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What you need to know for 05/24/2017

Water weeds overtake Central Park lake

Water weeds overtake Central Park lake

There are so many weeds in the Central Park lakes that fishing lines are getting stuck. Even some of
Water weeds overtake Central Park lake
Clifford Jackson, 15, fishes among the overgrowth and weeds in Iroquois Lake at Schenectady Central Park on Thursday.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

There are so many weeds in the Central Park lakes that fishing lines are getting stuck. Even some of the new paddleboats are having trouble.

At Iroquois Lake, weeds have grown so tall the paddleboats must rip through them as they churn through the water. On the nearby Duck Pond, algae is giving much of the water a sickly green look.

It’s not going to get better any time soon, either, Mayor Gary McCarthy said.

“It’s a multiyear project,” he said.

McCarthy said city workers have just begun to analyze the problem. At some point, they will call in state Department of Environmental Conservation officials. DEC must approve any plan before the city begins work.

But workers don’t yet even know what’s causing the problem.

“Some of it may be caused by nutrients in the water,” McCarthy said, citing geese, ducks and fertilizer runoff as possible culprits.

Central Park isn’t the only problem spot, either. In Steinmetz Park, the pond is surrounded by invasive weeds.

McCarthy said it’s not easy to mow down the weeds, which grow right by the shore. But, as in Central Park, they don’t pose a health problem. It’s an aesthetic issue.

“We’re looking at the options to remediate it,” McCarthy said, but without funding or in-house experts, solutions are hard to implement.

He may seek a state grant or other assistance.

“I can’t afford an in-house expert,” he said, so he’s tapped the man who maintains the golf course greens, as well as a few others who work in fields similar to that of pond health.

Among the possible solutions is dredging Iroquois Lake.

“It’s been a long time since that’s been dredged,” McCarthy said.

In the meantime, fishermen and boaters will have to accept the waterways as they are.

“There’s one theory that the paddleboats help because they take the tops off the weed,” McCarthy said. “And the fishermen don’t like the weeds, but the fish do. It creates a better habitat.”

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