CLA Deploys Harvester For Cleanup

In response to Wednesday’s storm that resulted in tons of debris being unexpectedly released into Chautauqua Lake from its tributaries, the Chautauqua Lake Executive Committee met and authorized an emergency deployment of two crews to collect floating debris.

Whole trees, parts of trees, shrubs and many other items are now floating throughout Chautauqua Lake. Two harvesters, two transports and two barges are being launched immediately to collect debris. One crew will be deployed today to the lake’s North Basin while the other crew will service the South Basin. It could take at least a week to collect all of the floating debris.

“Due to roily water conditions that the storm has caused, boaters need to utilize extreme caution when out on the lake during the next several days,” said Douglas Conroe, Chautauqua Lake Association president. “Tons of debris are floating throughout the lake, much of which floats just under the surface and is not visible due to silt borne water conditions. Our crews will do their best to collect as much debris as can be collected. Nonetheless, they cannot be everywhere all the time and additional debris is likely yet to enter Chautauqua Lake. Lake users need to take special care when out on the lake this week and during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

“We are fortunate that we have this equipment especially because there is no other entity locally that can perform this work. We hope to partner again with Chautauqua County in finding a location to dispose of this unexpected debris.”

The early season cleanup effort is above and beyond the 2014 lake maintenance service budget. The CLA will be seeking donations to cover this additional expense in order to avoid having to accordingly reduce its regular whole summer service program.