Minutes of Lake Beseck Environment Committee July 25, 2018
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:04PM.
2. Members Present
Melissa Kowal, Rick Santos, Kathy Kukowski, Jan Wojas, Amy Poturnicki, Robert Portunicki, Larry Marsicano, Hannah Malcolm, James Irish, John Lindner
3. Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of May 23, 2018 made by Rick Santos; seconded by Amy Poturnicki. Passed; Kowal, Santos, Kukowski, Vander Veer abstaining, all others in favor.
4. Public Comment
Two members of the public were present to learn about the Committee.
5. Chairman Report
Amy passed around some photos of the Open House at the Beach; 60 people signed the attendance sheet but many more than that attended. Larry’s presentation was very well received. Amy listed the activities, including hands-on learning workshops by Larry Marsicano and Greg Bugby, among others; boat rides; and a visit from the lifeguards and the resident state trooper.
There have been reports of beds of weeds on the lake surface; Amy took some pictures and indicated Larry M. would report.
6. AER Report
Larry Marsicano complimented the Committee on the open house; he mentioned at Candlewood he purchased the equipment for his presentation for all the local schools, and could do that for us if interested.
This year Larry did more work on site at the lake and has noticed significantly better water clarity this year over last year, which is puzzling since the nutrient levels are not lower. He believes the improvement may be climate-related, because the temperatures have been fairly cool. However, he cautioned that in general blue-green algae (which cause the most toxic blooms) like warmer, stiller climates and thus may cause more problems in future.
James Irish what other things besides algae affect Secchi disk transparency. Larry indicated that any suspended sediments or clays tend to lower water clarity, so he tries to avoid taking measurements near the shoreline where erosion might occur.
Larry also mentioned the weekly microcystin testing that is now taking place, to help local officials determine more accurately whether the beach should be closed. So far this year the measured levels have been quite low.
Addressing the complaints about weeds, Larry indicated potamogeton pusillus and the Eurasian watermilfoil were the two main components. Mark June-Wells will take a look in August to confirm the identification. Larry did mention he does not see the milfoil yet making mats on the surface. Kathy Kukowski noted that down by Lakeview Estates the plants are close to the surface and the boats are chopping it up. Larry also mentioned that this year, at Candlewood, the milfoil is not coming to the surface as it usually does, and that he believes the grass carp appear to be keeping it in check.
Larry also mentioned that Oct. 12-13 will be the annual meeting of the CT Federation of Lakes, including presentations about grass carp, and he encouraged members to attend.
In response to a question from Amy, Larry updated new members on the presence of potamogeton vaseyi in Lake Beseck and how it has put any weed control projects on hold indefinitely. He recommended trying to invoke Dr. Wong’s assistance on the DNA testing to possibly eliminate the likelihood that what we have is in fact the protected species.
Larry proceeded to update the new committee members on the other options for aquatic plant control. He described some of the activities done for “Lake Awareness Week,” including raising awareness of legislators about the current plight of lakes. He intends to poll CFL members to bring those concerns to Hartford in the near future.
7. Election of Officers
Motion by Robert Poturnicki to re-elect the slate of current officers (Amy Poturnicki, chair; Craig Lundell, vice-chair; Daria Vander Veer, secretary); seconded by James Irish. Passed unanimously.
8. Meeting Dates
The meeting dates for 2018-2019 were proposed as follows:
2018: August 22, September 26, October 24, November 28, December 26
2019: January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24, May 22, June 26
Motion to approve the 2018-2019 meeting dates made by Melissa Kowal; seconded by Rick Santos. Passed unanimously.
John Lindner reported on the progress he and his neighbor have made installing dry wells on their properties to collect rain water and control runoff. He showed the committee photos and described the lessons he has learned in doing this small-scale project.
Kathy Kukowski indicated all 22 resident homes at Lakeview Estates have been sold and everyone is settling in. Members discussed the issue of erosion at LE and the plan approved by the Inland Wetlands Commission.
Hannah presented Amy with flowers in appreciation of her work with the committee. Members congratulated her on her hard work and excellent results this year.
Motion to adjourn made by Robert Poturnicki; seconded by Melissa Kowal. The meeting adjourned at 8:17PM.