Meeting Minutes April 11, 2024

NOTES FROM TWIN LAKES ASSOCIATION MEETING APRIL 11 – 8:00 am

Present: Peter Neely, Russ Conklin, Bill Barton, Grant Bogle, Carey, Fiertz, David Ma<hus, Rich Haupt, Adam Mayer, Jean Bell, Jeff Bravin and Jackie Blombach, Dan Kadlec

WATERSHED STUDY: Peter Neely reported that the working group had a kick-off meeting. The Housatonic Valley AssociaTon is leading the study for the Twin Lakes AssociaTon. In addition to Peter Neely, Russ Conklin and Grant Bogle, the working group also includes experts from DEEP, the Salisbury Land Trust, Sheffield Land Trust, the town of Salisbury and town historian, Dick Paddock.

The 1987 watershed study by George Knoecklein determined that the water shed encompasses 3700 acres. A porTon of the Twin Lakes watershed is part of the Housatonic River watershed, which starts in Pi<sfield and conTnues to Long Island Sound. Inflows to the lake idenTfied in the 1987 study have been located and marked by GPS. In addiTon, there are 12 Vernal Pools within the watershed, according to Michael Klemmons. They are in the process of being mapped.

The purpose of the study is to create a science-based document which will idenTfy sources of pollutants and sediments that impact the lakes, to rank order them in terms of their importance to overall lake health and to begin to develop plans for remediaTon where necessary. The study will be done to a standard which should allow the TLA and the town of Salisbury to apply for state and federal grant funding, depending upon the issues idenTfied. In addiTon, the study will form the basis for educaTng lake residents and those who use the lakes about “best pracTces” for controlling water and contaminants on their property.

PERMITS/AIS TREATMENTS: Russ reported that Curly Leaf Pondweed treatment in West Twin will be conducted on April 25. AquaTc plant surveys and water quality testing are ongoing. Our current permit allows for the treatment of milfoil in West Twin in the July/August Tme frame, subject to approval of the treatment maps by NDDB. Finally, we are waiting for the approval of the permit MOD for hydrilla treatment in the northeast bay of East Twin, which, assuming we receive NDDB approval, is planned in the August Tme frame.

SIGNAGE AND BARRIERS: $14,000 was spent on signage and limno barriers all in support of our efforts to control hydrilla. Signs will be posted at O’Hara’s, educaTng people about Hydrilla as well as alerTng them to the locaTon of hyrdrilla beds in the NE cove of East Twin. In addiTon, a limno barrier will be placed in front of the causeway bridge opening to prevent hydrilla from spreading to the northwest bay of East Twin. Unfortunately, while this temporary barrier is in place, people will not be able to go under the bridge. Signs will be placed on both sides. Carey suggested that we also have signs at the Beach Club.

RAMP MONITORS: A new iniTaTve that is being conducted in partnership with the Town of Salisbury and O’Hara’s Marina. The TLA and the town of Salibury will be hiring 8-10 paid

monitors, including a manager who will schedule and oversee the program. There is a wri<en job description, and an ad will appear in the Lakeville Journal. The plan assumes monitors will be paired with TLA member volunteers and will staff the ramp at O’Hara’s from Friday through Sunday from 5 am to 7 pm (high traffic hours). This monitoring program is modeled amer similar efforts at lakes like Lake Waramaug and will be compliant with the training and instructions given by CT DEEP. The goal is to minimize the spread of AIS both entering and exiTng Twin Lakes.

Ramp monitors are primarily there to educate the public about the impact of AIS and how they can prevent the spread. Ramp monitors cannot prevent anyone from launching their boat. We will adjust the program as we learn more from experience. All monitors will have vests that identify them as such and work collaboratively with O’Hara’s Marina staff to ensure that operations at the marina are not impacted.

Interested TLA board members were asked to sign up for an online training class given by DEEP. The first one is scheduled for April 20. They will hold 3 others over May/June time frame. Sign-up is online and requires a minimum of 5 people or it won’t take place.

The first fishing tournament is on Sunday, April 21, with a 7:00 start. Bill Forman from DEEP Fisheries Department has informed the fishing groups about Hydrilla and the monitoring program on Twin Lakes. This will be the first Time that we have ramp monitors at East Twin so it will be a good test run.

STATE BOAT LAUNCH: The state has returned the state launch to a true “car top carrier only” launch, consistent with its original intent as communicated to the state in a 1991 letter to the TLA. This is a major step forward in our ability to properly monitor and educate the boating public as it will funnel all trailered boats to O’Hara’s Marina.

BY-LAWS and OFFICERS: Bill reported that everyone except Pat Miller has agreed to continue to serve on the board with the same officers in place. Erica Cohn has agreed to replace Pat as Secretary. He will make a proposal at the June 22 meeting that the By-Laws be changed to say that the Officers and Directors shall be elected for THREE YEARS rather than the current four.

DUES: The current board voted to increase the dues from $25 to $50 per person. This will go into effect in our late spring membership drive.

MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT: The TLA will schedule a ZOOM call in late May for the full membership with the hope that we will reach a larger audience. It will give the board a chance to go over much of the information ahead of the June meeting.

NEXT Board MEETING: Most likely mid-May.
Membership Meeting is scheduled for June 22nd at 10:00 am at Isola Bella.

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