MAYVILLE - Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards announced Thursday that a final mass search for water chestnuts will be held Sept. 15 at 8:30 a.m. at the Stow Park landing of the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry.
The water chestnut, an invasive aquatic plant species, was first discovered in Chautauqua Lake by EcoLogic LLC consultants in mid-July. Shortly after, Chautauqua County hosted its first mass search for the water chestnut, an event that drew nearly 40 volunteers. A second mass search for the plant was scheduled for August, but the event was canceled due to the weather.
"Although this will be the last mass search for the water chestnut this season, we will continue to monitor Chautauqua Lake and affected areas," said Jeff Diers, Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator. "We have only found a few cases of water chestnuts in Chautauqua Lake, but this spring we will have a better understanding if our quick action and endeavors to contain the plant have paid off."
"Many residents have volunteered their time and service to help us identify and ultimately eradicate the water chestnut from Chautauqua Lake," said Edwards. "As we concentrate our final mass search on Chautauqua Lake's lower basin, I hope residents and even community service groups will come out to help us with our search."
The search will be split up into the following 11 zones: Zone 1: Shore Acres- Bridge to Englewood Development; Zone 2: Arnolds Bay-Englewood Development to Second Stream; Zone 3: Bellview-Second Stream to Bellview Point; Zone 4: Driftwood-Bellview Point to Dutch Hollow Creek; Zone 5: Fluvanna-Dutch Hollow Creek to Launch at Denslow Avenue; Zone 6: Chadakoin-Launch to Second Bend in Chadakoin/Celoron Park; Zone 7: Burtis Bay- Celoron Park to End of Lakewood Rod & Gun; Zone 8: Lakewood- Lakewood Rod & Gun to Shermans Bay; Zone 9: Shermans Bay: Shermans Bay to Ashville Bay; Zone 10: Ashville Bay- Ashville Bay to Cheney Point; Zone 11: Hadley Bay- Cheney Point to Bridge.
Volunteers should report to the Stow Ferry Park where they will be given a short presentation on the water chestnut before being assigned to a zone.
Residents interested in participating should call the watershed hotline at 363-4499, 753-4499, or 661-7499.