Shout out to our friends with the Vermont State Department of Environmental Conservation - Agency of Natural Resources for sending an outstanding team to conduct a Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIP) training session at Salem on July 15.. Kim Jensen led the way with an engaging presentation and workshop on invasive plant species followed by an introduction to a new program focused on Vermont Invasive Patrollers for Animals (VIPA) presented by Carly Alpert. Their crew then joined participants on a paddle from the public beach to the outlet for an eyes-on look at the plant life below the surface. We were joined by members of the Salem Lakes Preservation Association as well as folks from around the area including visitors from Seymour Lake and Shadow Lake.
So here's good news. We have added four new property owners to our list of Lake Wise award winners, bringing the total up to six with two more on the horizon.
Dennis Bond (our first awardee) and Tim Votapka (number two on the list) met up with Matthew Stromecki, Lake Wise assistant with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to officially acknowledge the most recent winners.
Congratulations to Josee Fauteux, Lenny Boulanger, Frank and Julie Drauszewski, Ross and Andrea Olgilvie for their work in becoming Lake Wise stewards.
Salem Lake property owners should have received a special notice regarding an intent to apply for an Aquatic Nuisance Control Permit. This is a requirement by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and a key step in the association's Eurasian Water Milfoil Mitigation program.
A copy of the notice itself is available here.
The Salem Lakes Preservation Association (SLPA) was awarded more than $24,000 in grant funds from The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation for two of the association's biggest environmental programs. DEC funds are distributed as the lake association achieves required benchmarks set by the state of Vermont. The final award amount is subject to meeting performance benchmarks which SLPA is expected to meet.
The DEC grants support Salem Lake’s Public Boat Access Greeter Program and Aquatic Invasive Species Management Programs. In 2022 the Greeter program inspected 808 boats, a 24% increase over 2021 totals. Inspectors employed by SLPA recorded 32 boats with invasive milfoil leaving Salem Lake. Just two contaminated boats preparing to launch at Salem’s Dave Woods State Boat Access had milfoil plant fragments. Boat owners are being applauded for their efforts in keeping boats free of plant fragments and animals while transporting them from lake to lake. As a reminder, state fines now apply to boats carrying weeds during transport.
SLPA’s milfoil management program contracted with a lake management company to remove almost 23,000 gallons (approximately 32 tons) of invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) between June and October. Grant funds were also used to purchase a utility trailer to assist removing these large quantities of EWM to the Derby town stump dump and a local transfer station. The total actual cost of the Greeter program, not including volunteer contributions, was about $25,000. The total actual cost of milfoil removal efforts was greater than $30,000. Costs for both programs were offset by a $15,000 donation from the town of Derby as well as many individual donations.
Grant funds were also used to print an info card about EWM locations and how to avoid spreading plant fragments. These cards were handed to boaters as they entered the lake following boat inspection. Grant funds were used to hire a consultant to assist in creating a five-year lake management plan.
Salem Lake is wonderful place to slow down for a bit and enjoy everything it offers, but dang, these summers go by awfully quick.
Return with us to the fall of 2022 as Tim Votapka and Roger Cartee take a few minutes to reflect on what happened around Salem Lake during the summer and what will likely continue to happen as the weeks and months move along through the winter on into spring and beyond.
The association has also submitted to the DEC a long-term EWM mitigation plan which is the result of several months of research and collaboration with environmental experts familiar with EWM and Vermont lakes affected by its encroachment. A copy of this long-term plan is available for public viewing at any time via the banner on the left or through this link.