Resident: Drained lake in N. Patchogue puts wildlife at risk

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NORTH PATCHOGUE -

Some residents are concerned that the draining of Canaan Lake in North Patchogue to rid it of invasive plant species will harm the wildlife that inhabit the area.

At one point, the lake was a place where people would spend summers swimming and fishing. Over the decades, invasive plants have turned it into more of a swamp. Many residents are excited about the Department of Environmental Conservation project to restore the lake.

Patricia Bishop, who lives near the lake, says officials decided to drain the lake during mating season, which is creating a problem for wildlife.

Bishop says she set up a kiddie pool with fresh water for the water fowl, because the lake has become a mucky mess that swans and goslings are becoming stuck in.

The DEC told News 12 that “fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds all have the ability to move to other habitats, such as Patchogue Lake to the south, during the water level lowering process."

Officials say once the lake is drained, it will take several months to dry out and then it will be scraped clean.

Environmentalists say in the long run it will restore the lake to a place where both wildlife and residents will be happy to call home.

The project will cost about $2.5 million. Canaan Lake is expected to be totally drained by the end of the summer.

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