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.

Watershed Management Plan (update 2007)

Real time data from the Automated Monitoring Buoy located offshore near 5-mile point. OLA helps support the buoy project.

Between around November and April, data below does NOT reflect the current condition of Otsego Lake. Data may be transmitted sporadically for near-shore data collection and/or equipment testing.


Quick reference table
Temp Wind speed
°C °F m/s mph
-40 -40 0 0
-35 -31 5 11
-30 -22 10 22
-25 -13 15 34
-20 -4 20 45
-15 5 25 56
-10 14 30 67
-5 23 35 78
0 32 40 89
5 41 45 101
10 50 50 112
15 59 55 123
20 68 60 134
25 77 70 157
30 86 80 179
35 95 90 201
40 104 100 224

Disclaimer: Yokota Lab at SUNY Oneonta/Biological Field Station is providing this data "as is," and Yokota Lab and its affiliates cannot be held responsible, nor assume any liability for any damages caused by inaccuracies in this data or documentation, or as a result of the failure of the data or software to function in a particular manner. Yokota Lab and its affiliates make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or utility of this information, nor does the fact of distribution constitute a warranty. Real-time data have not been subjected to quality control or quality assurance procedures. Timely delivery of data and products through the Internet is not guaranteed. Before using information obtained from this applet, special attention should be given to the date and time of the data and products being displayed.

Update (11 Apr 2023):

Thanks to the BFS Volunteer Dive Team and OLA, despite two major challenges that were dished out to us at the last minute including the continued unavailability of the 37-foot BFS pontoon Anodontoides, the Otsego Lake Continuous Lake Monitoring Buoy (CLMB) was deployed on 7-9 April 2023. The lack of a large vessel with a flat deck meant that we had to break up the work over 3 days, and the SCUBA divers had to work harder for a longer time in cold water. The newly acquired Airmar 200WX weather station is now reporting wind direction and speed, thanks to the generous funding by OLA and the School of Sciences at SUNY Oneonta. If you are enjoying the real-time Otsego Lake data applet above, please consider supporting the operation and maintenance of the CLMB for the 2023 season and beyond through OLA. Due to the recent buoy system upgrade, starting in 2024, Yokota Lab will need to maintain a $1500/year data service subscription to keep this buoy data applet available to the public, and we are exploring funding sources.

Recent News

Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program


Happy to report that OLA’s inaugural 2023 CSLAP season was successfully completed on Tuesday 9/12 with the 8th and final sampling.

In addition to contributing to the NYSFOLA and DEC effort to survey NYS lakes the data collected fulfills part of what UFI specified in the Monitoring QAPP as needed for the CE-QUAL-W2 in lake modeling scheduled to commence in 2024.

An added bonus of the 8 sessions was that Kiyoko was able to join us and collect additional scientific data that will assist in the assessment of water quality in the lake.

Kindest personal regards,

Doug, Rhonda & Kiyoko

Ditching Presentation

Great presentation on "Erosion, Ditches, and Storm Sewers" here.

Before and After Harmful Algal Blooms: Long-Term Monitoring and Modeling in Otsego Lake

Environmental Monitor - Before and After Harmful Algal Blooms: Otsego Lake 08/28/23

Annual “WE LOVE OUR LAKE” Decorated Boat Parade - Mon, July 3rd, 2023

By K. Wayne Bunn

Wow – another great boat parade on July 3rd! We estimated that about 30 boats actually participated in the parade with many more just observing. This year’s theme was “Our Glimmerglass Shines”. Despite the weather prediction of severe thunder storms just before the start of the parade, which kept many more boats from participating, we had the right combination of things again this year – no rain, warm temperatures, overcast skies, and no wind. Bagged candy, plus a decontamination kit with instructions on how to clean your boat, were given out to each boat in the parade. An OLA tote bag with OLA merchandise inside was given out to the top five winners as determined by the judges. The 2023 winners were Robert Nelsen and Van Ramsey, the Ed and Joan Badgley family, the Tom and Kathy Chase family, Barbara LaCourt, and Goeff Nye in his “flying boat”. The parade was led again this year by the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station’s barge, the “Anodontoides”, captained by OLA Board member Paul Lord. It was out of service last year for major repairs. A very special highlight this year was local resident Goeff Nye’s “flying boat” called the Buccaneer. It was our grand finale and created much excitement before, during, and after the parade.

The parade started at 3:00 PM off Three Mile Point and proceeded slowly down the westerly side of the lake and ended at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown at about 3:45 PM with many people observing from various locations along the shoreline. Go to OLA’s website (www.otsegolakeassociation.org) for photos of this year’s boat parade plus past boat parades.

We thank everyone who participated in the parade with special thanks to The Freeman’s Journal, allotsego.com, and The Daily Star for their wonderful coverage and photographs of the parade – both before and after the parade. We also thank the Otsego County Sheriff Department’s Marine Patrol for observing the parade for safety issues. We look forward to another family oriented, fun-filled “We Love Our Lake” Decorated Boat Parade in 2024.

Around Springfield (Images of America) Book


The book can be purchased any Thursday morning between 10 and 12 at the Historical Society in the Springfield Community Center. And folks can see related exhibits! Also, by mail. Send check ($30, includes shipping) to Springfield Historical Society, PO Box 57, Springfield Center, NY 13468. Also available on the Arcadia website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

The book will also be available at OLA's 2023 Annual Gathering (see Events).

