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.
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.
Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Randy Bernotas. Passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:29PM.