Aquatic Vegetation Management Program

June 24, 2021

Dear Honeoye Lake Shoreline Landowner,


Ontario County is preparing for the 2021 Honeoye Lake Aquatic Vegetation Management Program (AVMP).  Below you will find operations schedule and contact information. There are a few changes this year!



Honeoye Lake is a shallow, eutrophic (nutrient-rich) lake supporting abundant plant growth that can impede boating and other lake uses. Aquatic plants provide oxygen, food, and protection for a variety of species and are an important part of a lake ecosystem. The AVMP uses a mechanical weed harvester to cut and remove seasonal plant growth when it becomes excessive and problematic for boating and recreation. Aquatic plants take up nutrients from lake sediments, acting as a “nutrient sink”. Removal of harvested vegetation from Honeoye Lake also removes nutrients that would otherwise by recycled back into the lake upon plant death and decay. The harvested plant material is used for compost at area farms.



Goals for Harvesting Aquatic Vegetation include:

  1. Enhance lake access for recreational uses by cutting and removing aquatic plants that have reached the lake surface or close to it. 
  2. Remove nutrients from the lake environment.
  3. Aid circulation of water in localized areas choked by aquatic weeds.


Harvesting is strategically targeted with a SONAR-based vegetation density mapping tool. Residents are welcome to request harvesting in problem areas where plants are choking off access.  


A Shoreline Barge is used to help residents remove plant fragments washed to shore. In 2021, we are trying something new by scheduling east side pickups Monday and Tuesday, and west side pickups Wednesday and Thursday. The North Shore will be scheduled separately due to the volume of material deposited there after strong southerly winds. Flexibility is required, as weather (storms and even moderate winds) impact barge operations and schedules can change. The harvester may be used in certain areas where it is more efficient to load plant debris to the large storage bin on the back of harvester, requiring fewer trips for offloading. Adequate access (for barge or harvester) is required for shoreline pickup service. 



Requests: Request shoreline pickup by email at or call the office (phone # on page 2) with the following information:



Email/Telephone #


Color/Description of house

Description of waterfront – docks/boats

Other distinguishing features (color of neighbor’s house, flagpole, break wall, etc.)

Note # of piles/where located


Once initial contact has been made, the crew will continue to look for piles throughout the season. 

Preparing for Pickup:  Fragments should be raked up in loose piles or rows along shore to reduce gravel and stones. Branches and lawn and garden clippings must not be included as they can damage equipment and reduce capacity. Residents are asked to assist the crew when physically possible, which in turns make it possible for the crew to serve more people. Many hands make light work. Those with space and gardens are encouraged to compost aquatic weeds on site. Please do not rely on this program as the only means for maintaining beach or lakefront.


Program Communication AND STAFFING

Program updates will be posted on the County’s website at:

Veteran operator Randy DePew will be training new staff on equipment. Program Manager Betsy Landre can be reached at the office with questions and concerns (see contact info below). The core team this year is Bernie McGory and Pauline Walsh. More staff are needed. Contact the office if interested! Service response time is affected by staffing levels and the volume of requests. Your patience is appreciated while we seek to complete our crew roster.


2021 TENTATIVE OPerating SCHEDULE (subject to change) 

July 6-8                                   Training for new operators

July 12 – September 2 Harvesting and shoreline pickup 


Operating Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with effort split between Harvesting and Shoreline Collection. The schedule will vary based on weather and lake conditions. 



No harvesting occurs at Sandy Bottom Swimming Beach or the regulated wetland at the south end. Residents who do not want the harvester to cut in front their shoreline should contact the office to express and/or update their preferences. 



Public water has arrived in Canadice! Disconnected waterlines should be removed from the lake or pulled back under docks where they do not need to be marked. Waterlines remaining in the lake are at risk of being damaged by the harvester. Please take action to remove old waterlines or mark them with a floating object or buoy. The County cannot be held liable for damaging unmarked waterlines.



Residents are reminded that the harvester cannot trim around docks as the machine is not designed to maneuver in such tight spaces. Residents interested in learning more about controlling weed growth around docks should contact the office for ideas and information.



At times AVMP staff may be involved in research on the lake or assisting at Sandy Bottom Park beach.



A great resource for learning more about your lake and lake management can be found on the Honeoye Lake Watershed Task Force’s website at:

The AVMP team looks forward to working with our partners and the landowners around Honeoye Lake.




Honeoye Lake AVMP Team 

at Ontario County Planning Department


2021 Season Information (check back for updates)

2021 Letter to Honeoye Lake Homeowners (copy of above letter in its entirety)

Harvesting Season Reports

Archive Center

Vegetation Maps

Aquatic Vegetation Maps are created multiple times per season and provide a picture of areas around the perimeter of lake with the most growth. The first two maps below were created August 29-30, 2019. The red areas indicate vegetation occupies 90 to 100 percent of the water column. In red zones, vegetation is usually visible at or near the top of the water surface. Compare these to earlier maps from June 22-23, 2019 (also below). Plant growth was unusually light and localized early in the 2019 season, but came on as the season progressed. 

Late August 2019

Honeoye Lake Northern Lake Basin Macrophyte Map 083019

Honeoye Lake Southern Lake Basin Macrophyte Map 082919

Late June 2019

Honeoye Lake Northern Lake Basin Macrophyte Map 062219

Honeoye Lake Southern Lake Basin Macrophyte Map 062119