COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association continues the fight against invasive species on Sunday, August 14 at 1 p.m. with a “Paddle and Pull on Goodyear Lake.”
OCCA has been working with the Goodyear Lake Association, the Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps, and community volunteers for more than a decade in an effort to eradicate the plant from the lake without using herbicides.
Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic plant native to eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Introduced to the United States in Massachusetts in the mid to late 1800s, it spread to New York in the early 1900s. Currently, water chestnut is found in eight northeastern states, and has the potential to spread through much of the continental United States and Canada.
A single seed sends up multiple stems, each bearing a rosette of leaves that float on the water surface. These rosettes form dense mats that crowd out native plants and alter the natural environment. They also interfere with boating, fishing and swimming. In late summer, each rosette can produce up to 20 sharply-spined nuts, which can cause serious injury if stepped on.
Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, said that the water chestnut population on Goodyear Lake is declining, but it’s still present.
“It used to cover several acres,” he said. “Now we’re down to several isolated patches.”
O’Handley added that this is an important time of year to pull the plants.
“The nuts are developing now,” he said. “We need to get them before they ripen and drop to the bottom.”
Volunteers will meet at 1 p.m. at the New York State Fishing Access Site on State Route 28 in Portlandville. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required to reserve space in one of OCCA’s canoes. Call OCCA at (607) 282-4087, or visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/goodyear-lake-paddle-pull/ for more information or to register.
Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org