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Water Chestnut in the Waterways of Wayne County

Water ChestnutWater chestnut (Trapa natans) can be found this time of year in many of the waterways in Wayne County.  The newest infestation was found in 2018 at Port Bay and is being managed strictly by hand-pulling.  It is major nuisance because these dense mats of rooted vegetation are very difficult to get through in a boat, kayak, canoe, or when swimming. For water quality alone, Water Chestnut completely depletes the oxygen by pressing down from the surface, heating the water columns, and prohibiting water movement because of the long-rooted tendrils beneath the rosette.  Water chestnut spreads by rosette and fruits detaching from the stem and floating to another area and by clinging to floating objects including recreational watercraft, the pads of boat trailers, and fishing equipment. In addition, the dense mats shade out native aquatic plants that provide food and shelter to native fish, waterfowl, and insects. Decomposition of these dense mats causes dissolved oxygen levels that may kill fish and then nutrient recycling causes the next generation to return stronger than before.

#waterqualityupdates #waterchestnut #invasivespecies

What you need to know about Water Chestnut:

*In NY, Water Chestnut is an annual. It does not propagate from fragmentation and can have up to 3 stands in NY

*1 Seed Pod can produce up to 144 plants and stays viable for up to 10 years and even if dislodged and floating can still repropagate.

stem and pod

Water Chestnut Seed Pods

Water Chestnut Seed Pods

*Management techniques vary by waterbody but harvesting this Annual Plant by hand pulling or mechanically the rosette before they produce their seed, mitigates several next generations and will open up waterways for other native vegetation to return creating habitat and flow for better water quality

Currently, New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation & Finger Lakes Partners of Regional Invasive Species Management are partnering with the District to address several areas that cannot be managed by mechanical harvesting in Wayne County to hand-pull under NYSDEC permits. It will take years of management to address some of the seedbeds in Wayne County. Some of the oldest “seedbeds” of water chestnut include East Bay, South of Sodus Bay Bridge, and Second Creek. Thank you to SOS and SBIA for continued efforts in addressing stands on Second Creek, the inlet at the end of Grieg Street in Sodus Point, and Clark Creek.  Without partnership, management would not be possible.

Alert from USDA – Did you Purchase Boxwood this Season?

Box Tree Moth

Box Tree Moth Credit: Franziska Bauer – Image may be used for Educational Purposes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responding to a significant plant health threat and needs your help. During the spring, a number of U.S. nurseries received potentially infested Canadian boxwood plants with Box Tree Moth. If you purchased any boxwood plants this year/during spring 2021, please inspect them for signs of the moth and report any findings to our local USDA office or State agriculture department. Please inspect boxwood plants and report any findings to our local USDA office or State agriculture department. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/ppq-program-overview/sphd/new+york  —by doing this now it can prevent the moth from infesting America’s boxwoods!

Box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis, is a destructive pest of ornamental boxwoods (Buxus spp.) in Europe, where it was introduced from Asia. It was first discovered in North America in Toronto, Canada, in the fall of 2018. It has not been previously found in the United States. Unfortunately,  infested shrubs have been showing up at New York State nurseries during spring 2021, despite being inspected and confirmed as free of boxwood tree moth by the source.

The CCE Wayne County Master GardenersThank you for your vigilance and help in preventing the spread of yet another invasive plant pest! Laurie VanNostrand /Consumer Horticulture/Master Gardener Program Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County

Rain Barrel Workshop July 27 2021

Join the Ontario-Wayne Stormwater Coalition and the Ontario County Soil & Water Conservation District for a rain barrel workshop. We will start with a short presentation with a demo on how to build your barrel. We will then help you build your own 55-gallon rain barrel. Installing a rain barrel is an easy way to protect our environment and save money.

A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains or streams. The water from your barrel can be used for watering gardens and lawns, washing cars, cleaning outdoor furniture, and the list goes on.

To register, contact Alaina at 585-396-1450 or email alaina.robarge@ontswcd.com

Weekly Water Awareness Conditions Report 7-8-2021

Conditions Report

Due to sporadic wind and weather events, all of the 6 Wayne County embayments are experiencing several natural but hindering occurrences in their waterways. These occurrences include:

  1. Natural breakoff of aged vegetation “weed” stands which is causing floating weed mats. The intensity of the winds on the water will help to break these weed mats up and recycle them to the system, however, if they get caught in docking areas or in-between boats or other recreational vehicles they will likely just stay there.
    1. Best course of action is to rake/remove the individual mats so they do not cause additional algae development in the shallower waters around your waterfront.
  2. Turbidity of the water is normal during higher wind and wave events which will settle out about 24 hours after the storm. This is helpful because it is a mixing of the water columns and will aid in nutrient uptake from plant releases.
  3. Cladophora are nutrient releases from the substrate (soil) from the waterbody completing a nutrient cycle. (a turn over) These smelly blobs float around for about 72 hours in normal conditions before recycling to the bottom and refueling vegetation stands.

