Welcome to

Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation

Check this page from time 

to time for news from the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation.

Items of interest from 

friends can be posted here

 as well.  Send items to:

tlpfderuyterlake@twcny.rr.com

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Sunrise on the Lake

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Misty Morning

Review of Foundation’s Work 2014

What’s New for 2015


Welcome to New Board Members

Thank You to a Retiring Favorite


The Board of Directors welcomed two new members for three year terms.  The first is Lisa Court who is Associate Vice President for Development at SUNY Cortland.  Lisa has had a summer house on West Lake Road and has been a seasonal resident over 11 years.  She offered volunteer services to the foundation as initial development plans were formulated, and she has been a consistent resource over three years.  Also joining the seven-member board is Kathy D. Sherlock.  Kathy is a life-long lake person, personality extraordinaire, member of the lake Kennedy/Dwyer clans and current VP of the Tioughnioga Lake Association. Kathy is a designer and installer for BonTon Glass in Syracuse.  Off to a great start with the foundation, Kathy and Lisa are working together to develop plans for enlightening educational and development events for the summer of 2015.  


The Board accepted the resignation from the board of Richard Alter.  Richard is a past president of the TLA and was a supportive guide to the development and start-up of the foundation.  The board of directors thanks Richard for his invaluable services. His immediate presence will be missed, but the board is assured Richard will continue as an active foundation volunteer.  Richard reminds corporate employees and retirees to check if their companies have matching grants to support the foundation. Richard is on that list following his retirement from IBM.   


The foundation board re-elected Carol T. Jeschke as President, Susan S. Hansen as Treasurer and Michael Curran as Secretary.  Officer terms are for one year. Other foundation board members are John Murad and Mike Palmer.


Scary Mess (May – June 2014)

Early Battle against Curly-Leaf Pondweed


The Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation, working with support of the Tioughnioga Lake Association, contracted with Sgouris Seaweed Removal (Skaneateles) to get an acre-sized growth of curly-leaf pondweed out of the south end of the lake off Wells Point….an area NE of The General Store.


Work began in mid-June (2014) and continued for nearly a week.  Tons of hand-pulled curly-leaf pondweed were removed from the lake and trucked away to be recycled into mulch at the Creekside Meadow Farm on Reservoir Road.  Most of the trucking, hauling and dumping was done by Jerry Rice, Mike Curran and John Kennedy in their own trucks. The work went on from early morning until dark. The personal efforts of these lake friends is much appreciated.  


Curly Leaf Pondweed

Curly-leaf pond weed is an invasive that was known to be in the lake.  It is listed and pictured on the lake Issues page of this web site. While not considered a problem just a 10 months earlier, the area of pondweed found in 2014 had expanded about six-fold. Left unattended, it was estimated that it could cover up to six acres - most of the south bay by spring of 2015. It was not a time for indecisiveness.  The curly-leaf needed to be gone before the seeds (turions) dropped. Thankfully, between the foundation and the TLA, funds were available to move quickly and decisions were made to give an initial removal a first/ best shot.  


Oh, but no happy ending here yet.  Like all of the invasive species, curly-leaf pondweed is a survivor. It has adapted to growing in cool conditions. Dropped in the late spring, new plants sprout each fall from turions that end up spread on the lake bottom.  Unlike most plants, they grow under the ice all winter.  Plants reach maturity early in the season (May – June). The plants form mats on the water so thick that boats cannot cut through them.  Many summer lake residents didn’t even see the curly leaf. By the time most seasonal residents arrived, the hand-harvesting work had been completed and the remaining the curly leaf patch had died back.  Unfortunately, by then the turions had scattered and undoubtedly found their way to the bottom of the lake somewhere else. 


Funds have been allocated by the foundation for early curly-leaf pondweed harvesting in late May or early June this year – 2015.  Much of what happens and when depends upon the availability of the Madison County harvester and the weather. With more time to plan, a preliminary choice was made to use standard harvesting methods this year rather than hand-pulling and vacuuming the pondweed.  The probable extent of the problem and cost were considerations. It is expected that the pond leaf problem will be much worse this year than last…but not as bad as it might have been without the intervention.  Annual harvesting is likely to be a continuing effort – much like the milfoil harvesting – until some other plan to rid the lake of the pond weed is found.  


Annual milfoil harvesting is expected, as usual, in late July or August.  That harvesting is a program of the Tioughnioga Lake Association.  Your contributions to the foundation and your dues paid to the lake association support the weed harvesting programs. Annual costs for these weed harvesting efforts is estimated to be between $5000 and $8000.  

