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Statement on Herbicide Treatments in Chautauqua Lake

Following last week’s application of herbicides to approximately 105 acres of curly-leafed pondweed beds on Chautauqua Lake, and with the potential for additional applications in coming weeks, many have asked for CWC’s position on these treatments. CWC believes that, under certain circumstances and with limited, targeted use, herbicides can be an appropriate tool for the control of invasive, non-native aquatic plants, especially for eradicating new infestations where other means (such as mechanical or hand harvesting) are not feasible. CWC has specific concerns about the recent in-lake treatments, however, in that the herbicides chosen are not plant specific and will target and kill both non-native and beneficial native plants which are critical to our local fisheries. There is also significant potential for unintended dispersion of these chemicals outside of the permitted application sites due to winds, waves and currents, with possible damage to shoreline vegetation and adjacent wetland vegetation. CWC asked that the use of herbicides be strictly targeted and limited in application to certain areas where dense milfoil growth is documented and likely to interfere with high levels of lake use. The CWC is one of the largest shoreline property owners on Chautauqua Lake. As CWC owns considerable shoreline near some of the treatment areas, CWC submitted written comments to the NYSDEC during the permit application review process in April 2022. You can read CWC’s full letter, which outlines these and other concerns pertaining to these herbicide applications, here.


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