Effort Will Counteract Effects of Acid Rain and Facilitate the Return of Brook Trout to Lyon Lake
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will begin to deliver 80 tons of lime to an acidified lake in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area north of Stillwater Reservoir in the town of Webb, Herkimer County today, DEC Regional Director Judy Drabicki announced.
State police helicopters and their crews will be among the 40 plus staff required to complete this liming operation. From a staging area at Stillwater Reservoir on the ice near the boat launch site, sling loads of 2,000 pounds of lime will be hauled by helicopter for 3.8 miles into Lyon Lake. The lime will be left on the lake and helicopter will return to Stillwater for the next load. This trip will be repeated 80 times over four days, weather cooperating, to get all the lime out to Lyon Lake where DEC staff spreads it across the lake’s frozen surfaces.
“This is largest liming operation DEC ever embarked on, an effort involving months of planning and coordination with DEC staff, Forest Rangers and the critical state police helicopters and pilots and crews,” Director Drabicki said. “Adding lime to the lake will allow brook trout to once again live in this waterbody. This is just the latest effort by Governor Cuomo and DEC to expand opportunities for the fishing and hunting community.”
When the lake thaws in the spring, the lime will combine with lake water and make the water less acid. This will be the first lime treatment for Lyon Lake. DEC plans to stock the lake with native Adirondack brook trout during this fall’s aerial stocking.
DEC has great hopes for reestablishment of brook trout in some larger Adirondack ponds and lakes. Fisheries staff has noted that the larger water bodies maintain a deep cold water layer right through the summer (referred to as stratification), unlike the smaller ponds which now mix right through the summer. This results in warmer water temperatures in these smaller ponds that are not as suitable for brook trout.
Anyone looking for additional information on DEC’s liming program or a list of Adirondack trout ponds can call the Watertown fisheries office at