Lake and Watershed Management Plans

The best reference for this material is Diet for a Small Lake, but this page can also guide you to other information about lake management planning in NYS.

Information about the water quality of many NYS waterbodies can also be found on the NYS DEC website at:

 Most lake associations become interested in lake and watershed management when a perceived problem occurs on their lake.  Nuisance aquatic weeds, algae growth, or turbidity often spur action on the local level.  Some lakes can become impaired for their designated use as a public water supply or recreational (contact) waterbody.  Many of them have been designated by the NYS DEC as part of the 303(d) Impaired Waterbody List.  Many lakes on this list have been determined to have nutrient levels that lead to undesirable water quality.  The nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus are the primary contributers to excessive weed and algae growth in lakes. The goal of most lake managemen programs is to reduce the amount of nutrients entering a lake.

In 2012, NYSFOLA partnered with the SUNY Oneonta Graduate Program in Lake Management to provide a mechanism for member lake associations to have management plans prepared by graduate students in the program.  NYSFOLA provides funding to the Oneonta Foundation in order to support the work on selected NYSFOLA member lakes.  

 The United States Environmental Protection Agency has prepared a Introduction to Watershed Planning module.  They recommend a 9 Element Plan.  They also have a "Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore our Waters":  There is also a "Quick Guide" version of the document:


There are many good examples of lake management plans in New York State.  Here links to some examples:

Augur Lake Management Plan - 2005 Augur Lake Management Plan

Ballston Lake Watershed Protection and Management Plan

Brant Lake Watershed Assessment

Brant Lake Management Plan Cover

Brant Lake Management Plan (SUNY Oneonta)

Canadarago Lake Watershed Protection Plan (2014, SUNY Oneonta) -

Cazenovia Lake Management Plan;/content/Documents/File/419.pdf

Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Plan

Cazenovia Lake Management Plan (SUNY Oneonta)

Chateaugay Lakes Watershed Management Plan

Conesus Lake Watershed Management Plan

Grass Lake Management Plan - SUNY Oneonta - 2014 -

Hatch and Bradley Brook Reservoirs Management Plan (SUNY Oneonta)-

Honeoye Lake Management Plan

Melody Lake Management Plan

Oneida Lake Management Plan

Lake Oscawana Lake Management Plan

Otsego Lake Watershed Management Plan

Panther Lake Management Plan (SUNY Oneonta)


Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan





Lake News MAR 12th

Regional HAB Summits Set

Harmful Algal Bloom Summit Information 

The last two HAB Summit Public sessions are coming up.  If you missed the first two, you can watch them here:    The remaining two will also be live streamed and recorded.  

North Country HAB Summit

Tuesday, March 20 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Best Western Ticonderoga

260 Burgoyne Road

Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Western New York
Monday, March 26 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, SUNY Monroe Community College, the Forum

1000 East Henrietta Road

Rochester, New York 14623 
Free parking in campus lots N and M

At these summits, nation-leading experts will work with local steering committees to begin development of tailored action plans to address the causes of algal blooms in the twelve priority waterbodies across the state. The action plans developed for each waterbody will be used to guide the development and implementation of priority projects, including new monitoring and treatment technologies. The action plans will be complete by the end of May and the lessons learned through these action plans will be applied to other impacted waterbodies.


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