Photo credit: Scottie Baker of Natúra Productions.

Welcome to the Otsego Lake Association

Our Mission

The mission of the Otsego Lake Association is to educate, advocate, and actively participate in protecting the health, beauty, and well being of Otsego Lake by facilitating the implementation of the Otsego Lake Watershed Management Plan.

Recent News

           Real-time data now available from the automated monitoring buoy. The real-time data can now be accessed here. During the summer of 2017 you may have noticed a new permanent floating object located in the middle of, and deepest (168 feet) part of the lake, just north of Five Mile Point. This object is the new fully automated research buoy (click here for real-time data) that was installed on July 27th, 2017 by Dr. Kiyoko Yokota, the BFS volunteer dive team and BFS interns. The research buoy will monitor 47 water quality and weather parameters and transmit them every 15 minutes via cell service to a remote server maintained by the buoy manufacturer. The data will then be downloaded and used in the ongoing research on Otsego Lake and to predict future water quality after a major rain or wind storm and to evaluate long term trends in relation with changing climate. The new buoy was funded by a $70,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and will replace the existing research buoy just off shore at Five Mile Point which had to be read manually about every two week. Additional funding sources include Otsego Lake Association; SUNY 4E Grant, SUNY Oneonta & Biological Field Station; U.S. Geological Survey -NYS Water Resource Institute.

          From Dive Master Paul Lord. "The light snow yesterday did not deter our divers and tenders. Springfield Landing and Lake Front no-wake zone buoys have been replaced, for the winter, with spar buoys. Alex Sessions (SUNY Oneonta undergrad & Advanced Diver) and Lord did the diving at Springfield Landing with OLA Director Wayne Bunn providing solicitous tending. Lee Ferrara (Master Diver) supervised Krista Ransier (graduate student & dive instructor) and Sarah Coney (recent SUNY Oneonta graduate & Advanced Diver) in their dive at Lake Front with Colleen Parker (SUNY Oneonta grad student & certified diver) tending." A short video from todays dive can be found here.

Photo credit: Wayne Bunn

Additional pictures can be found here.

          Find out what's been happening in and around Otsego Lake this year in "Our Glimmerglass" newsletter. Read the latest version here.

Additional information about Studying Lakes in Winter

Kiyoko Yokota, Ph.D., CLM, OLA

  • Lac Le Jeune, British Columbia, Canada, as studied by students from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. or search for “FWR Winter Limnology” on
  • Lammi Biological Field Station, University of Helsinki, Finland – Lake Paajarvi is one of our “sister lakes” in the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON, that has a similar buoy based data collection program as in Otsego Lake. or search for “Lammi winter limnology” on
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology, USA.  They host young students at their Trout Lake Station for the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project's "Schoolyard," program. or search for “LTER schoolyard” on
  • A UW-Madison researcher explaining the vertically elongated ice crystals that form when lake ice is melting. or search for “lake ice candles” on  This is why it is especially risky to walk on melting lake ice!


           Glimmerglass Film Days, a showcase for powerful films reflecting humanity’s complex relationships with the natural world, will take place November 9-13, 2017 in Cooperstown, New York. The festival features screenings of several award-winning films, as well as encounters and collaborations with internationally known artists, activists and aficionados in a 5-day series enlivened by local food tastings, and optional trail hikes and bike tours, all designed to celebrate the natural and historic resources of the Cooperstown region. OLA is proud to sponsor "LOUISE EN HIVER". this year. For more information visit Glimmerglass Film Days.

          Quote from Paul Donnelly " Volunteers heading out to retrieve buoys at season’s end. Another year of making Otsego Lake a safer place for recreational boating. Bravo!"

Conservationist of the Year

Today we received a special announcement from the director of OCCA. Congratulations to Bob Sutherland.

Hello OCCA Family,

In 1989, OCCA established the Conservationist of the Year award to honor an individual, organization, business, or governmental body that has made a positive difference in environmental protection, preservation or education in Otsego County. I am pleased to announce that Bob Sutherland of The Clark Foundation – Mohican Farm has been named OCCA’s 2017 Conservationist of the Year. We will honor Bob at our first-ever Annual Picnic on Sunday, September 10 at Gilbert Lake State Park.

