WHY do we need to remove Water Chestnuts from Sodus Bay?
Water chestnuts are one of the invasive species on Sodus Bay. They grow rapidly and can out-compete native aquatic vegetation. When they are allowed to grow, they can form impenetrable floating mats of vegetation. These mats not only create a hazard for boaters but also can severely limit light penetration into the water and reduce or eliminate the growth of native aquatic plants beneath the canopy. The reduced plant growth combined with the decomposition of the water chestnut plants (which die back each year) can result in reduced levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, impact other aquatic organisms, and potentially lead to fish kills.
What has been done to curb Water Chestnuts growth in Sodus Bay?
Since 2012 (and before) Wayne County Soil and Water District, the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), Save Our Sodus and other organizations have been pulling available resources (harvesters and operators), as well as canoe and kayak crews and volunteers for hand-pull harvesting of Water Chestnuts. That approach led to noticeable improvements and a noticeable reduction of Water Chestnuts in the Bay.
Usually, harvesting took place in late July – early August. Last year volunteers participated in 2 harvesting operations on July 23 and July 30th around Emerald Point of the Second Creek, Clark Creek and South of the Bay Bridge.
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Volunteers Hank and Mary Stuart unloaded a pile of water chestnuts to a seaweed harvesting machine near Second Creek. July 23, 2016.
What has been done this year?
The highest water chestnuts concentration in Sodus Bay is on the South side of Sodus Bay Bridge.
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