HEUVELTON -- Black Lake, one of the North Country’s top fishing and tourist attractions, will soon be receiving $50,000 to combat invasive species.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie announced Monday she's secured the grant in the state budget.
The grant will be used to fight Eurasian Milfoyle, a non-native nuisance weed that forms dense mats of vegetation that shades out native species. The heavy weed growth disrupts the lake’s water flow, hurts water quality, reduces boating, fishing and swimming in Black Lake.
The dense weed canopies shade and crowd out native vegetation, creating pools of stagnant water, damaging fishing habitat.
Black Lake has been lauded by Fish & Game Finder Magazine, New York Fishing and Hunting News, New York Game and Fish, and Sports Afield Magazine which rated it one of the top 20 “Best of the Best” for bass lakes in 2002.
“Black Lake is one of the region’s economic engines,” said Ritchie. "It generates jobs and business opportunities for people in Hammond, Morristown, Oswegatchie, Macomb, Rossie, DePeyster and across the North Country.”
Black Lake, often referred to as "Nature's Fish Hatchery," is the largest of the Indian River lakes. The 20 mile long lake, with over 60 miles of shoreline and numerous islands, offers anglers a variety of ideal fish habitats from rocky points and shoals, to sandbars, weed beds, shallows, and deep water up to 40 feet.
The lake's most dominant game fish are the smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, crappie, and once again walleye.
“Black Lake has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top fishing destinations in New York State and the United States by fishing and sportsmen’s publications,” said Ritchie.
“Every year, it draws thousands of families to Northern New York, generating an estimated $7 million in tourism dollars a year. I have been working closely with sportsmen, the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water District and local officials to reduce the problems plaguing one of our region’s great natural treasures.”