Here are few items of interest as we look forward to spring:
Lake and Pond Ordinance. Last spring, Pittsfield Conservation Agent Rob Van Der Kar, met virtually with LOPA members to explain a prospective new ordinance that would to govern shoreline development. I sent you a draft of the ordinance earlier, but it is a bit difficult to digest. I am attaching for your information a revised version of Rob’s PowerPoint presentation on the subject. Rob suggests that the most interesting material for LOPA begins at slide 53.
Safe Boating. The Massachusetts Environmental Police is offering a free course on safe boating at the Cheshire Road and Gun Club beginning February 28. You can register for the course at HERE. This knowledge of course is critical for novice boaters. But hey, a refresher course might also benefit more experienced boaters. The announcement is attached. Let’s stay safe out there!
Asian Clams and Zebra Mussels. Unfortunately, invasive non-native Asian clams were newly discovered at Onota Lake last summer near the public beach at Burbank Park during a routine LOPA plant survey. Asian clams are not good: they crowd out native clams and mussels, form sharp shell beds that you don’t want to step on, and add nutrients that can contribute to algae blooms. We are lucky still not to have Zebra mussels, another more threatening invasive species that does even more harm by attaching to boats, motors, and structures. If Asian clams found their way to our lake, so could Zebra mussels. Let’s not press our luck. Is the City doing enough to keep Zebra mussels out of Onota Lake? LOPA is urging the city to improve signage and education, bolster its boat ramp monitoring program, and install an appropriate hot-water boat wash at Burbank Park. For more information on the Zebra mussel threat click here.
LOPA Website. Stay tuned. LOPA is working to improve its website to be more informative and easier to navigate. Hopefully the revision will go live in a month or two. I’ll keep you posted.
I hope you have renewed your LOPA membership by now. But if not, you can do so now by going to www.onotalake.com. Thank you for supporting the preservation of our lake!