Resources for Lake Associations
There are many resources available to lake associations and citizens interested in lake ecology and management.
Google Map of CSLAP Lakes that includes general information about the lake (public access, maximum depth, area)
CSLAP reports are completed for each participating lake and available from DEC. Available lake reports are listed by county. Lake reports are not available for all CSLAP lakes. Reports from 1997 through 2010 can be found on the New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) website. For historical reports (before 1997) please contact the Division of Water.
Regional and Statewide Reports
A number of reports are generated from the CSLAP data that focus on lake concerns on the local and statewide level:
- lake scorecards
- individual lake summaries
- regional and statewide reports
- historical reports (available on the NYSFOLA website)
What do the reports tell us?
CSLAP reports summarize current and historical information about water quality, biological stressors (for example, invasive species), and perception of lake and lake uses (recreation). Scorecards combine a lot of information into simple assessments of lake conditions, long-term trends and lake uses.
Individual and regional reports include tables and graphics to summarize key water quality and lake perception indicators, comparisons to other nearby or similar lakes, and the actual "raw" data collected by the sampling volunteers.
Lake ecology and management
- lake management planning resources: education and stewardship, monitoring, and water quality assessments
- information about dam safety inspections, emergency preparedness, and dam owners
- lake association lake management activities may require a permit
- the NYSFOLA website has information about CSLAP, lake management, videos, historical CSLAP reports, their newsletter Waterworks, and more
- lake management publication, Diet for a Small Lake
General lake information
- other lake-related information: boating, maps, fishing, invasive species, campgrounds, health advisories and more
Lake Management Planning
A lake management plan is a living document developed by a group of concerned citizens along with local, state, and federal agencies, businesses, non-profits, or academic institutions. The process is usually initiated by a visible problem on a lake with the goal to improve the lake.
The group uses the plan to organize, focus and coordinate efforts, consider a wide range of social, economic, political, and cultural aspects, define the desired results, determine what needs to change and what steps are needed to achieve the desired results.
A successful lake management plan will:
- assess lake conditions
- identify the water quality problems
- determine management actions that will address short-term issues and long-term causes of lake problems
- build local support to address lake issues
- develop a funding base to support the implementation of these management actions
- educate lake residents, user groups, and other stakeholders about the lake
A good lake management plan is based on data collected to measure water quality conditions, assess lake uses, and evaluate lake perception by lake residents, users, and others affected by the lake.
Lake associations collect bacteria data, conduct invasive species surveillance, survey lake association members, and conduct CSLAP sampling in cooperation with the DEC. Monitoring data forms the basis for comprehensive water quality assessments.
Lake Management Actions
Lake assessments provide a basis for beginning and evaluating lake management actions, prioritizing lake association activities and educating lake residents and lake association membership.
DEC and lake associations gather information-water quality data, surveys, etc.-to better understand their lake. DEC conducts assessments of lakes through CSLAP reporting, the state Priority Waterbody List, and federal water quality reporting. The information is distributed to citizens through lake association newsletters and reports.
Education and Stewardship
A key component to a successful lake management plan is community support. NYSFOLA has been actively engaged in a variety of educational and outreach activities, all geared toward strong environmental stewardship of the lake resources of New York state.
The FOLA annual conference brings together speakers and attendees from lake associations, DEC and other state and county agencies, colleges and universities, environmental organizations, lake consultants and management service providers, and interested lake advocates.
Proper construction, operation and maintenance of dams are paramount to protect the health, safety, and welfare of NYS citizens and the conservation and protection of natural resources. DEC inspects dams, reviews dam construction or modification proposals, monitors compliance remediation, resources for emergency preparedness, and resources for dam owners. NYSFOLA lake associations provide feedback to the DEC and educate lake residents about the effect of new regulations.
Lakes throughout the state support
Lake associations often need to take actions to address lake problems, including invasive weeds, nuisance algae, lake excessive boat speed, poor fishing, decreasing water depth, and too much or too little access.
Some lake association activities may require a permit from DEC or other regulating agencies
Lake associations are often the applicants for these permits, and work toward building local agreement to implement specific lake management actions tailored for their lake problems.
There are general permit areas: environmental, fisheries, and pesticide. Lake associations should contact the DEC Regional permit administrator to identify what activities and actions require a permit.
Looking for more information about NYS Lakes?
DEC has many resources for NYS Lakes:
- CSLAP Lakes Google Map and other DEC Google Maps and Earth data
- NYS Watersheds, Lakes and Rivers
- Boating in NYS
- Fishing in NYS
- Freshwater fishes of NY
- Lake contour maps
- Camping at DEC Campgrounds
- Fish health advisories
- Water quality monitoring programs
- Common invasive species in NY