BROOKFIELD, CT —The Candlewood Lake Authority has announced that they are kicking off CLA’s 50th Anniversary with an event to benefit Candlewood Lake. A clean up project is being organized at Candlewood Lake on Saturday, May 21, 2022, for the annual “J. Marsicano and F. Cioffi Memorial Candlewood Lake Clean-Up.”
As teams did last year, boat Captains will provide their own cleanup crew. Captains and crews should pick up their materials (bags, gloves, and additional instructions) between 8-10 a.m. at the New Fairfield Town Park boat launch. Crews will return at around 12 noon to unload the trash picked up at the ramp and then will gather at the park for lunch.
To sign up and fill out the waiver, visit the Candlewood Lake Authority’s website.
About Candlewood Lake Authority:
The Candlewood Lake Authority is wholly dedicated to the safekeeping of Candlewood Lake. We promote responsible recreation, conservation, and stewardship for the largest lake in the state of Connecticut. Candlewood Lake Authority partners with the many stakeholders to advocate for Candlewood Lake including owners FirstLight Power, federal permittee Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) as well as local public officials, businesses, and residents.
BROOKFIELD, CT—Marine Patrol is Ready for the Season!
Memorial Day weekend marked the official opening of the summer season. The Candlewood Lake Authority Marine Patrol are the first responders on the entire lake measuring 11 miles long, 2 miles wide, and 65 miles of shoreline spanning five towns. The Patrol strives to ensure all boaters share a safe recreational experience on the lake.
Assistant Chief of Marine Patrol Henry Dyson encourages all boaters to take extra time to do a safety check before they head out on the water. Many boaters have a checklist for opening and closing the boat. Create a personal checklist for essential safety gear.
- Make sure your drain plugs are in prior to launch.
- If you aren’t a mechanic, it is a good idea to have a certified boat maintenance professional give your vessel a once-over before you put the boat in the water to make sure it is seaworthy.
- Be sure you add fresh fuel.
- 4. Check the expiration date for appropriate safety equipment including your fire extinguisher. If you shake your fire extinguisher you should feel powder moving around inside the device. If the powder is not moving inside have the extinguisher checked by a fire professional or replace it. Instrumentation must be in the green. Check your vessel horn, and if you use one, your air horn.
- If safety gear is still in its original packaging, open it so you can quickly access it in case of emergency.
- Check the condition of your life vests, moldy or torn PFD should be replaced. Make sure all PFDs are the appropriate size for each passenger. Add an extra life vest if you pick up a passenger or two – or if you need to be a good citizen for someone in distress.
- Put a map of the lake in an easily accessible compartment.
- Make sure you have a charged cell phone and if you have one, an extra battery pack for longer days on the water.
Chief Nick Mellas urges boaters to use caution on the water this early in the season.
- Seasonal storms can cause large debris to be moved from the islands or personal property into the lake. Be on the lookout for natural obstacles and floating docks or vessels which may come loose around the lake.
- Water levels are variable, pay careful attention to hidden hazards.
- Be sure you read and understand what buoy markers are in your line of sight, give hazard buoys a wide berth. Never tie your vessel to a marker buoy.
- Before May 31, you must wear a life jacket on a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. Beginning June 1 and through October 31, you must have a life jacket with you, and you should always make sure you wear it.
- Lake temperatures at this time of year can be in the 55 to 60-degree range. Did you know that there is no difference between lake temperatures of 30 vs 60 degrees Fahrenheit? Hypothermia or cold shock can affect you in a matter of minutes and without a life vest, you may not survive. 50 -60 is the danger zone.
Boat traffic on Candlewood Lake can be particularly busy on the weekends. Boaters are encouraged to be courteous of fellow boaters and to be good citizens of the lake. Marine Patrol will be actively present on the water this summer. Don’t hesitate to stop and ask a question or just to say hello. We will see you on the lake!
What you need to know about operating a vessel on Candlewood Lake
Licensing and Safe Boating Certificates (SBC) –
CLA encourages all boaters to take a Boating Safety course and earn a state of CT Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) to keep you – and others – safe on the waters.
- An SBC is required for Connecticut residents, owners of real estate in Connecticut, and anyone using Connecticut waters more than 60 days a year.
- Connecticut recognizes certificates from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island for use on our waters.
- All personal watercraft (PWC) operators on Connecticut waters must possess a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) from DEEP.
Water Skiing Endorsement
Emily’s Law was passed in 2015 in Connecticut for operators of a vessel engaged in water skiing, tubing, or any passengers riding in the wake. Operators:
- must be at least 16 years old.
- must hold the appropriate license and/or certificate (see above)
- must hold a Connecticut DEEP-issued Safe Water Skiing Endorsement.
Anyone who held a valid license and/or certification before October 1, 2015, is grandfathered from the endorsement requirement. If you received an SBC after October 1, 2015, and your SBC doesn’t already include the endorsement, you need to take the two-hour towing endorsement available free of charge through the online sportsman licensing system.Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Surfing and Tubing Safety Reminders
- By law, water skiing is towing anyone behind a vessel under power. This includes surfing, wakeboarding, and tubing.
- Operators must comply with the DEEP Safe Water Skiing Endorsement regulations.
- There must be a responsible person at least 12 years of age on board to assist the operator and observe the progress of the person being towed.
- Towing a passenger behind a vessel is not permitted from one half-hour past sunset to sunrise and when weather conditions limit visibility to less than 10 yards.
NEW FAIRFIELD, CT—The shoreline of Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield is one dock less after the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) removed it due to a harmful invader—zebra mussels.
These pesky creatures may look cool, but they can damage ecosystems by harming native species, according to Professor Pierce of the University of Wisconsin who stated, “In order for a zebra mussel to live, it must attach itself to a hard object. Not only do zebra mussels attach themselves to things like rocks, logs, and the hulls of ships, they also attach themselves to native species. Many native mollusk species are at risk of becoming extinct or endangered because of zebra mussels.” In addition, they can lower water quality and clarity.
The dock that was removed on Thursday, November 12 by the CLA, had about 6-12 live zebra mussels attached to it and were solitary mussels that were not yet forming colonies.
“This is the first time in over 8 years that this dock has been removed from the lake so we are unsure how long these mussels have been in the water, and when they attached to the dock,” a representative from the CLA said.
No other zebra mussels were found on neighboring docks and the CLA will continue to monitor the situation by combing the shoreline during the deep drawdown this winter.
The CLA is asking the public to clean, drain and dry their boats, kayaks and other nautical equipment before dropping them into the lake to help stop any potential invaders.
If you see any mussels that look similar to the one pictured, report the finding with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fore more information, visit the Candlewood Lake Authority online at candlewoodlakeauthority.org/invasivespecies.
Photo credit: Candlewood Lake Authority