were also on display as well as a sign up sheet for the upcoming awareness project.  

On April 26, Ed represented the Committee (and the WPCA) at the Coginchaug Area Transition event “Spring into our Future” at the Federated Church.  He reported that the event generated a lot of interest in the dog waste septic systems (Doggie Dooley) and rain barrels; the emphasis was on how to make the area more sustainable. Ed spoke on the strategies for limiting dog waste. He felt the outreach was worthwhile. Amy thanked him for stepping in and helping with this effort. 

April 30 was the lake cleanup event; the stenciling project (June 13) will include several local groups including the boy scouts. An outreach brochure is in the works as well as stenciling kits for project participants.

May 4, CT DEEP fisheries came out and surveyed the lake; unofficial results were consistent with the fall findings, with a variety of breeds found. This is good news for the lake’s recovery.

The town budget passed last night, which included the reinstatement of $10,000 in funds that was initially decreased from the capitol account for lake projects.  

May 21, 7:00pm is the next Lake Beseck Association meeting at the Community Center. Amy asked members to attend so LBA members can be more aware of the committee’s existence.

Amy Poturnicki took an underwater video of the lake.  Water clarity was good, the beach area appeared free of invasive weeds, some unidentified weeds were observed past the swim area, there was also some plant growth coming out of the water.  Other plant life included what looked like cattails growing along the perimeter of the lake and heavily at the south end.  Mark June-Wells is going to see if he can identify the current plants and will report back on Friday. Mark thinks these plants could be buttonbush and cattails growing in various spots around the lake. Ed Bailey also mentioned seeing an unfamiliar plant with three spikes or leaves. Amy suggested they may be cattails.  Amy indicated that we need to go back out on the lake and try lifting up the dead terrestrial materials lying on the bottom of the lake; it’s possible they could be holding back the invasives like a benthic barrier, which would be a good thing.  Committee members also agreed that removing the terrestrials before the lake refilled would have cut down on the amount of dead, slimy material. 

Jon Brayshaw noted that he believes Chuck Lee is now in charge of the grants program and has been taken off lakes. Amy Poturnicki will check into this.

7.    Selectmen’s Report

The budget has been the main project, along with ongoing discussions about the Lake Shore Drive project (repairing the culvert under the road). That project has been worked out but has not been put out to bid.  Jon Brayshaw mentioned that Buddy Altobello may be working on getting the town some funding for the project.

James Irish asked about the planned timing of the project; Jon and Ed indicated the proposed retention pools that the Committee was considering are not currently in the plan. James Irish recommended these be included in the plan.  The Committee discussed possible options for creating ways to slow down the water flow and cause the sediment to drop out. Ed Bailey mentioned that the budget does include capital funding to pay for environmental analysis; he recommended the committee ask Brian Curtis to do some analysis so that the work can be included in the town’s project of repairing the culvert.

Jon Brayshaw recommended that the Committee work together with Parks & Rec to ensure that the beach area receives proper attention and care.  He mentioned it’s not clear who is taking responsibility for the beach area. The Committee discussed options for the lake area and its maintenance.

8.    Outreach

Storm drain stencils: Amy Poturnicki showed the Committee the stencils that are ready to be used. The project is June 13th; eight kits will be handed out (four people per kit). One person is responsible for safety and traffic control; two people stencil; and one person will be responsible for quality control. T-shirts will be given to participants. Amy demonstrated the materials and procedures for stenciling.

Amy also showed the Committee some brochures from the EPA that discuss stormwater runoff and pollution. Ed Bailey said the town can handle the printing of the brochures on plain paper.  Different methods of distribution the flyers were discussed; the boy scouts can carry them to hand out to interested passersby, or they can be handed out door-to-door, or a mailer can go out.

