Through their 2019 Addendum, the Schroon Lake Steering Committee updated and expanded the Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan in three fundamental ways. (You can read the Plan and the Addendum here.) This post looks at the first.
The original Watershed Management Plan focused almost entirely on the lake and shoreline. Recognizing that the lake is affected by things happening in a much wider area, in the Addendum the Steering Committee expanded the geographic area covered by the Plan to include the sub-watersheds of the Upper and Lower Schroon River, Paradox Lake and more uplands.
Schroon River is a 68-mile-long tributary to the Hudson River and the major tributary to Schroon Lake. The “Upper Schroon River” is the portion of the river north of the lake. The Steering Committee notes that the Upper Schroon River is experiencing significant problems with sedimentation that have the potential to adversely affect recreational uses, water quality and fishery of the lake.
The “Lower Schroon River” is the portion of the river south of the lake. DEC data suggests that water quality of this stretch of the river may be adversely affected by mercury levels.
Paradox Lake outflows into the Upper Schroon River at the western end of the lake near the hamlet of Severance. Paradox Lake has excellent water quality generally but slightly elevated levels of sodium, chloride and calcium.
In every watershed, what happens on the uplands—natural and manmade—is ultimately reflected in the lake through runoff and pollution. Schroon Lake is a Class A waterbody suitable for drinking water supply, public bathing, general recreational use, and support of aquatic life—for now. The Steering Committee’s objective is to keep the Lake in that condition by paying attention to activities on the uplands that might negatively affect it.