Bomoseen Lake

Lake Bomoseen is a freshwater lake in the western part of the state of Vermont in the towns of Castleton and Hubbardton in Rutland County. It is the largest lake that lies entirely within the state's boundaries, with a surface area of approximately 9.6 square kilometres (2,400 acres). The lake was formed by glaciation and has an average and maximum depth of 8.2 metres (27 ft) and 19.8 metres (65 ft), respectively. It drains a 100.25 square kilometres (24,770 acres) watershed, has five major inlets, and empties to the Castleton River.

A portion of the lake's shoreline is contained within Bomoseen State Park. Most of the remaining area around the lake is privately owned. The lake has such recreational accommodations as a public beach, marinas, and public boat launches, in addition to the state park. There are approximately 1,000 residences around the lake, as well as restaurants and other commercial facilities.

History

Millions of years ago, clays that accumulated on the ocean floor compressed into shale. When the ocean floor uplifted to form the Taconic Mountains, heat and pressure metamorphosed the shale into much harder slate. Lake Bomoseen nestles in the hills of these mountains. The Taconics are the slate-producing region of Vermont, and the area's history parallels the rise and fall of Vermont's slate industry.

Bomoseen State Park has several quarry holes and adjacent colorful slate rubble piles. These quarries provided slate for the West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company, a complex of sixty to seventy buildings that stood between Glen Lake and Lake Bomoseen. Several slate buildings and foundations remain in the park, and a self-guided Slate History Trail brochure is available at the contact station.

In the 1920s, literary critic Alexander Woollcott owned Neshobe Island and the island served as a retreat and playground for members of the famed Algonquin Round Table.[1]

Activities at Lake Bomoseen and in Rutland, Vermont

  • Boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, wind surfing, swimming, fishing, camping, and hunting.
  • Ice Fishing and cross country skiing in winter.
  • Crystal beach: volley ball, swimming, playground, Picnicing, basketball.
  • Bomoseen State Park: Camping, swimming, volleyball, hiking.
  • Hiking and biking on The Long Trail
  • Rock climbing and cliff jumping.
  • Fishing: bass, panfish, lake trout, brown trout, yellow perch, smelt, and northern pike.
  • Prospect Bay Country Club- 9-hole Public Golf Course
  • Diamond Run Mall, the state's second largest shopping mall
  • Vermont State Fairground

Conservation

Ospreys were virtually wiped out in Vermont and most of the United States by pesticides decades ago. DDT got into the food chain, and osprey populations plummeted as the chemical made their eggshells thin and brittle. CVPS has worked on osprey restoration efforts with the state for over 15 years, installing platforms at hydroelectric facilities, creating buffer zones and educating Vermonters on the birds’ need for space. A platform is under consideration at Lake Bomoseen.

Bald Eagles were also victims of the pesticide use of the 50's and 60's. Although there has not been a recorded nesting of Bald Eagles on Lake Bomoseen, there have been several sitings of eagles up and down the lake, enjoying the abundant prey of trout, bass, and perch.

Controversy

Lake Bomoseen has had a long history of weed problems. By the early 1980s, Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) were the dominant weed species in the lake. Eurasian watermilfoil is an introduced species that is difficult to control due to its ability to survive in various environmental conditions. At one point the watermilfoil covered 2.4 square kilometres (590 acres) of the lake, impairing its recreational and commercial uses.

Researchers from Middlebury College, working under contract for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation introduced a native aquatic weevil, (Euhrychiopsis lecontei), to help combat the problem. Other treatments such as chemical treatment with the aquatic herbicide Sonar* have been used at other lakes.

In recent years, zebra mussels have been introduced to Lake Bomoseen after many years of attempted prevention. The mussels are clearly visible on the bottom of the lake around the shoreline and have visibly restricted the growth of watermilfoil.

References

See also

External links

  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lake Bomoseen
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