Candlewood Lake Authority Forms ‘Lake Management Plan’ Committee to Help Protect Candlewood Lake
Photo and article by the Candlewood Lake Authority—
DANBURY, CT—As the 2019 boating season comes to a close, and the buoys are removed from Candlewood Lake, the Candlewood Lake Authority is taking time to reflect on the year and prepare for the future. We are pleased with all of the positive feedback we’ve received from the community regarding the control of the Eurasian Watermilfoil and good water clarity, and encouraged by the scientific water quality monitoring results we’ve received so far this year. We are happy for all the work the community has done to protect the lake and educate their neighbors to thank for that progress!
While we can celebrate ongoing programs like the Sterile Grass Carp, the drawdown conducted by FirstLight Power, and the new Homeowner’s Guides that helped us make progress, this year’s success does not mean our work is over. On the contrary, the improvements we’ve seen this year only give us more energy to work towards continuous improvements and sustainable progress for Candlewood Lake. It is for that reason that we have begun work on a new “Lake Management Plan” tailored for Candlewood Lake!
Looking to the future, there are many goals we want to accomplish to continue to preserve, protect, and improve Candlewood lake for generations to come. To do that, we are using a tried and true method developed by lakes around the country and even the world – creating a Lake Management Plan that outlines every area where progress needs to be made, sets goals of what that progress will look like in both the short and long term, and outlines strategies to accomplish those goals. These areas include all sorts of critical aspects of lake management including the fish community, aquatic plant management for recreation, blue-green algae, invasive species, water quality improvement, stormwater management, watershed land management, and community engagement and education, to name a few!
To create this document, we cannot work alone. Many different people and organizations have a part to play in protecting Candlewood Lake. For this reason, we formed a Lake Management Plan Committee in June of 2019. Following the creation of that committee, at the beginning of September 2019, we reached out to the critical stakeholders around the lake to join us as members of the committee and provide their critically important insight and expertise.
Those organizations include but are not limited to: each of the five municipalities around the lake, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, FirstLight Power Resources, and Eversource. Furthermore, we are incredibly fortunate to have a robust network of lake managers and limnologists who have undertaken relevant projects at their lakes, both locally and through our membership in the North American Lake Management Society, and have offered their assistance and expertise as we work through the creation of this document. While Candlewood Lake is incredibly unique, the experience of these limnologists will be fundamental in helping inform the goals we can realistically set and the strategies we use to attain them. The Candlewood Lake Authority has a long history of collecting and analyzing important lake data, creating strategies and action plans to address pressures facing the lake, and even has an initial Lake Management Plan we created in 1985. While our new plan will be informed by the work the CLA has done in the past, the 2019 Candlewood Lake Management Plan will be created with stakeholder input to ensure its longevity. It will also be a “living document” so as scientific discoveries are made, the community continues to change and evolve, and the ecosystem in the lake changes, that doesn’t mean the plan is out of date; it can simply be amended and updated to reflect our new understanding.
While we know that the CLA could sit down and write a “plan” without any input from the community, it would not be terribly effective at protecting the lake – because we are far from the only ones working to preserve Candlewood, and we must work with the community and other organizations to ensure that our goals and strategies are both realistic and effective. We cannot wait to begin this process in earnest and look forward to working with the community and lake experts to organize our efforts. We know how much everyone loves the lake, and we work every day to help make sure that the lake remains beautiful for years to come, because we love it too. We hope you are as excited about the future of Candlewood Lake as we are.