Photo credit: Scottie Baker of Natúra Productions.

Welcome to the Otsego Lake Association

Our Mission

The mission of the Otsego Lake Association is to educate, advocate, and actively participate in protecting the health, beauty, and well being of Otsego Lake by facilitating the implementation of the Otsego Lake Watershed Management Plan.

Recent News


          Otsego Land Trust is having their annual Brookwood Point spring cleanup on Saturday May 4th, 1-4pm, Brookwood Point, 6000 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY. They are searching for volunteers to help them prepare for the upcoming season. Please consider helping them out this spring. For more information and to RSVP contact Becky Talbot

          The Fly Creek Philharmonic's March 2019 performance "Water, Water Everywhere" about water garnered a unanimous decision among the troupe to honor the Otsego Lake Association. OLA is awarded a portion of the profits from the show to help continue the good work of educating, advocating and participating in the health and well being of Otsego Lake.

Tickets on sale now at the Fly Creek General Store and at Riverwood in Cooperstown! Don't miss your chance to see the celebrated Fly Creek Philharmonic live March 15 and 16.

          Dr. Kiyoko Yokota was on hand at the Biological Field Station dock on Otsego Lake yesterday for the removal of what Paul Lord, standing at left, who leads the BFS diving team, termed a “monster buoy.” The Continuous Lake Monitoring Buoy (CLMB) just completed its second year tracking conditions deep in the lake, which can be compared with CLMBs around the national and world, to allow the local researchers to prepare for changing conditions caused by global warming. Dr. Yokota, an assistant professor of biology at SUNY Oneonta and BFS researcher, said the CLMB noted numerous more days above 26 degrees Celsius this summer than the year before. (Jim Kevlin/

          Glimmerglass Film Days, a showcase for powerful films reflecting humanity’s complex relationships with the natural world, will take place November 8-12, 2018 in Cooperstown, New York. The festival features screenings of several award-winning films, as well as encounters and collaborations with internationally known artists, activists and aficionados in a 5-day series enlivened by local food tastings, and optional trail hikes and bike tours, all designed to celebrate the natural and historic resources of the Cooperstown region. OLA is proud to sponsor "Leaning into the Wind" this year. For more information visit Glimmerglass Film Days.

           This storm drain is located in front of Stagecoach Coffee on Pioneer Street. It's a nice reminder that our storm drains in Cooperstown flow into the local waterways.

           Dear NYSFOLA Members

This is the time of year to search for the most invasive aquatic plant found in NY waters.

Would you do one last favor for your lake this summer and take some time to search the shoreline, boat launch areas, swimming areas. and any other places you can look for this plant? Recruit as much help as you need. Use the DEC/NYSFOLA AIS Shoreline Protocol to guide your hunt:, but just get out there and look!

Here's here's how to ID the plant. Note the serrated leaf, turion on the stem, and tuber in the sediment are key to the ID of this plant.

If you think you've found hydrilla, please send digital photos (close up of leaves, tuber, and other identifiable parts on a white background please) with the location found to Please include follow-up contact information. Save a sample just in case.

We can't stress enough how important it is to catch this invasive plant early. Known locations are in the NYS Canal System near Tonawanda, the Croton River, Central NY (including a large population in Cayuga Lake). So, it could be anywhere.

Also, please let us know if you looked and how much of your lake you surveyed even if you didn't find the plant. Keeping track of where this plant "isn't" is just as important as knowing where it is.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We will also communicate the results to the regional PRISMs (Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management).

Thank you everyone.
Nancy Mueller, Manager

           A note from Yu Chen at NYSDEC.

This is Chen and I’m the Head of the Ecotoxicology Section in the Bureau of Ecological Health, Division of Fish and Wildlife at NYSDEC. We are currently conducting a study evaluating the status of benthic community in relation to aquatic herbicide treatment. The study was initiate to provide scientific support for an ongoing discussion on potential changes in the regulation of aquatic herbicide within the state. We have selected a number of lakes based on the ecological significance, public interest, and history of aquatic herbicide use. We are interested in Otsego Lake because as far as we know, it has had no use of copper-based aquatic pesticides and we would like to use it as a reference site. We are planning on accessing the lake from the public boat launches. I just want to let you know about our intentions and I would be happy to talk to you about the specifics if necessary. Looking forward to hearing back from you. Cheers, Chen

Yu Chen, PhD.

Research Scientist, Division of Fish and Wildlife

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

           A note from Chip Northrup. The Lions Club (John Rowley), Otsego Sailing Club, Biological Field Station Divers (Paul Lord) and several newly filthy volunteers cleaned debris out of the Susquehanna River Saturday from the lake to the Mill Street weir for the first time in recorded history, meaning probably ever. Among the archival flotsam and jetsam were approximately 30 tires, a half dozen paint buckets, pipes, traffic cones, an oil drum, a rather nice fishing rod and reel, dozens of apothecary bottles, cinder blocks, a WayFair carpet, baby carriage, Price Chopper shopping cart, what appears to either be Jimmy Hoffa's left femur or that of a deer, a whaling ship anchor, and a Pete Rose Hall of Fame T shirt. Many thanks to the Lions, Sailors, Biologicals and all the soon-to-be-clean-again volunteers!
Photo Credit: Chip Northrup

           Butch Weir, Cooperstown, left, looks on as Matt Chisdock and Doug Perry haul an old 50 gallon drums aboard the Otsego Sailing Club work Barge this morning during a river clean-up behind Bassett Hospital. The clean-up was a community service project headed by The Lions Club with help from the OCCA and the SUNY Biological Field Station volunteer dive team. Read the full article here.
Photo Credit: Ian Austin of The Freemans Journal

           At the Otsego Lake Association’s 25th annual meeting Saturday at the Glimmerglass Festival, Paul H. Lord, Biological Field Station dive master, left, congratulates Master Scuba Diver Dale E. Webster, who received the OLA’s 2018 Diver Commendation Award. In the center is Leslie Orzetti, executive director, Otsego County Conservation Association, who received the Lake Citizen Award. The program, “Winter on Otsego Lake,” was presented by Tom Heitz. (Paul Donnelly photos for

           Otsego Lake was briefly mentioned by Kiyoko Yokota in the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Societies recent newsletter. Read the full article here on page 8.

           We now have a "OLA Welcomes You To Otsego Lake" flyer, for all renters staying on/near Otsego Lake (To All Motel Guests, Bed & Breakfast Guests, Camp Renters, Dreams Park Guests, Opera Guests, Seasonal Lake Residents, and Other Visitors). See the flyer here.

           Despite nearly triple digit heat index, there was proof that "We love our Lake". Boaters showed their "true colors". During this years "2nd to none" Boat Parade we gave out 5 prizes to some wonderfully decorated boats. In no particular order.
"Have a Ball on Lake Otsego" - Van Ramsey & Robert Nelson
"President Kennedy & Jackie Kennedy" - Nick Preston & Gary Cassinelli
"Wild West Wagon" - Chase Family
"Cinco De Mayo" - Mary & Jonathan Eibs
"Otsego Lake has Everything" - Sever Family
Photo credit: Timothy Pokorny

           Please see the below announcement of a talk that Kiyoko Yokota (SUNY Oneonta Professor, Technical Advisor for OLA) will give about the temperature monitoring buoy at 6pm on June 27 at the Clark Sports Center. Hope some of you can attend.

           Don't forget this boating season to CLEAN DRAIN TREAT.

