Owasco Lake is one of the eleven lakes in New York State’s Finger Lakes region. At 11.1 miles in length, Owasco Lake is the sixth largest of those lakes, which are long and resemble fingers on a hand, albeit a hand with eleven fingers.
Because of the attractiveness of Owasco Lake, it is a very pleasant spot for vacations. There are opportunities for boating and fishing and swimming. Lately, however, the opportunities for swimming are fewer because of the discovery of harmful algae blooms at one beach a few days ago, which was temporarily shut down until the blooms dissipate.
When the beach was ordered shut down, the water had turned green from the plethora of algae. The color was indication that the algae bloom was toxic and could make both animals and humans sick. They can also create dead zones in the water and they can cause the price for treatment of drinking water to go up. Normally, a toxic algae bloom will dissipate within a few days. They are broken down by rain, wind, and cooler temperatures.
During the weekend of July 23rd through the 25th, I participated in the master naturalist volunteer weekend at Casonwasco, a retreat center and camp located on the shore of Owasco Lake.
We had trainings on invasive species of three kinds: insect, terrestrial plants, and aquatic plants. Learning how to identify invasive species was fascinating, but I have a long ways to go before I have developed any level of expertise in that area. I’ll just say that, for a while, I will be a work in progress.