Water levels are remaining consistent at the 2.45.17-245.21 levels on the Lake this week but are still impacted by the winds from the Southwest and Northeastern storms earlier in the weekend. Due to the increased lower waters, despite the relative consistent Lake Levels, the bays each saw a 2-3 inch decrease over the entire waterbody from week (7/1) to week (7/7). This is likely a related impact due to vegetation break off and wind.

The water levels on all of the bays and Pultneyville Harbor saw periodic changes in water levels closest to their tributaries for about 24 hours after storms go through the area.

Why is it important to note the weather upland from your waterfront? Because this can aid you in planning for changes in the water, and as the season goes on, some additional water support for removing boats, rafts etc.

Volunteer at Marsh Workdays!

MARSH! is part of a larger effort to restore, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat on nearly 50,000 acres in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. This VOLUNTEER program supports the habitat restoration efforts of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Montezuma Audubon Center and other partners at Montezuma. This group works on controlling invasive species in grassland, shrubland, forest, marsh and river. The work is hands-on as we monitor, cut and pull invasive species & replant and monitor natives that will be more beneficial to wildlife & less harmful to Montezuma habitats overall!

MARSH is part of a larger effort to restore, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat on nearly 50,000 acres in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.
MARSH! workdays run 9:00AM to 1:00PM.

YOU MUST SIGN UP IN ADVANCE before noon on the day before work day
For Refuge/Seneca Meadows workdays, call 315-568-5987 or email nicholas_vermeulen@fws.gov
For MAC/DEC work days, call 315-365-3588
You can download a flyer here

Aquatic Vegetative Control

Aquatic Vegetative Control (aka Weed Harvesting) is more than waterfront lawn mowing. It is about understanding the weed types, life cycles, nutrient contribution, habitat, densities, and potential water flow restriction in the specific areas. While know one “loves” weeds, they do play an important roll in a healthy waterfront.  All the embayments of Wayne County are different and unique. Each provide habitat and recreation to 1000’s of species, (not just humans, but humans included).  The District tried to balance access to deeper water for recreation and public safety through flow while trying to support the nature ecosystem of other industries such as recreational and sustainable fishing. Many people from Wayne County support their families through fisheries activities. It is important to maintain areas for fish populations to grow and prosper over the 3-4 year growth periods depending on the species.

In addition, the District program is run on a cost shared contract from Wayne County and New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund through the Finger Lakes Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance. These two entities prioritize water quality, flow management and public safety.  Each year is different and This year due to low water conditions has a complete different set of rules and is no exception. On June 1, 2021, three members of the District Technical Staff began monitoring the waterfront from set locations at each embayment and in partnership with the local waterfront associations to determine a schedule and access.  It will be touch and go and will change from week to week. In the last two weeks alone, we have seen increased wind and wave events as well as increased outflows to the lake which has changed the access.

The calendar on this web page is updated in real time as we complete assessments. Regular conversations and updates are being sent to the leaders associated with Sodus Bay Improvement Association, Save Our Sodus, East Bay Improvement Association, Port Bay Improvement Association and Blind Sodus Bay Improvement Association.  As with most things these days, review, reflection and response is important and is not immediate. We are considering the science and have a policy that has been affective for a balanced management approach.


Annual Harvesting Results

Wayne County Youth Fishing Derby June 19th-July 31st 2021

Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Federation of Sportsmen Clubs are pleased to announce the 22nd Wayne County Youth Fishing Derby for anglers ages 4-16. The event runs June 19th-July 31st, 2021and covers the waters in Wayne County. 

Responsible local conservation recreation is a crucial part of continuing to help New Yorkers stay active and a great way to spend time with immediate household and family members while building lasting memories of having that “FISH ON”. Social distancing and masks encouraged.


New this year, Jarvis Bait in Wolcott along with the Ontario and Palmyra County Max stores will be weigh in stations. ALL stores sell bait are a perfect way to expand fishing opportunities on the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario west. Other stations are Krenzer Marine, Hughes Marina, Davenports, and Bay Bridge bait shops.

The Youth Derby is designed as three tournaments in one.
• AL SHULTZ MEMORIAL CHALLENGE is for youth ages 4-7 years of age. Anglers compete to catch the most pan-fish; Blue Gill, Perch, Rock Bass, Sun Fish. Although the fish, other than perch do not need to be weighed anglers must complete a fish entry form.
• MERCHANTS CHALLENGE is for youth anglers ages 8-16 and is considered the “Grand Slam” – Catch all 5 of shallow-water species Perch, Walleye, Largemouth bass, Northern pike & Smallmouth bass for the grand prize.
• SPECIES CHALLENGE is open to all entrants. In this derby, anglers compete to catch the largest fish in any of the 5 species: Perch, Walleye, Largemouth, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass

The entry fee is $5.00. Prizes will consist of merchandise and trophies. The prize structure is based on the number of registered entrants.