Pet Waste: Amy demonstrated the different containers for pet waste and for bags. Amy mentioned the idea of a kiosk, and/or a bench, at the intersection of Lake Shore/Lake Road and Algonquin, so people can sit and read about the happenings in the lake area. James Irish mentioned that any kiosk would have to not block drivers’ view up Algonquin. Vandalism is also a concern. Other options for locations to put up signage and/or announcements were discussed. The Committee also discussed likely locations for pet bag stations, signs, and/or mailings to raise awareness about animal waste and its effects on the lake.

Amy indicated the committee needs to decide on specific next steps for outreach.  There are still plenty of people living in the lake area who are unaware of the committee’s existence and who don’t know about the issues. Amy appointed a subcommittee to create a mailing for the committee to approve.

9.    Miscellaneous

Amy Poturnicki handed out literature on soil testing from the CT Agricultural Station and brochures about rain barrels and described to committee members how they work.  Randy Bernotas mentioned he could probably procure a large number of appropriate barrels.

Amy Poturnicki handed out additional literature about green lawn care and stormwater runoff issues.  Ed Bailey discussed the challenges of tracking how often people are having their septic systems cleaned or inspected, and possible ordinances that could monitor such activity.

Amy Poturnicki mentioned the recommendation from Milone & McBroom to determine the source of the fecal chloroform in the lake. Lee Vito knows of a lab in Old Saybrook that can test the nature of the contaminants to determine whether the waste is animal or human, and Amy indicated Lee will follow up on that question.

10.    Adjourn
 
Motion to adjourn made by Ed Bailey and seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Daria Vander Veer and Amy Poturnicki

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee March 30, 2015

 

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Monday March 30, 2015, 7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center

1.       Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Amy Poturnicki at 7:11pm.

2.       Members Present

Craig Lundell, James Irish, Randy Bernotas, Robert Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Ed Bailey, Daria Vander Veer

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda of 3/30/15 made by Ed Bailey and seconded by James Irish.  Motion approved unanimously.

4.       Approval of February Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes of the 2/24/15 meeting, with one change (change Rebecca’s last name from Wells to Adams), made by Ed Bailey and seconded by James Irish.  Motion approved unanimously.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman’s Report

Water is now going over the lake spillway, but the gauge is about a foot too high.  Amy will speak to the engineers. 

Regarding the south end of the beach, where the erosion is an ongoing problem, Amy spoke to Brian Curtis about ideas he had since there is planned work on the nearby bridge over Lake Shore Drive.  The pipe that is currently there is concentrating the water flow and increasing the erosion. Ed Bailey indicated that we need to get a detailed plan about the work previously discussed.

James Irish indicated that he thought there was work planned to slow down the water flow in the creek, and Ed Bailey explained that Brian Curtis has said we can try doing something between Lake Shore Drive and the lake itself to slow the flow and limit erosion, but that the larger second half of the project would be the creek bed that runs between Mattabeseck Road and Lake Shore Drive.  One thought, for instance, is to divert some of the flow into underground pipes to lower the  volume of water in the creek itself; but any work done on that area of the creek would be complex and expensive (much of the creek runs through private property, which further complicates matters).

James Irish asked about the things the committee can do between Lake Shore Drive and the lake.  Ed Bailey clarified that the outflow at the south end is the greatest problem; Brian Curtis has suggested a series of three basins, lined with riprap, that would slow the water and collect sediment.  The basins could then be cleaned out during drawdowns. That project would also involve removal of some of the existing culvert pipe.  This type of project would require analysis and planning, none of which has yet been undertaken (along with approval from Inland Wetlands).  The committee also discussed other options for the creek bed.  Another option would be installing a vortechnic unit, but that would probably be too large and too expensive.

Ed Bailey recommended the committee consider using its capital funds to pay for the engineering analysis, since the town doesn’t currently have the funding for it.  The culvert replacement hasn’t gone out to bid yet, but Ed believes Jon Brayshaw has the funding to do it this fiscal year.

Amy recommended to ask Brian Curtis for an analysis for just the segment between Lake Shore and the lake, to get a better idea of what the project may involve.

