Aquatic Invasive Species Surveys

What Are These Weeds? | An Introduction to Chautauqua Lake’s Aquatic Invasive Plants

This summer, CWC (with funding from the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance) is holding a series of public programs focused on Chautauqua Lake’s “weeds.” Through these programs, attendees will learn how to differentiate the beneficial, native aquatic plant species from the invasive, problematic species (“weeds”) and also learn what they as individuals and as communities can do to prevent the arrival and spread of new aquatic invasive species.


Many aquatic plants exist within Chautauqua Lake. Its nutrient-rich sediments provide a fertile growing bed for vegetation. Some of these plants are native to our area and provide critical ecological and environmental benefits, while others were introduced from distant locales and have been negatively impacting the ecological function, recreational and economic value of Chautauqua Lake. Perhaps surprisingly, the most prevalent invasives in our lake have been with us for many decades already. However, a steady stream of nearby or newly arriving species can pose additional challenges to the future health of the lake. Like so many lakes in our region, Chautauqua Lake faces its share of aquatic vegetation challenges, and when conditions are right, some species can grow profusely. To the dismay of many boaters, fishermen and landowners, at times these “weeds” form thick mats and create a tangled mess along the shores and in favorite boating or fishing spots throughout the lake.


CWC’s series of informational sessions will focus on aquatic plant identification, the tools available to study and monitor lake conditions and the opportunities for any “citizen scientists” to report the discovery of invasive species. These sessions will take place at various launch sites along Chautauqua Lake and are followed by an on-water portion during which participants will survey the local aquatic vegetation and look for invasive species. Participation to these programs is free, but pre-registration is required for the on-water programs because attendance is capped at 10 participants per session. You can register for these programs by calling 716-664-2166 or emailing Please note that anyone joining the on-water training sessions is expected to bring their own kayak and personal protective equipment (life jacket). The duration of each session is 3-4 hours. 

On-Water Citizen Science Surveys Schedule:

  • Wednesday, June 22nd @1pm – Chautauqua Lake Outlet (launch at Celoron Park, Celoron)                                                  
  • Friday, July 8th @1pm – Greenhurst (launch at Celoron Park, Celoron)
  • Thursday, July 14th @1pm – Chautauqua Lake Outlet (launch at McCrae Point Park, Jamestown) 
  • Wednesday, July 20th @1pm – Chautauqua Lake Outlet (launch at McCrae Point Park, Jamestown)                           
  • Tuesday, July 26th @9am – Ashville Bay (launch at Ashville Bay Marina, Ashville)
  • Friday, August 5th @ 1pm – Bemus Point & Long Point (launch at Bemus Point)
  • Wednesday, August 17th @ 1pm – Mayville (launch at Mayville Park, Mayville)                                       
  • Saturday, August 27th @ 9am – Ashville Bay (launch at Ashville Bay Marina, Ashville)
  • Friday, September 9th @ 1pm – Chautauqua Lake outlet (launch at Celoron Park, Celoron)

Online information sessions covering plant identification and the importance of early detection are also available freely to anyone who is interested: