A plan to tackle weeds on Chautauqua Lake

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-04 16:58:52-04


Weeds are taking up the shoreline of many homes and businesses along Chautauqua Lake. It's a problem many say has been going on for years.
"It's become progressively worse," said Dr. Jim Cirbus, President of the Chautauqua Lake Partnership. "You don't want to kayak, walk in that stuff. You certainly don't want to fall in it."
The parnership board members like Dr. Cirbus took action, applying for a permit with the DEC, in partnership with the Village of Bemus Point and the Town of Ellery for a trial period to combat the weeds with herbicides in Bemus Bay. It's something that hasn't been done in that part of the lake for at least 15 years.
"They know we need to save this lake," Cirbus said.

"These are weeds that shouldn't belong here, but unfortunately, they've taken up our Bay and other parts of the lake," said Jim Wehrfritz, Vice President of the Chautauqua Lake Partnership.
The weeds have even hindered tourism and business along the lake, says owners like Dan Dalpra. He has been a business owner who has owned on the lake for 35 years.
Dalpra says the odor of the rotting weeds and dead carcasses caught in the weeds has hindered tourism.
"What concerns me is the thousands of people who visit us," Dalpra said. "There's lots of other places you can go so we're in competition with everything surrounding us these days."

Members of the partnership say the herbicides are safe and won't harm the fish and other wildlife. The first herbicide batch was applied in Bemus Bay June 31.

"Now that it's been treated we're already seeing positive results," Wehrfritz said.

The herbicides are only being applied to the Bemus Bay area this year, but members of the partnership hope to work with the DEC to expand to other parts of the lake next year.