 

Summer Work by Paul Lord

Checking the Weeds and Counting the Fish


Water biologist Paul Lord and his crew were on the lake several times during the summer to survey weeds and conduct fish counts.  This work is slow and tedious and takes 10 – 15 hours per outing.  Whatever is raked in or netted is identified and documented by its gps location.  A complete report of Lord’s analysis is expected to be available soon.  It will be posted on the Web site after it is available. 


If anyone wonders why Mike Curran is so knowledgeable about weeds in the lake, it is because Mike drives his boat and chauffeurs Paul and his graduate student assistants around all day on these survey days. Some days run so long that the work runs past cocktail hour!  Near martyrdom.  Plans for the summer of 2015 include several opportunities for Mike Curran to share the knowledge he has picked up on these research sorties with foundation donors on sunset cruises. Stay tuned.

Paul Lord and his crew

Relative to the walleye fish stocking program, Lord is said to have found more areas of milfoil around the lake (not good) while the established masses are less dense (very good).  Translated, that means the milfoil is still spreading due in part to weed harvesting cuttings and motor prop chopping, but the effects of the young walleyes is likely to be working. The less dense milfoil is an indication the walleyes are eating the sunfish that eat the bugs that kill the milfoil!  Positive cycle of nature at work.  Those readings were very positive.  The initial 50,000 walleye fingerlings were put in the lake in October of 2013. 


Mike Curran Reporting:

Paul Lord’s mid-June 2014 Lake Weed Survey  


Curly-leaf Pondweed (Potamagetan Crispus) 

Identification:  Spaghetti-like stem, leaves are 2 – 3 inches long, finely serrated, wavy, stiff and crinkled, creating an overall leaf texture that is crispy.  The leaves alternate on the stem – are not across from each other.  There are small flower spikes in spring that stick above the water surface from which fruits develop 92 – 2.5 mm long).


Seeds play a relatively small role in reproduction.  However, curly leaf also produces vegetative buds called turions that grow in the vee where a leaf connects to the stem. New growth much like a tomato sucker matures to become a turion.


Walleye fingerlings stocked in 2013 were 3" to 4". Those stocked in 2014 were larger, 5" to 6" because they were held in ponds longer. The 2013 stock may now be 10" to 12" long.

Current concentrations of curly-leaf in DeRuyter Lake.   Survey showed some areas with no pond leaf.  Other areas may have only a single plant in a square foot area while not far away there can be as many as 27 plants per square foot.  Growth is seen in water depths from 3’ to 15’.  Various studies have shown that as many as 1600 turions can be produced in a single square meter plot.  Under fair conditions, 60% - 80% of the turions germinate.


Life Cycle:  Usually found in soft sediments, its life cycle is triggered by changes in water temperature. Turions can lay dormant until the water cools in September when they germinate.  They start to grow under the ice in winter.  Pondweed usually reaches the water surface in late May – June as water temperatures rise. In early July it dies back and prepares for summer dormant period. By August most of the turions have dropped from the decaying plant to make a carpet of seeds and turions on the bottom of the lake. 


End of Summer (October 2014)

Second Walleye Stocking


In October of 2014 phase two of the three-year plan to sock 50,000 fingerling walleyes in the lake was implemented.  Seasonal conditions last summer required that the fish be held in their stocking beds longer than usual.  As a result the fingerlings were much larger when they went into the lake than the fingerlings stocked the year before.  The larger size suggests the survival rate might be higher, they will eat larger sunfish and help the industrious milfoil-eating bugs in the south bay thrive. The walleyes went into the lake into the south bay from the West Cottage Lane connector between the main shoreline and the peninsula. The first year, the walleyes were stocked at a site on the east side of the peninsula.  Paul Lord selects sites for the stocking where the fingerlings can quickly find shelter in weedy areas that are out of the way of larger fish looking for a meal.   


Looking Ahead - Meeting with Oneonta Group

Preliminary Thinking for Watershed Study


Dr. Willard Harman and several of his graduate students from the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station met with representatives of the foundation and the lake association in the late summer to discuss a possibility that DeRuyter Lake might be chosen by a student or group of students as the subject for a watershed study as they pursue Masters Degrees in Lake Management. The purpose of the Lake Management program that takes full advantage of the natural resources and infrastructure at the College’s Biological Field Station near Cooperstown, NY, and a newly renovated science building on the Oneonta campus, is to train students for careers as Lake Managers.   Degree recipients will have met the requirements to apply for certification as a Certified Lake Manager (CLM) or Certified Lake Professional (CLP) by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS).


