Friday, April 1, 2011

Song Lake Might hold rare fish

From the Cortland Standard February 26, 2011:

·Song Lake might hold rare fish
ESF students snap pics of possible chubsucker, a threatened species that has not been caught in decades 


It appears a threat­ened species of fish might still be alive in Song Lake.
The lake chubsucker, a chubby, medium-sized fish that according to the state Department of Envi­ronmental Conservation has not been caught in New York waters in 60 years, is thought to have been found in one of the trap lines last fall meant to research fish populations. Pictures were taken by students from SUNY College of Environ­mental Science and Forestry, but no conclusive evidence confirmed the rare fish actually existing in the lake positioned between Pre­ble and Tully.
The Cortland-Onondaga· Federation  of Kettle Lake Associations is hoping to preserve the lakes so fish like tile lake chubsucker can continue to survive. The nonprofit organization formed in 2008 with representa­tives from the Song Lake Property Owners' Association, Crooked Lake Homeowners' Association, Little York Lake Improvement So­ciety and the Tully Lake Property Owners' Association.
"I'm excited to see if we have it," Tarki Heath said, tempering her optimism with the thought that the fish found could be just a subspecies.
More trap lines will likely be set this year in an attempt to catch a similar fish and a DNA test would be done to confirm its identity.
Heath, the federation's presi­dent, said each lake association has agreed to pool its resources, because although each is differ­ent, they all face many similar problems. We need to protect the resourc­es that need protecting," Heath said,
The mission of the organization is to protect the lakes' resourc­es, while educating and raising awareness.
A kettle lake is defined as a lake formed by melting chunks of ice that fell . off glaciers while they were retreating during the last gla­cial period in North America.
Marjorie Grillo, a representative from the Song Lake Property Owners' Association, said the group was not formed because the lakes were in poor condition.
The lakes are not in terrible condition, Grillo said, adding that  she would like to see the situation either kept that way or improved.
Karen Lang, the federation's  vice president, pointed out that although there are no real controver­sies as of yet, it would be helpful to have more voices if something comes up with one of the lakes.
Last June, members of various kettle lakes associations worked together to convince the Preble Town Board to enact a keyholing ordinance - limiting the amount of shoreline access per household.The ordinance helped curb the negative impacts on Song Lake, Heath said.
The group has two interns work­ing for them from SUNY ESl~ with one investigating invasive species and the other looking into the various environmental factors, such as boats or algae that have an impact on the lakes.
A couple of members of the group held a workshop session to look at .their outreach measures Wednesday, in hopes of increasing awareness and increasing turnout at their regular meetings,
A part of the group's goal is to educate the public about the lakes, and the organization has had many different guest speakers with ex­pertise in different areas pertain­ing to the kettle lakes. •
The next meeting is March 28 at the town hall in Tully. Dan Segal, a plant nursery owner from Ithaca, will be the guest speaker, and will present information about plants that are native to the area.
More information about the group can be found on its website

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