OLA's photo in the book is courtesy of Scottie Baker/Natura Productions. Photo by David Baker. Here is the back story, just for fun: Somehow, National Geographic magazine heard about our antique wooden canoe interest and sent Peter Essick, N.G. photographer for a photo shoot for their issue on water. That was about 1983+-. It was decided that Goodyear Swamp with vintage canoe at sunrise late summer/early fall would be a good backdrop. The image is me in" Feather' my 1898 solo canoe on a very chilly morning. The shoot was to have lasted only a few minutes when the conditions were perfect. It so happened it lasted about an hour because the fog and light kept morphing into one gorgeous scene after another. It was upper 40's and my feet were literally frozen!! My husband Dave was shooting photos over the shoulder of Essick, and this is one of them. (We did not make it into the water National Geographic issue, but the experience was epic). Later in 2003 Scottie and Natura Productions produced the photo in poster/print format.....'and a light canoe floats like a feather' which were from the words of George Washington Sear's "Nessmuck".

New HABS Safety Website

OLA partnered with Otsego County, OCCA, SUNY Oneonta and CLIA to put together the HABS Safety Website for HAB's


BFS, Lake Organizations Announce Otsego Lake HAB Testing Strategy

In addition to the BFS testing, the Otsego Lake Association announced it has joined the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program, run by the DEC and the New York State Federation of Lake Associations. The partnership will provide Environmental Laboratory Approval Program certified water quality data to prepare a DEC Nine Element Plan for comprehensive lake and watershed management. OLA members Rhonda and Doug Willies participated in the all-day Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) volunteer training at Lake George in May and successfully completed preliminary Otsego Lake sampling on June 5.

Read the entire article here.

Find out more about CSLAP here.

NYSFOLA annual newsletter contest.

Great news! OLA's "Our Glimmerglass" has won 1st Place in this year's NYSFOLA Newsletter contest for Medium Size Lake Associations at the Lake George conference - two years in a row! Congratulations to everyone who has made this possible. Remember you can read all of OLA's past newsletters on the publications page.

1958 Map of Otsego Lake

Credit line: Map of Otsego Lake, Village Printer, 1958, map, Courtesy of the Fenimore Art Museum Research Library, Cooperstown, New York. Ephemera OLHC006.


Harmful Algal Blooms

The NYS Department of Health and the Dept. of Environmental Conservation provide guidance and information to the general public via the Harmful Algal Bloom page. According to the DEC, HABs may be present in all or parts of a waterbody, thus we wanted to share this information with you all. People and animals should avoid discolored water and surface scums. Toxins may or may not be present.

The algae in a bloom look like specks mixed throughout the water; wind can concentrate the algae along the shoreline, especially in protected bays. Bloom conditions in a given location can change rapidly – particularly with changes in wind direction or speed. Some portions of the lake may be impacted while others remain safe for full contact recreation. Check the conditions before allowing children and pets to play. The OLA HABs page can be found here.

Useful links:

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation Harmful Algal Bloom page:

New York State Department of Health's information brochure: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/6563.pdf

SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station News Updates

If you or your business maintains a shoreline area for guests and algal accumulations form, you can print and post the NYS DOH’s HAB Warning Sign (https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/6637.pdf.




OLA donated the following children's books to the Cherry Valley, Springfield & Cooperstown libraries.
Good Night Lake
The Lake is Calling and I Must Go
Water is Water
Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean
Fishing with Daddy
The Little Book of Camping
Let’s Go Fishing 
One Frozen Lake
Bear Came Along
Pond Circle
Good Morning Loon

The books can be checked out at the above libraries or requested through the four County library system here. Additionally, the adult book Life and Death of Great Lakes was donated and is available at the Springfield and Cherry Valley libraries.


From the New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) Executive Director, Nancy J. Mueller. "Congratulations!  The Otsego Lake Association's "Our Glimmerglass" was the winner in the Medium Lake Association category for the 2022 NYSFOLA Annual Newsletter Contest." Remember you can read all of OLA's past newsletters on the publications page.



Become a member or renew your membership today.

Dear friends of Otsego Lake,

What a splendid sheet of water we share! Its surface and nearly half of its shoreline barely changed from Fenimore Cooper’s description. If you fish it, or if you sail it, swim in it, dive under it, ski on it, cruise it, tee off alongside it, soar over it, bike beside it, If you photograph it, paint it, or if you study it, if you skip smooth shale stones across it, If you dwell on its shores, if you dine along its edges, if your business relies on it, If you get your drinking water from the lake.

WHAT IS IT WORTH? If you haven’t before, it is time for you to join your Otsego Lake Association to help us preserve our clean, healthy lake. If you already are on our team, thank you! Be sure to stay with us! We are the only 100% volunteer organization devoted exclusively to the well-being of Otsego Lake! We are on a mission to defend the Lake’s essential values. Together, we pay attention to the lake day by day, always alert to emerging threats. We share information and create educational opportunities. We conduct research. We also “get our feet wet” building shoreline buffer strips, maintaining navigational buoys, inspecting at boat launches and so much more.

Become a Member Today


Feared Quagga Mussel Invades

BFS Researchers Locate Invasive Worse Than Zebra, Researcher Says

Find out more here.

Photo by Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com

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