DeRuyter Lake was on the short list of nominated lakes this year, but didn’t make the cut.  The Foundation is encouraged that the possible selection of DeRuyter Lake as a watershed management study sit in 2015 has strong possibilities.  The watershed management study will be conducted over three years. 


In anticipation of that good news and with a strong desire to underwrite this foundation program, Dave and Ellen Bacon contributed $5000 as start-up funds in support of the Watershed Management Plan. Many thanks to Dave and Ellen.


Support for the Foundation Grows

The Keep DeRuyter Lake Beautiful Bumper Brought Smiles and New Donors


Shortly after a mailing that included the bumper stickers to foundation donors and other friends of the lake, 40 new donors sent contributions to the Foundation. That number brings the 2014 contributions up to nearly half of the TLA membership.  It makes sense that every lake resident contribute to “the cause.”   For some reason several residents who were generous donors in the first 18 months of the foundation’s founding fell off this year.   Surely they will come back as annual donors.  The foundation expects to make great efforts this year to encourage the TLA leadership, area captains and foundation donors to encourage their neighbors to contribute to the foundation.  We’re all on the same team and we need the shekels to cover the expenses associated with milfoil mitigation/fish stocking, expected curly-leaf pond weed control, expenses associated with the watershed management plan and whatever else rolls into the lake. Looking around at other area lakes gives many chronic indigestion. 


Jerry Rice as well as foundation board members and TLA officers will attend seminars at a NYSFOLA Conference in May to learn more about keeping new invasive species – like water chestnuts and hydrilla out of the lake. Disasters. The foundation will introduce educational information to help boat owners – residents and visitors – prevent the hitchhiking invasives from getting into and out of the lake on their boats. Stay tuned. 

Special Recognition of Foundation Start-Up Friends

Saying Thank You at a Party: 


On August 16, 2014 the Foundation sponsored, A Celebration of Friends, a reception hosted by Mike and Tracy Palmer to honor generous contributions to the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation from lake friends during its start-up period between October

 2012 – December 31, 2013


Honorees for 2013 – 2014


Jean and Joe Ash

Ellen and David Bacon

James Brown

Kathleen Dwyer

Nancy and Don Edwards

Jacki and Michael Goldberg

Sue Hansen and Sharon Wegener

Lisa and Bob Lee

Anita (and Andrea) Martin

Robin and Chris Miller

Sara and John Moore

Cindy and Ron Oehmigen

Tracy and Mike Palmer

William and Suzanne Phillips

Nichole and Jerry Rice (Iron Man Foundation)

Sandy and Tom Staniec


Honored Volunteers

Don Cornue – Contributions of Graphic Design Work

Lisa Court – Consulting services in Development


A Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation mug was presented to each of the honorees.

The Celebration of Friends Finale:


Presentation of the Jimmy Award to Kathleen Kennedy Dwyer

Created in memory of James J. Dwyer, Jr. and James J. Dwyer, Sr.  


The Board of Directors of the foundation commissioned ceramic artist, Paula Burke, to create the foundation mugs and a special gift for the foundation’s most inspiring supporter, Kathleen Kennedy Dwyer.   Kathleen’s inspiration follows the path of spirit, personal presence and financial foundation building.  The award, pictured here, called the Jimmy Award,  was presented to Kathleen Kennedy Dwyer- a life-long DeRuyter Lake summer resident, a founding board member of the foundation and a generous donor – at the Celebration of Friends.  Kathleen continues to be a major supporter of the Foundation and its goals. 

The first-ever Jimmy Award presented to Kathleen Kennedy Dwyer on August 16, 2014 for her remarkable support of the foundation.

Review of Foundation's Work 2013


Paul Lord's 2014 DeRuyter Lake Final Report

When You Remember Jim Dwyer, Smile: 

Gifts Made to the Foundation in His Memory

 

Isn’t that a great way to be remembered? A good guy, a friendly face, a little bit of that Irish malarkey and everybody’s buddy. More importantly, a loving husband to Kathleen for 55 years, father of five and grandpa to ten wonderful young people. Everybody loved him. We miss him. None of us lost our memory of him. James J. Dwyer, Sr. now joins his son James J. Dwyer, Jr, up there somewhere in the great blue sky. That thought makes us smile, too.



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Jim Dwyer Sr. painting “the pink house” on West Lake Road. 

