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DEC, State Police Work Together To Lime Lyon Lake, Return Brook Trout To Natural Home

NPCA Photos, flickr

The Department of Environmental Conservation is dropping lime into Lyon Lake, in an attempt to bring brook trout back to the Adirondack area.

Lyon Lake is hidden just north of Stillwater Reservoir in the West Central Adirondacks, in the Herkimer County town of Webb.

Regional Fisheries Manager, Frank Flack, says the repairing the lake is a relatively simple process.

“This is an 80 acre lake, and we are transporting in and spreading on the ice 80 tons of lime to bring the pH in the acid and the neutralizing capacity up above six so brook trout can survive in it,” Flack said. “Right now it is totally fishless.”

Acid rain has rendered many of the Adirondack’s lakes dead, but by raising the pH levels ecosystems will once again be encouraged to develop.

“Basically, brook trout, once you start getting down below six, you start losing your young of the year and everything else,” Flack said. “An adult brook trout might be able to survive in the low fives, depending on the actual situation. What we hope to do is bring that pH from five up into the sixes, but we can’t lime a lake more than three times in ten years.”

With help from the State Police who are flying helicopters loaded with one ton worth of lime, the process should take only a few days.

“Lyon Lake is in the Five Ponds Wilderness area, and for us to use any kind of motorized vehicle, we have to get special permission from our Commissioner in order to use the helicopters in a wilderness area,” Flack said.

He says the process began Wednesday with 20 loads transported from a staging area 3.8 miles to Lyon Lake, where it was lowered onto the ice. Another 40 loads were dropped off Thursday and the finals loads should be in place soon.

If the plan is successful and the pH is raised to a comfortable level, native Adirondack brook trout could be added to the water sometime in the fall.

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