Motion by Amy Poturnicki that the Committee recommend that a remediation study be done of the area between Lake Shore and the lake by Brian Curtis and that the Committee pay for the analysis from its capital fund.  Seconded by James Irish.  Motion passed unanimously.

7.       Selectman’s Report 

Ed Bailey attended a workshop with the Board of Finance; he passed out the spreadsheet he submitted to the Board, and went over the expenditures for last year (Year-end balance for 2014 was $33,554.92).  Ed also went over the list of potential capital projects that Amy created, with the estimated costs.  He stressed that any of these projects will be a major budget hit, so having the carryover in the capital non-recurring account will be important.

8.       Outreach

A few ideas have been discussed, including containers for dog pet waste that owners can maintain in their yards to keep pet waste out of the lake.  Amy Poturnicki indicated a container would have to be ordered online.  Ed Bailey suggested a purchasing program that would make it easy for owners to buy the containers.  Another option would be installing some stations that dispense plastic bags around the neighborhood.  This summer the committee hopes to add the stencils to the storm drain to increase awareness.  Amy will send out an email asking for volunteers. The Agricultural Station also does soil testing; Amy thought some analysis of soil could help raise awareness of the levels of nutrients already in the soil.  Ed Bailey suggested additional education about buffer zones and erosion control measures, particularly along the shoreline.   James Irish suggested a mailing to remind people to cut back on fertilizer use, especially since spring is around the corner, possibly through the Lake Beseck Association. Amy will follow up.  There is an event focused on sustainability on April 26, sponsored by the Coginchaug Area Transition group that could be a good outreach opportunity.  James Irish suggested we look into fish re-stocking options offered by the DEEP.  Amy Poturnicki indicated she has spoken to the DEEP about this; they said they could come do an analysis of the lake’s needs, but they would not make any promises about whether they had resources to restock, if needed.  Ed Bailey said he believes the DEEP is planning to check the lake’s fish levels sometime this spring.

9.       Misc.

No items under this heading.

10. Adjourn

Motion to adjourn made by Robert Poturnicki, seconded by James Irish.  Motion passed unanimously.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Daria Vander Veer and Amy Poturnicki

 

 

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee February 24, 2015

Minutes of the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center

 

1.       Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Amy Poturnicki at 7:08pm.

2.       Members Present 

Rebecca Adams, Rob Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Mark June-Wells, Matt Sanford, Dick Boynton, Daria Vander Veer.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:14.  Jon Brayshaw joined the meeting at 7:20.

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion by Rebecca Adams, seconded by Rob Poturnicki.  Unanimously passed.

4.       Approval of November Minutes

Motion by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  Unanimously passed with one abstention.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman’s Report

Rainfall finally allowed the lake to return to its normal water level and also allowed Matt & Mark to complete their studies.  DEEP intends to start refilling the lake from the winter drawdown level after March 1.  Water quality testing will resume in April; Mark June-Wells will add a few additional tests to the regimen. There is no news on the EPA 319 grant.

7.       Milone & MacBroom – Watershed Report

Matt created an ftp site to download the report: www.mminc.com .  At home page, in upper right, click on “client login.” Username is “Beseck” (case sensitive) and password is “Lake.”  Download the report to your home computer.  It is too big to email.

Matt last spoke to the committee a year ago; the process began in January 2014 and will run through November 2014.  They have sampled through five stormwater events, and did sampling at six locations & two tributaries.  Sites were chosen based on the highest volume of runoff.  Runoff was tested by MS-4 DEEP guidelines for ph, oil & grease, suspended solids, nitrates, and others.  They tried to cover all seasons.  The findings: water quality is generally pretty good.  High fecal coliform, but nitrate/nitrite levels are pretty good in general. He went over the individual outfall numbers.  He stressed they are seeing trends of high levels of fecal coliform in general in Connecticut.  Median should be 750 or less; some Lake Beseck sites had levels of 2500-5000.  Rob commented on the difference in the various outfalls, and wondered if the higher numbers were for those near the farms.  Matt indicated that it’s possible to test for human vs. animal waste, to determine whether the sewers are a concern; there is a lab in Colorado that can test for human estrogen.  He showed the committee the map of the testing sites and the respective results.  The highest levels were at the outflow next to the beach and near Sibley’s. Matt considers these results “something to consider, not necessarily alarming.”  He also noted some of these numbers may be normal spikes that happen after dry spells.  Ed Bailey mentioned that the town sanitarian has always found low bacteria levels in his in-lake testing.

PH was consistently around 7, which is normal.  Phosphorous was present, but not in high numbers. From a stormwater standpoint, Matt feels the report will be useful in identifying the internal loading culprits and build a case with Chuck Lee for lake management.

Matt’s recommendations (see report for full details):

- Consider implementing low-impact land use regulations, preserving open space, especially in the areas north of the lake.

- Consider including requirements for residents to add mitigating structures when they improve their homes (example: installing rain gardens when they add roof footage).

-Establish routine cleaning of the outfalls that were cleared out this past year; get a long-term agreement with the DEEP to make the process routine.  Same for the vortechnic units.

-Road treatments should move to calcium carbonate instead of salt or sand, at least around the lake itself.

-Continue sampling.  It can be done by volunteers, now that we know which areas need watching.  Having 5-6 years of data would be better.

-Forebays for sediment capture only recommended if the lake is dredged/deepened in future.

- Establish riparian buffers around the lake edge. Anywhere from 2’ to 10’ strips can possibly be added to zoning requirements.  This is a trend in CT lakes; FERC has required the lakes that are energy sources to implement such zones.  Homeowners are starting to need to create natural boundaries (“a living shoreline”) instead of, for instance, seawalls. M&M has a management handbook on their website that describes various approaches.

- Education is key; both new and old homeowners need to understand impacts.  Consider a pamphlet, email bursts, web site, etc. to continue educating people about water quality issues.

-Watch for erosion along gullies and beside roads, and make repairs as needed.  The committee discussed the outfall next to the lake that runs under Lake Shore, including various structures that might slow the storm flow, armoring the stream bed, removing the pipe at the end and installing a forebay, etc.

- Be sure the users of the dog park continue to clean up after their pets.

Jon Brayshaw mentioned that the lake area has a real challenge with the high number of domestic pets in the lake area.  The committee considered some options for educating pet owners about pet waste.

Jon Brayshaw noted that sweeping the roads twice per year, which the town has been doing, produces large amounts of material that’s difficult to dispose of.  The committee discussed various options for disposing of the sweepings and whether it is better to sweep more often/less often, switch to calcium carbonate, etc.

Conclusion: the committee will need to make an economic argument for the benefits of dredging the lake to state officials and local residents alike. It will take “a lot of selling” to get the funding to do the dredging.  Matt estimates a total cost between 3 and 6 million for such a project. He suggested perhaps bringing in the benefits to Powder Ridge as part of the argument.

8.       Mark June-Wells - Water Quality Monitoring Report

Mark’s major conclusion, despite the reduced water volume, was that oxygen levels and internal loading are the primary culprits in water quality.  He agreed with M&M’s conclusions in that regard; early in the season, roughly 3 feet from the bottom of the lake was deoxygenated even in May.  That’s unusually low.  That deoxygenated state persisted throughout the season, getting even lower at 6 feet.  What that means is that as water temperatures increase in June, green algae become the dominant element and use up all the nitrogen. By August, greens die off and phosphorous is high.  Blue-green algaes become the dominant species, and these produce cyanotoxins, making the water unpleasant and dangerous. In September/October a shift back to diatoms occurs.

His conclusion was the “oxygen is the challenge,” which isn’t news.  What he expects to determine next year is the total oxygen demand for the overall lake.