At the time of Jim’s passing last summer (2013), the family chose to honor both Jims by suggesting contributions made in memory of Jim J. Dwyer Sr. could be made to the James J. Dwyer, Jr. Memorial Fund or to the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation. The family chose to sustain the memories of both by honoring the memory of each of them with gifts with enduring value. The James J. Dwyer, Jr. Memorial Fund underwrote the AED program at the lake and supports many community programs each year through a family trust managed by the CNY Community Foundation. Even though the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation is new, DeRuyter Lake was on the memory list. The roots of the Dwyer/Kennedy families at the lake are like those of an oak tree. They are big, go straight down and hold every tree upright. 


The Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation was allowed to share some sacred space in the loving memory of James J. Dwyer, Jr. As a kid who spent all of his summers at the lake, one has to believe  

that Jim Jr would have endorsed the family’s concept of shared memorial space. The foundation is honored and thanks the Dwyer family. 


The Dwyer Family acknowledges with thanks all those that contributed to the Tioughnioga Lake Foundation Association:


Jim and Linda Adsitt

Ellen and Dave Bacon

Joan and Chuck Beeler

Jim Brown

Brown and Brown Insurance Co.

Barry and Judy Buyea

Inlet Glass and Mirror

Joanne Cornelison

Jim Donahue

James J. Dwyer, Jr. Memorial Fund

John and Janet Dwyer

Kathleen Kennedy Dwyer

Don and Nancy Edwards

Bill and Andrea Finnie

Mary Pat and Joseph Hartnett

Carol Jeschke

Tim and Peg Kelley

John and Pat Kennedy

Connie and Fran Krauza

Anthony and Patty Nardella

Bill and Sue Orzell

Mike and Tracy Palmer

Mary Ellen Seeley

Kathy and Brian Sherlock

Don and Terry Ann Smith

Syracuse Glass

Tully Quail Ridge Neighbors

The foundation put out an SOS call – looking for Web site photos. A big thank you to everyone who sent pictures. Typical lake pictures capture fun on an ideal summer day. Happy water pictures. Some are different. Some sneak a peek at secret moments and smiles. They captured the sense of place on rainbow afternoons, misty mornings, glorious sun rises and at least one awesome view of the annual Burning of the Lake. These are some of the lake neighbors who responded.


Kathy Sherlock

Stacy Brown

Lorraine Bailey

Carol Jeschke

Mark Ondrako

Richard Alter

Mike Palmer

Joyce McMaster


Any who have special photographs of the lake they would like to share on the Web site or allow the foundation to use in other publications are encouraged to send jpeg copies to the foundation email address tlpfderuytelake@twcny.rr.com. Good photographs are always welcome.


Nancy Edwards allowed her acrylic painting of the lake to be used on the Web site. Find it on the Contact page. The painting of the lake is a view looking southwest from the top of the hill on Rte. #80S outside of New Woodstock. Best view ever. Many thanks to Nancy.


Partners in the Effort:

Government, Business, Family Memorial Funds and Foundations


Every corporate charity knows that the base of financial support comes from home…from those nearby who support the corporate mission. The Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation is blessed with a solid base of home grown friends. At the same time the reach of the foundation extends to a ring of friends well beyond the lakeshore.


DeRuyter Lake is bordered by two counties and three towns. Both counties and all three towns support the work of the foundation. Kudos to each of the political leaders and all of the civil servants who help the foundation with its work.


Dan Degear, Supervisor, Town of DeRuyter

Becky Wightman, Town Clerk, Town of DeRuyter

Melanie Vilardi, Town Supervisor, Town of Fabius

Margaret Riker, Town Clerk, Town of Fabius

Ralph Monforte, Supervisor, Town of Cazenovia

Linda Mather, Town Clerk, Town of Cazenovia

Scott Ingmire, Director, Madison County Planning, 

Russ Nemececk, Onondaga County Health Department, 

Scott Prindle, NYS DEC, based in Cortland.


Business leaders make tough decisions every day. They tend to support community efforts where the ethos of good business is employed and the product is worthwhile. The foundation does its best in that regard and is grateful for its business support:


Remlap Construction, Inc, New Woodstock, NY

Countryside Hardware, DeRuyter, NY

DeRuyter General Store, DeRuyter, NY

Syracuse Glass Company, Syracuse, NY

Baldwin & Wangerman Law Offices, Syracuse, NY

Ron Bowden Plumbing, DeRuyter, NY

Hansen’s Advisory Services, Fayetteville, NY

Brown & Brown Insurance Co., Syracuse, NY

Inlet Glass & Mirror, Ithaca, NY

The Horn Companies, Syracuse, NY

RAC Equities LLC, Syracuse, NY

Otisco Valley Telecom, Liverpool, NY

North Point Technology, Endicott, NY

Raymour & Flanigan, Syracuse, NY


Because the mission of the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation is to protect DeRuyter Lake - a place that was important to many who had happy lifetime experiences here - the contributions from family memorial funds are especially meaningful. Equally important are gifts from charitable foundations, like the Ironman Foundation, that appreciate the work of the foundation.


