SHERMAN – The April 12 meeting of the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) began with a report from Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol (CLAMP) Chief Doug Vane. Chief Vane indicated that the new patrol boat was set to have markings applied in late April and would be in the water by May 1st. Users of the new boat would be put through a training program in May prior to the boat’s being deployed at the start of the season at the end of that month.
CLA Chair Phyllis Schaer’s report began with two letters received by the CLA from Sail Harbour residents regarding the proposed use of an herbicide containing Diquat in Shelter Harbor.
The New Fairfield Board of Selectmen has scaled back its proposal to use Diquat in two areas of Candlewood Lake to control Eurasian Milfoil growth and to use copper sulfite to curtail blue-green algae blooms. Based on public outcry, and following a March 29 meeting with the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the CLA, the Board is proposing to use Diquat in Shelter Harbor only and abandon the use of copper sulfate entirely.
The letters were both against the use of chemicals if other means, such as renting a weed harvester, would be just as effective. The letters also voiced concern about the possible negative effects of chemicals on the anticipated June deployment of 4,450 sterile grass carp to supplement the 3,816 carp released in 2015.
New Fairfield CLA Delegate John Hodge, a supporter of the New Fairfield BOS proposal, noted that to the best of his knowledge no application for a permit for the use of chemicals to control milfoil has been filed with DEEP to date.
Ms. Schaer gave a brief recap of the State of the Lake event held earlier this month at the Candlewood Inn. There were 120 attendees, the largest turnout in the event’s four year history. She noted that the Inn donated their facility at no charge. Supplemental community coffees are in the works. These will be Q&A sessions similar to the State of the Lake, but smaller and more localized held in individual towns. The first two are in the planning stages; in Sherman at the Jewish Community Center, and in Brookfield at a still to be determined location.
CLA Executive Director Larry Marsicano stated that donations toward the funding of the supplemental stocking of the grass carp have been received and that the cost of the program is now fully covered. Large donations have been received from: CLUB-A ($7,000); the Goldring Family Foundation ($6,000); and Jeff & Karla Montara ($1,000). First Light has committed $7,000 as well.
In order for DEEP to issue a permit for the carp, CLA needs to submit a water quality report for the last two years. Mr. Marsicano indicated that this was just about done and should be completed by the end of the week. Once DEEP has the report, he expected to have final approval of the permit, which would enable CLA to order the grass carp.
CLA Public Education Director Mark Howarth presented updated signs entitled “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” cautioning boaters about inadvertently bringing invasive species such as zebra mussels and milfoil into the lake. The new signs will replace the current zebra mussel alert signs and will be posted at the five town boat launches (Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, and Sherman) as well as the two State boat ramps on Candlewood and the State ramp on Squantz Pond.
Sherman Family Science Night was held on March 16. Mr. Howarth attended as he did the previous year. He demonstrated the effects of storm water runoff after a storm. The children were invited to participate by using spray bottles on a 3D landscape to simulate rain. The interactive presentation was very well received—so much so that he has been asked to conduct it in Bethel as well.
The fireworks date has been set for June 24, rain date will be June 25.
CLA Public Safety Committee Co-Chair Joe Wodarski said that the committee would like to run periodic night patrols until 2 am or 3 am to act as a deterrent for late night issues that can occur. He also noted that the lake patrol will begin doing laser speed enforcement on the lake this season.
The next CLA meeting will be held May 10 at the Brookfield Town Hall at 7:30.
By Greg Slomba