The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Mark Simonson

August 12, 2013

Efforts to improve Canadarago Lake began in August 1963


Construction on the dam began in late November, halted by winter weather and resumed in June 1964. The entire financing of the dam was borne by the CLIA, coming from donations by lake residents, businesses and individuals who enjoyed fishing or boating on the lake. The cost of the dam was between $5,000 to $6,000.

Another problem in the lake was a massive infestation of carp. The fish were responsible for a lack of oxygen in the water, fed on natural plant life as well as sport fish in the lake. The Association wanted to clear the carp out of the lake. In September 1963 the association voted to purchase a 500-foot seine, a large net that could catch mass quantities of carp. In June 1964 a picture of lake residents and volunteers was seen in The Richfield Springs Mercury, dragging a huge seine out of the lake, filled with fish. A long-term plan was to restock the lake with sport fish.

Better sewage treatment was another problem addressed by the CLIA. There was a largely insufficient treatment plant in Richfield Springs. At the organizational meeting,Reynolds told the gathering and later The Oneonta Star, “The campers feel sure that if the situation were reversed and the sewage from some camps was running into the village a little more interest would be shown.” An improved treatment plant was eventually built.

From the start there was great interest by area and lake residents in the CLIA. At the annual meeting held in July 1964 it was reported that of 498 property owners around the lake, 410 were members. Jane Feisthamel, today’s president, says that of 620 lake residents, better than 300 are members, with many more from outside the area including former residents who’ve moved away.

While the CLIA vastly improved the overall quality of Canadarago Lake, Feisthamel said, it became a source of socializing for residents. In the early years, annual picnics were held by the dam site, including a carnival. Clam bakes later became popular on the grounds of the Lake House. Pig roasts and a golf tournament have been more recent annual celebrations of the CLIA’s work.

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Mark Simonson

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