           Kudos to the Village of Cooperstown for installing permeable surfaces as part of the Main Street sidewalk project in 2015. This educational sign is located on Main Street just west of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Photo credit: Timothy Pokorny

           The Otsego Lake Continuous Lake Monitoring Buoy (CLMB) has been deployed for the 2018 season. Professor Kiyoko Yokota, Researcher Paul H. Lord, and graduate student Sarah Coney were assisted by volunteers from OCCA, Leslie Orzetti & Danny Lapin, and BFS Dive Team volunteers, Lee Ferrara, Bjorn Eilertsen, and Wayne Bunn. Tom & Leslie Breiten facilitated our success as well. The buoy is streaming data here and we can watch Otsego Lake warm. The surface temperature today was 43° F.

Photo credit: Kiyoko Yokota

Photo credit: Wayne Bunn

          Lee Ferrara, Sarah Coney, Thomas Franzem, & Paul H. Lord deployed summer season no-wake zone buoys in Otsego Lake at Lake Front Park, 3-Mile Point, Bayside Inn, & Springfield Landing in Otsego Lake on Sunday, the 22nd. They were ably assisted by Wayne Bunn. The air was warm. The water was crisp & clear. Otsego Lake is officially open for summer recreation.

          Past president and current Board Member Wayne Bunn sent in this photo today. "Start of Ice Out"

Photo credit: Wayne Bunn

          A couple of great videos from the BFS volunteer dive team, filmed in 2015.

Credit: Pat McCormack

Credit: Pat McCormack

          Mystery, menance of toxic algae invading NY lakes.

           Real-time data now available from the automated monitoring buoy. The real-time data can now be accessed here. During the summer of 2017 you may have noticed a new permanent floating object located in the middle of, and deepest (168 feet) part of the lake, just north of Five Mile Point. This object is the new fully automated research buoy (click here for real-time data) that was installed on July 27th, 2017 by Dr. Kiyoko Yokota, the BFS volunteer dive team and BFS interns. The research buoy will monitor 47 water quality and weather parameters and transmit them every 15 minutes via cell service to a remote server maintained by the buoy manufacturer. The data will then be downloaded and used in the ongoing research on Otsego Lake and to predict future water quality after a major rain or wind storm and to evaluate long term trends in relation with changing climate. The new buoy was funded by a $70,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and will replace the existing research buoy just off shore at Five Mile Point which had to be read manually about every two weeks. Additional funding sources include Otsego Lake Association; SUNY 4E Grant, SUNY Oneonta & Biological Field Station; U.S. Geological Survey -NYS Water Resource Institute.

          From Dive Master Paul Lord. "The light snow yesterday did not deter our divers and tenders. Springfield Landing and Lake Front no-wake zone buoys have been replaced, for the winter, with spar buoys. Alex Sessions (SUNY Oneonta undergrad & Advanced Diver) and Lord did the diving at Springfield Landing with OLA Director Wayne Bunn providing solicitous tending. Lee Ferrara (Master Diver) supervised Krista Ransier (graduate student & dive instructor) and Sarah Coney (recent SUNY Oneonta graduate & Advanced Diver) in their dive at Lake Front with Colleen Parker (SUNY Oneonta grad student & certified diver) tending." A short video from today's dive can be found here.

Photo credit: Wayne Bunn

Additional pictures can be found here.

          Find out what's been happening in and around Otsego Lake this year in "Our Glimmerglass" newsletter. Read the latest version here.

Additional information about Studying Lakes in Winter

Kiyoko Yokota, Ph.D., CLM, OLA

  • Lac Le Jeune, British Columbia, Canada, as studied by students from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. or search for “FWR Winter Limnology” on
  • Lammi Biological Field Station, University of Helsinki, Finland – Lake Paajarvi is one of our “sister lakes” in the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON, that has a similar buoy based data collection program as in Otsego Lake. or search for “Lammi winter limnology” on
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology, USA.  They host young students at their Trout Lake Station for the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project's "Schoolyard," program. or search for “LTER schoolyard” on
  • A UW-Madison researcher explaining the vertically elongated ice crystals that form when lake ice is melting. or search for “lake ice candles” on  Therefore, it is especially risky to walk on melting lake ice!

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