After that, the committee needs to consider options.  They include

-alum treatment ($100-130,000);

-aeration, which “turns the lake over” by mixing top & bottom water layers;

- Adding pure oxygen directly to the lake can be dangerous (stored oxygen is explosive);

-Drawing water from the bottom of the lake and using a waterfall system to cause a dropout of phosphorous.  Very rough estimated cost: $750,000-1 million.

Mark is leaning towards turning over the lake (option 2); he is currently evaluating the system being used at a lake in Beverly, MA.  He hopes to know more about its efficacy soon; if it was the system of choice it would need to be up and running by June 1 and run through September.

Dick Boynton asked about the potential effect of the terrestrial plants on water quality this upcoming spring. Mark agreed that 2015 will be unique in many regards, but stressed that he already has evidence that strongly suggests internal loading is the problem and that we should move ahead with lobbying the state and planning an implementation of the aeration for 2016.

Jon Brayshaw asked whether there would be swimming at the lake given the potential problems with rotting plants.  The beach area has been carefully cleaned, however; Mark indicated that the curlyleaf pondweed may have been knocked back significantly, and he suggested considering using booms to keep blue-green algea blooms, which are largely on the surface, away from the swimming area.

Mark will send a pdf of the report to Amy.

9.       Selectmen Report: 2015/2016 Budget

Jon Brayshaw indicated the budget is almost complete, and it contains $8,000 for this committee to cover limnologist and outreach.  Capital account for the lake will get $27,000; $8,000 for water testing.  If this level of funding continues the committee could have the $100,000 needed for Mark’s proposed project. Ed indicated he doesn’t anticipate problems with continuing this level; the goal is to accumulate funds to use for a project, possibly in 2016.  Ed mentioned that the committee will be appearing before the BOF within the next 6 weeks; it would be good for members to attend.

10.   Adjourn

Motion made by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.

 

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee November 24 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Monday, November 24, 2014

 

1.       Call To Order 7:10 P.M.

2.       Members Present:  Amy Poturnicki, Lucy Petrella, Ed Bailey, Rebecca Adams, Darin Overton, Randy Bernodas, Rob Poturnicki, Jim Irish (7:15).  Also in attendance:  Jon Brayshaw, 1st Selectman.

3.      Approval of Agenda:  Motion by Randy Bernodas, seconded by Rob Poturnicki, passed unanimously.

4.      Approval of August 2014 minutes:  Motion by Ed Bailey, seconded by Rob Poturnicki, passed, 2 abstentions:  Lucy Petrella & Rebecca Adams

5.       Public Comment:  None

6.      Chairman’s Report:

Terrestrial Plants

Approval was granted by CTDEEP to allow the cutting of weeds from the lake bed, with these guidelines:

-Work up to 100’ out from shore

-Access the lake bed for plant removal

     -Plants should be cut not pulled

-Machines such as weed whackers, chainsaws, and hand cutting tools are allowed

-Can have ATVs present for the purpose of removing cut plant material

Things CTDEEP wants to avoid:

-No large machines should access the lake bed including tractors and brush hogs

    -No more disturbance than necessary to the lake bed

 -No pulling or uprooting of plants – (by steering away from pulling the terrestrials by their roots, it would prevent further erosion, and would avoid making those areas more susceptible to aquatic invasive plants)

Permission has been granted from the Town to pile weeds at the beach for removal. They can be placed at the south end of the beach parking lot, in front of the end pilings.

I followed up with the Boy Scouts with the thought of adopting a waterfront property owner to assist them with weed removal.  While there was initial interest expressed, upon follow up, I have not heard back as to if they have decided to pursue the project.

    Water quality samples Mark June-Wells

Mark has completed September and October’s monthly water samples from the lake to add to our database.  P and blue-green algae remained high into October, but algae is expected to shift to green algae with lower water temps and nitrogen rebound.  Water quality monitoring will resume in the spring.  Mark has decided to start his own company, Aquatic Ecosystem Research.

