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LOOKING AT THE MIRROR: Mirror Lake Watershed Association annual report

December 10, 2015
Submitted by BILL BILLERMAN , Lake Placid News

It's that time of year when we update you on our activities including our educational outreach work. We invite you to join us at our monthly meetings and ask for your donations and support.

We've had a good year. The focus of our activities continues to be raising awareness and protecting Mirror Lake and surrounding water bodies from adverse impacts to water quality. Again this year we increased our efforts to locate and harvest potential new invasive species before they become established.


Article Photos

Mirror Lake as seen on Tuesday, Dec. 8
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

Year in review

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program was awarded the 10th Annual Mirror Lake Watershed Award (formerly the "Frog Award") for their efforts in educating the public and controlling invasive plants. The award this year was a bathymetric carving of Mirror Lake.

The Community meeting room at the Peacock Park Beach House was officially named the David H. Ackerman room. The Lake Placid village board bestowed this honor on David for his forward thinking on issues affecting the water bodies of Lake Placid and North Elba.

With the help of Brendan Quirion of Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, invasive species including purple loosestrife and yellow iris were harvested and inventoried around Mirror Lake and its watershed. This annual effort to manage and contain the invasive plants has been remarkably effective. Because the plants are not widespread at this point, there is a high likelihood of success in eliminating yellow iris and controlling purple loosestrife.

Other lakes in the Adirondacks have been invaded by Eurasian water milfoil, variable leaf water milfoil, and spiny water flea. Mirror Lake is vulnerable to these aquatic species and in the future we need to be vigilant to prevent them from invading our lake. We also supported and attended the "Symposium on Invasive Species in the Adirondacks" at Heaven Hill Farm. A deep water cleanup was conducted in the early summer by a group of divers coordinated by Jim Grant. Bottles, cans, fishing lures, towels, and even a park bench were pulled out of the lake with the assistance of the MLWA.

Mirror Lake water quality continues to be monitored. MLWA volunteers took water samples for testing by DEC, and Ausable River Association staff took samples for testing by the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith's College. Test results from 2014 and preliminary results from 2015 indicate a potential problem with the chloride concentration in the deeper waters of Mirror Lake. Additional testing through the winter and spring is necessary to validate the preliminary results. Phosphorus levels, while slightly increasing, are still relatively low and algae levels remained low, consistent with the oligotrophic classification.

The MLWA website,, has been updated with new information and has many informative articles about the issues facing Mirror Lake.



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