James J. Dwyer, Jr. Memorial Fund

Peter A Ridings Memorial Foundation

The Ironman Foundation

Memorial fund for Meredith Brown

Memorial fund for James J. Dwyer, Sr.


Found money for the Foundation:

Matching Grants


Richard Alter and Mark Ondrako both were able to secure matching grants for the foundation through their former employer, IBM. It is worth the effort to make the application if an employer has the program. The list of companies that support matching grants can be found at http://nnedv.org/downloads/Other/Matching_gifts_companies.pdf. The foundation assists with the application by supplying required tax-exemption documents.


Water and Ice:

Freeze and Thaw Dates


Beginning in 1963, Winslow Skeele kept a record of the lake’s freeze and thaw dates. He was a great steward of these records until he moved into the village and off the lake. In recent time the data are collected by Barry Buyea and Mike Curran. The data serve no essential purpose, but it is always fun to look a non-essential facts. The earliest freeze date is times two: December 1 – 1989 and 2002. The latest freeze date was January 17, 2007. January 15, 1995 comes in as a close second. In 2013 the first ice came in on Thanksgiving, melted, came in again, melted and came in a third time to stay on Christmas Day. The earliest thaw date is on the Ides of March in 1974. The latest thaw date is April 17, 2001. There is one set of oddball, seasonal dates. In the 1986/87 season, the ice came in, respectively, on December 28, 1986 and December 29, 1987. The ice went out on March 30, 1987 and March 31, 1988. One year and a day difference in two consecutive seasons is an interesting coincidence. 


The freeze/thaw dates mean more to year round residents than others. Still, the lake is the star in the local drama. Seasonal residents know they miss a share of the lake’s annual cycle. Many who winter in Florida like that arrangement but are ready to return after the spring thaw. Without statistical calculations, it looks like the lake generally freezes between early December and early January. There is a magic at that time. One day there is water and the next morning it is gone. The spring thaw is equally dramatic. The ice begins to get water covered, then soggy; it changes color to an icy blue. Sometime overnight it sinks. A good south wind piles the ice up against the dam to create a giant white, ice wall. It has its own rugged beauty as winter says goodbye. Anyone interested in an Excel copy of the freeze thaw data should send an email a request to tlpfderuyterlake@twcny.rr.com


Update from April 13, 2014:

Watch Jack Koenig's (261 7th Avenue) video of melting ice, pushed by a powerful SW wind, crashing on to his lawn.

There are Volunteers: 

And There are Super Volunteers 


It should be no news to anyone familiar with the foundation that lake neighbor Don Cornue (341 Cedar La) has been an essential part of the professional image from the start of the Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation. He designed the logo, the letterhead and our first organizational brochure. He gave the foundation the very classy, professional look it deserves and needs. In recent time Don helped with the redo of the Web site. The new look on the mast head, the Hi and Thank You graphics and the fun What’s Happening? treatment of the picture at the top of this section are all his doing. When you see Don and his wife Cathy, lay on some praise. 

Also appreciate that Don was very patient with Carol Jeschke who some feel nagged the poor guy. As Carol worked on the redo of the site, she always called Don to test new ideas. Some say she had one harebrained idea after another. The Cornue/Jeschke team seems to work pretty well. According to Jeschke, Don gets it! Doesn’t Don’s bumper sticker say it all? Many thanks to Don. A true friend of the lake.


Someone else who “gets it” is Lisa Court (431 West Lake Rd).  Lisa is a development/fund raiser professional who has been advising the foundation board informally about raising funds for foundation environmental preservation projects since it was incorporated.  The board extends grateful appreciation to Lisa for her help and good counsel…and regrets her lost pure lake time while she consulted with the board. She continues to help the foundation make new friends and keep the old


Special thanks as well to Linda Kelly, owner of 

CNY Web Innovations, Inc. Linda helped the foundation develop the site and continues to maintain it. Her professionalism, good counsel and patience are appreciated.


The Call for Help:

Many Provided Photos for the Web site


Joyce McMaster volunteered to document an educational excursion Mike Curran led for the board of the foundation. The wind and light were perfect. Joyce captured all of those close up, underwater vegetation pictures in the carousel sequence as well as several other photographs used throughout the site.