 

    Milone and MacBroom storm water study

We are about a year and a half into trying to obtain enough data for the creation of a stormwater report that will determine our direction with improvements to the lake. M&M has expressed difficulty in trying to obtain adequate samples due to lack of rain. These studies are of particular importance in our pursuit of funding and permitting of lake projects focused on improved water quality. The new EPA and STEAP grant applications are out now. Darin will give an update where they stand with storm water sampling.

Stencil Ease – storm drain stencils

I received an email from Stencil Ease that the $288.74 invoice had not been paid by the Town.  Upon further investigation, they did not bill the town, so it will have to come out of our 2014/2015 fiscal budget.  If needed, we can bring the situation to the BOF and ask if they would be willing to fund the amount underspent last year.

7.      Selectmen’s Report:  Jon Brayshaw stated that he received the punch list for the dam project a week or so ago.  It is greatly reduced.   There was an inspection at the dam where approximately 30 people attended.  The two doors were opened to see the weir boards which can be adjusted via an apparatus which can be brought in as needed to open the sluice gate.  The water is now 3’ higher than it was at “low”.   This being an “even year”, the 3’ draw-down level should be maintained until spring (3/15/15).  The weir board is set at this level.   Official letter received from Robert Klee, Commissioner. 

It was determined that this committee is a member of the Federation of Lakes.  There is no annual membership fee, but they do request donations.  It was suggested that a donation be made.  It was further suggested that information regarding the Federation of Lakes be put into the newsletter so that individuals are also encouraged to join/donate.

The Town has installed (and paid for) guard rails along King’s Road to prevent vehicles from going over the edge when trying to back around.

A discussion was held regarding the Aquatic Invasive Species Grant from the State of CT which funds eligible diagnostics.  This grant was not pursued, we did not qualify since the lake is down.  This grant should be re-applied for in 2015 when the lake should qualify.

Jon made known the drainage problem on Lakeshore Drive.  There is a drainage channel under the road that is undermined and could collapse under heavy pressure.  The channel has been inspected and the Town Engineer has drawn up plans for replacement of this structure.  The project will be put out to bid this winter, with work to be done in the spring.  This project will cost approximately $20,000.00 - $30,000.00 and is being funded by the Town road budget. 

8.      Milone & MacBroom Report:  Darin reported that the lake is up due to recent rains.  The 4th storm water sample was take 1.5 weeks ago and the 5th and final sample was take today (11/24/14).   The samples now are analyzed, summarized and a report is being drafted.  Results are expected early to mid-January.  DEEP wants a complete watershed breakdown management plan, including the extent of discharge points.  Testing was done on the lake side and these tributaries and discharge points should be monitored.

The question was raised as to whether the possibility of a State mandate requiring cleanout of catch basins and sweeping of streets twice per year as opposed to the current once per year will have an impact on the report.  Discussion was held regarding the current practice of once per year at the cost of $70,000.00 to $80,000.00 (that includes entire town) plus disposal fees, and the fact that this is an unfunded mandate.  It was decided that for now, the best route would be to be proactive by setting up a monitoring system to watch the basins and see which fill up first, etc., then do work as required.

9.      Miscellaneous:

STEAP Grant – not applying this round. 

The BOS and Finance Director are starting to work on the 2015/2016 Budget.  Funds requests should be submitted soon so that they can be included as budget items.  Include cost of ongoing testing of water quality by Mark June-Wells and a proposal is needed for annual service. 

It was decided that a comprehensive strategy for applying for Grants (Invasive Species Grant, EPA Grant, etc.)  should be put in place over the next couple of years.  When the Milone & McBroom report is received, a better understanding of problems which need funding will be known.  Getting funding from the State is difficult, applications are best used wisely so as to garner the highest yield.  Best to make a realistic plan on what needs are, and then work on how to fund it.

10.  Motion to Adjourn was made by Darin Overton and seconded by Rob Poturnicki, motion carried unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 8:28 pm.