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(updated 5/15/2024) ​

Milfoil Task Force Report - May 11, 2023
Reviewed & Approved by the Sylvia Lake Association Board

Based upon the nearly 70 percent of survey respondents being in favor of using an herbicide to control milfoil, Sylvia Lake Association Officers and Board members (SLA) engaged the Town of Fowler for administrative and financial support for the submission of an application to the NYS DEC for permitted use of the herbicide ProcellaCor to control milfoil.  Click here to continue reading.

About the 2022 Survey

In mid-October 2022, the Sylvia Lake Association Board sent out a “Milfoil Survey - Request for Input.” This Information and Action Survey was sent to 170 property owners at their tax map address (~150 different people/ Trusts/ LLCs/ Partnerships.) Surveys were sent via Certified Mail, with a stamped return address envelope, one ballot per lake property 911 address. Board members hand-delivered about 20.



100 surveys were returned. Six additional mail pieces were returned because recipient refused to sign for the Certified Mail. The Town of Fowler responded that they would not be voting for their properties, saying that lakers should make these decisions. Survey response rate, after considering these 8 non-participants, is 100/162, rounds to 62%.

The Survey asked participants to use a ranked-choice vote, to indicate their preference for four options, ranking the four options in order of what they wanted us to do. Of the countable ballots,  one person voted for “option 5 - do more research.”

article about invasives

Click the image, below to enlarge the article.



Of the remaining 99 ballots first choices: 

68 = Option 4  (move forward with application & permit to use ProcellaCor)

13 = Option 2  (provide information/education for individuals to manage their own shorefront)

10 = Option 1  (do nothing)

  8 = Option 3  (continue contracted hand-harvesting)


68% chose Option 4 as their first choice. 

Of the 31 who  chose other options first,  8 said that Option 4 was their second choice  

76% of respondents  chose Option 4 as their first or second choice. 



We appreciate everyone who participated in this survey. The document indicated that, "If you do not return your ballot by December 1, we will assume you agree with the majority." 


Since 76%  of respondents indicated interest in utilizing ProCellaCor, the Board will move forward to determine who can/should request permits. In addition, the Board will work on partnerships for permitting and funding a targeted, limited utilization of ProcellaCor, to address the milfoil infestation on the South shore of Sylvia Lake.


Any questions about this survey can be directed to SLA Board members -  email links are HERE.  For questions about participant mailing addresses or returns, contact the  Secretary at
We will update this space as we proceed with any actions going forward. 

Milfoil & Other Invasives
Our Milfoil Problem: What We've Done / Options for the Future

An important meeting was held on July 7, at the Gouverneur Community Center. The Milfoil Task Force and the Sylvia Lake Association Officers and Board members:
1.) reviews our (losing) fight against Eurasian Milfoil and  2.) presented our options going forward.


The mission of the Sylvia Lake Association is, in a word, "Water."

Since 2004, the website has documented the efforts of the Association members to combat the spread of the invasive Eurasian Milfoil in our beautiful lake. There are a number of strategies that have been employed over the years. The goal is appropriate "Aquatic Invasive Management."

To learn more about where we've been, in our effort to mitigate the invasive weed, use the search tool. Type "milfoil" into the search box, below.

Milfoil Mentions in SLA Meeting Minutes

In 2020, as a "last act" in her position as SLA Secretary, Lea Dickson compiled notes from the SLA Minutes from 2013 - 2020.


These notes contained all of the occurrences of "milfoil" from those minutes. In addition, this document contained the full report from Steve LeMere, Adirondack Ecologists, LLC. View this document.


Eurasian water milfoil is a weed. Native to Europe and Asia, it's now found across the United States. In the 1940's, milfoil was imported for people to use in their aquariums, but it soon found its way into lakes and ponds all over the country. Scientists say it's so pervasive it destroys native plants.

In ecosystems like Sylvia Lake, its growth is attracted to areas of nutrient-rich sediments. It is an opportunistic species that prefers highly disturbed lake beds and lakes that receive nitrogen and phosphorous-laden runoff, like from lawn fertilizers. Warmer water temperatures promote multiple periods of flowering and fragmentation.



Sincere thanks to everyone who has donated to the Milfoil Management Fund! Going forward, we know we’ll need to raise a substantial amount for ongoing management of the invasive Eurasian Milfoil in our beautiful lake.


We’re asking EVERYONE to contribute generously to the Milfoil Management Fund. We will be offering informational meetings, a “lake cleanup day,” and hands-on demonstrations on milfoil removal. Click the DONATE button to contribute to the “Milfoil Management Fund.” Give generously. Your contribution will help preserve the beauty of our lake for another generation.

From SLA Director, Bill Cook

In 2020 the Association contracted with Aqualogic to help manage the lake milfoil problem. Aqualogic successfully harvested several truck loads of milfoil plants over a two-week period and have been contracted for another week of harvesting next summer.The Aqualogic Team of four divers work from their pontoon boat at various locations around the lake. Each diver is certified in Advanced Open Water Diving, and in Weed Control Diving, and trained in Emergency Response. They are specially trained in underwater management of invasive species. We appreciate all those cottage owners who contributed money or their time and energy to support the harvesting of this evasive plant. We also encourage contributions to fund next year's harvest. 

Due to Covid concerns, Aqualogic did not work at Sylvia in 2021. They returned for two weeks in 2022.

The Fish & Game Committee members Gail Ferguson, Gary Scott and Mike Hatch reinstalled the outlet dam boards in early April shortly after the ice was out. We hope to avoid the extremely low lake level we experienced in 2019. 

Professor Brad Baldwin, St. Lawrence University, has been monitoring the health of Sylvia Lake (along with several other lakes in the area) over the past several years as an integral part of one of his environmental studies classes. He reported that Sylvia Lake is one of the Adirondack's more pristine bodies of water with excellent chemical qualities and balance. We benefit from the lake being mostly spring fed, deep and with no significant problems from septic tank leakage or farmland fertilizer runoff.

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