As manager of Mohican Farm, Bob is a leader in The Clark Foundation’s sustainability efforts, and promotes good conservation practices within the organization and the community as a whole. He established a composting operation at the farm that recycles thousands of pounds of food scraps and green waste each year, works to control invasive species with minimal pesticide use, and encourages the use of Mohican Farm as an educational resource. In addition, Bob serves on the Otsego Lake Association Board of Directors, volunteers with Growing Community, supports the Cooperstown Elementary School Kid Garden, and is a key member of the committee seeking to establish a county-wide composting facility in Oneonta.

Bob’s active participation in so many different facets of natural resource conservation in Otsego County makes him an outstanding awardee as we enter our 50th year. We hope you will join us as we celebrate Bob’s accomplishments. We’ve moved our annual event outside this year in order to enjoy the places that we’re all working to protect. You can still buy your tickets online at:  

Come join us and help celebrate Bob Sutherland.

Hope to see you there!

Leslie Orzetti

Photo credit: Unknown

Annual Meeting

           We had a great meeting yesterday, thank you to Glimmerglass Festival and everyone who attended.

           Paul Donnelly a local photographer said the following about yesterdays meeting "This year’s annual meeting was quite a special occasion. Willard N. “Bill” Harman Professor and Director of the BFS talked about the 50 year journey of this remarkable institution. He captured the significant progress which has been made in improving the quality of the lake water. Today, it is by far the best it’s been in the last fifty years. He noted that the Otsego bass as well are now making a comeback. Later in the program, he was given the Lake Citizen Award - 2017 for his many efforts and genuine interest to ensure the future of Otsego Lake. Those attending gave him a well deserved round of standing applause. Also speaking at this meeting was Bob Sutherland Mohician Farm Director. He talked about Springfield’s Swanswick's and Duke’s Oak Theaters history and their respective impacts being a part of Otsego Lake’s historical past. Nicely done and most interesting."

Photo credit: Paul Donnelly

Annual Meeting

          Please consider joining us for our annual meeting on Saturday August 12th at the Glimmerglass Festival (Opera) from 8:30am-11:00am. Free coffee, donuts and other goodies will be available. For more details visit our events page here.

Automated Lake Monitoring Buoy

          The monitoring buoy was installed Tuesday on the surface in the middle, over the deepest part of the lake, off 5-mile point. It officially went online and started recording data late last night. The buoy will help in our understanding of the lakes physical and chemical status throughout the year.

Annual "We Love Our Lake" Boat Parade

         Special thanks go to the 40 boats and a countless number of shoreline observers who participated in this year's boat parade. The pictures can be viewed here.

The following boats and families received a special prize for being voted one of the best of show.

Carpe diem - Nelson

OLA Fire Boat - Chase

Tioga or Bust - Barone

Wedding Chapel -Marlette

Ice Cream Truck - Harris

with honorable mention going to

Mayflower - Richtsmeier

Take me out to Otsego Lake - Woodhouse

SUNY Oneonta Buoy has gone missing.

         If anyone finds the SUNY Oneonta Water Buoy floating around Otsego Lake or on shore, please contact us at The buoy is similar to the 200-foot No-Wake Buoys but has "SUNY Oneonta Water Buoy" written on it.

Automated Lake Monitoring Buoy

          The SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station and Otsego Lake Association are enthusiastic to announce that Otsego Lake has joined the 21st century in lake monitoring. The monitoring buoy will take a multitude of parameters from multiple depths at pre- set intervals and will be placed on the surface in the middle, over the deepest part of the lake, off 5-mile point. There are only a handful of these devices spread around New York State, mainly in some of the finger lakes and NYC reservoirs. The buoy will help in our understanding of the lakes physical and chemical status throughout the year.


          We hope you can join us for our 4th annual "We Love Our Lake" Boat Parade on Monday July 3rd, 2017 3:00pm at 3-Mile point.


          Over 50 folks attended the Carl B. Good boat wash dedication today. Carl B. Good was an instrumental part of the boat inspection program, he served on the OLA BoD and several committees to preserve the village and its environment. WKTV, Channel 2 of Utica also attended and put together a nice clip of the event, that was aired on tonight's 11:00pm news. Click on the image below for the video and click here for the news article.

Upcoming Events

None at this time.

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