From The President

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May 2017

Brookhaven Town has finally begun the long-awaited project of repairing the spillway at Willow Lake. They are also putting in a fish ladder. The contractor has started the project by taking out the existing trees and installing a bypass pipe for the water that is now going over the spillway. They will then install a coffer dam, which is a temporary dam in front of the existing dam to stop the flow of water. This will allow the contractor to take out the existing concrete and replace it with new. When completed, the coffer dam will be removed and the water will once again flow over the spillway.

The old spillway was in bad shape and in dire need of repair; it was also not wide enough to accommodate the water when we have a severe storm with many days of rain (often referred to as the 100 year storm). When the repair is finished, the fish ladder will be installed. The fish ladder is going from the stream bed to the east and will come out in the existing wooden bulkhead. This will allow the fish to migrate upstream around the dam.

When all the work is completed, the Town will be planting new native trees all through the area, including along the Swezey-Avey House property.

The plans for this project are on the Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes website ( ).

Brookhaven Town has also scheduled work to clean up Lily Lake. They intend to lower the level of the water in the lake by taking out the weir boards, let the exposed area dry out, and then go in with pay loaders and scoop out the muck and weeds and haul it away on trucks to the Town landfill.

Suffolk County is also in the planning stages for a fish ladder for the Lily Lake spillway. This is a County project because the County owns the spillway and the road. They have several obstacles to overcome. There is a high pressure gas line along the road as well as telephone cables in the shoulder of the roadbed.

We have recently become aware of the efforts of several groups, who once again want the dams removed. These dams have been here for 300 years. Our Lakes are part of our history. Yaphank has grown up between the two lakes and we have always LOVED OUR LAKES. The Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes has started a petition to save the lakes and if you would like to sign it, please contact the Coalition on their website (address above) or call the Yaphank Historical Society at 631-924-4803 and we will send you a copy to sign. Thank you in advance for your interest.

- Robert Kessler, President