The District will be accepting payments by cash or check, registrations are being taken online and paid using any major credit card. The entrant’s registration number is generated at checkout. ( click here to register online)

Thank you to all the businesses and clubs in Wayne County that support this great youth fishing opportunity: Nancy Wilkes of McDonald’s in Wayne County,  PJ Unisex Salon, Lyons National Bank, Franklyn House Tavern, Zip N’ Zin Charters, Lyons Veterinary Clinic, Sodus Rotary, Katlynn Marine, Rubinos on the Bay, Ashley Insurance,  Clingerman Taxidermy, Dynalec Corporation, Patons Sodus Market, Humbert Farms, KC Baily Orchards, Johnson Forest Management, V&C Development, Lake Breeze Orchards, Farm Bureau of Wayne County, Ely & Leene Insurance, JJs Hot Dogs, Mack’s Auto Joey’s Northside Grocery, Termatec Molding Inc,  Sodus Bay Sportsman Club Wayne County Tourism, Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District, Wayne County Federation of Sportsmen Clubs, and of course, all the bait and weigh stations.

Participants will enter fish personally caught only in the Wayne County, NY in the waters of Lake Ontario (1/2 mile west of Ginna Plant and east to Blind Sodus Bay) and its embayments; the waters of the Erie Canal and streams located in Wayne County, NY in accordance with all NYS Department of Conservation Fishing Rules and Regulations. Participants must have a valid NYS fishing license unless exempt by law.
The Derby Awards Banquet, sponsored by McDonald’s of Wayne County is on August 15th, 2021 at the Firehall in Sodus Point where prizes and trophies will be awarded. The Federation of Sportsmen Club and the District are working out ways to practice social distancing but still provide awards and prizes to youth anglers.

To register for the Youth Derby visit https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/youth-derby/

Audubon for All Guided Birding Hike – Saturday, June 19

Saturday, June 19
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Join the Montezuma Audubon Center for a fun and inclusive birding walk with a Montezuma Audubon Center environmental educator during this month’s celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. Enjoy a leisurely 1-mile walk through the grassland and forest while learning about the many birds that live there. This nature walk is for anyone who appreciates community, adventure, and wants to get outdoors to explore. We welcome those who identify as LGBTQIA+, allies, families, and anyone looking for a fun, educational, and inclusive outdoor experience. Facial coverings will be required, and we will follow physical distancing guidelines. This tour is funded in part through the generous support of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Please note: This hike will depart from the Montezuma Audubon Center (2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY).

-Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $25/family.
-Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early to get checked in and use the restroom.
-Space is limited and pre-paid online reservations are required.
-Call 315.365.3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org with questions.

Registration is required. https://act.audubon.org/a/audubon-all-guided-birding-hike-colvin-marsh-61921

NYS Grown And Certified Program

Why Join the New York State Grown & Certified Program?

New York producers who follow a higher standard of food handling and environmentally responsible practices will gain access to a variety of program benefits.


Diners at a restaurant that serves New York Grown & Certified produced dining with wine, coffee, and dates in a room filled with topiary and plants as ambiance.

Extensive research shows that a New York State Grown & Certified label builds on the existing positive perception that residents have of NYS produce, with people saying they would buy more (74%), pay more (49%), and favor food bearing this label over food that did not (96%).

A red apple adorned with the New York State Grown & Certified blue and white sealAccess to marketing support and use of the New York State Grown & Certified logo

New York State will fund a comprehensive marketing campaign around New York State Grown & Certified aimed at restaurants, institutional buyers, and retail consumers.

Participants in New York State Grown & Certified will have access to the label, which will promote awareness and highlight producers meeting the program’s standards. Participants will also be featured on the New York State Grown & Certified web page, while promotional materials are designed to encourage program participation among producers, and to educate retail, wholesale, restaurant, and institutional buyers.
A young plant growing out of the ground in Upstate New York that is past the sapling phase prior to blossoming into its final form.

Registration is easy and participation costs nothing

Becoming one of New York State Grown & Certified’s qualifying producers will increase sales due to the resulting demand while costing your business nothing to participate.

For more information,  or to register as a NYS Grown and Certified Producer contact  AEM District Technician Ian Priestley . 

Who is New York State Grown & Certified for?

New York State Grown & Certified is open to New York producers who adhere to the best practices in safe food handling and environmental stewardship. It is currently available to produce growers who are certified for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and are participating in Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) plans.

Wayne County Coastal Lakeshore Economy And Resiliency initiative (CLEAR)

Thursday, June 10th at 5:00 is a presentation on the Wayne County Coastal Lakeshore Economy and Resiliency (CLEAR) initiative including information on public survey #1. A recording of the presentation will be made available after the event.
        Join the Zoom webinar June 10th 5:00-5:45 pm
Or by Telephone: +1 301 715 8592 or
+1 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 845 5617 4596
For more information, please visit: https://www.waynecountyclear.com/
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