Town Board to Examine Bubbler Issue on Lake Mahopac

Some are concerned that the bubblers are creating a hazard on Lake Mahopac by clearing out more ice than necessary.

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— The Carmel Town Board is moving forward with plans to legislate the use of deicing devices on Lake Mahopac. Commonly known as bubblers, or aerators, the devices are used to keep private dock areas free of ice.

The bubblers are essentially pumps that keep water moving to prevent it from freezing. Some residents have complained the devices have grown larger over the years, weakening the ice well beyond their intended purpose and creating hazardous conditions.

The issue first came to the attention of Mahopac News in January 2015 after several incidences of people falling through the ice had been reported. No one was seriously injured.

Sign Up for E-News

At that time, one resident, Fred Reger, who owns a home on the lake, said he became so concerned about the bubblers that he started an online petition at to compel the Town Board to take action.

“I have been on the ice my whole life on various lakes and we fish this lake in the winter,” Reger told Mahopac News. “Every year we talk about [the bubbler issue]. It’s been bad the past five years. Every year you see a couple more [bubblers] pop up.

 “The devices are different now,” he continued. “A long time ago, they were like little fish tank pumps and they kept the ice away from the docks for a couple of feet. Now they get these big sump pumps from Home Depot and you get open water about 200 to 300 feet around the dock.”

Supervisor Ken Schmitt said that last year’s mild winter made bubblers less of an issue, but the Town Board wants to look into the issue again and get feedback from the public before drafting any legislation designed to regulate the size and use of bubblers.

At last week’s Town Board meeting, Councilman John Lupinacci said he wants residents to come out to the next few board meetings and make suggestions as to how the town should proceed.

“These aerators weaken the ice and it becomes a safety issue,” he said. “For our next work session we should bring in residents for the pros and cons and get feedback. I am just bringing it to the forefront to start the discussion.”

Lupinacci said the town has to walk the fine line between keeping the lake safe while helping people protect their decks and boat houses.

“We have to do a little bit more homework,” he said. “I just want to get a flavor of what the people around the lake would like. I do believe something has to be done to mitigate the ice’s destruction but still protect the docks. There has to be a balance.”

Schmitt agreed.

“Bubblers’ intended use is great, but some of these systems have become so large,” he said. “The intended use was to keep the ice from forming around the docks and the boat house, but because of these huge systems it is actually opening up the water much further out into the lake and that is where the hazard comes in.”

Rick and Lori Betancourt, who belong to the Mahopac Woods Association, told Mahopac News last year that they wouldn’t allow their two sons to go onto the frozen lake because the ice got too soft due to the bubblers.

“They are making our access point unsafe,” Betancourt said of the bubblers. “Years ago people used to drive their cars and bring plows out onto the lake. Now we cannot even let the kids out there on the ice.”

Schmitt said the Town Board will do its best to find a way to mitigate the situation once it has gathered enough information.

“Somethings needs to be done,” he said. “I encourage the public—people who live around the lake and those who use it for winter activities—to come to the meetings. We want to hear from both sides so we can formulate our plan. It will be on our agenda, which is on the website, when we will have the discussions and the public is invited. Please attend the meetings. It is the best way to get information from you and for you to understand where we are coming from.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Facebook, Fools, Friends and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Since its inception, Facebook has been a regular target of mockery and criticism—everything from, “Do I really need to see a picture of the pastrami sandwich you had for lunch?” to “Why did you help the Russians get Donald Trump elected?”

No one likes to mock and criticize more than I do—just ask all of my former friends. And while I agree that Facebook can ...

It Was the Economy That Got Trump Elected

I am not easily shocked by much anymore. Yet, I was by last week’s column by fellow columnist Bernie Kosberg. Kosberg, whose column runs regularly in Mahopac News and sometimes in Yorktown News, said in the first paragraph: “Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of ...

God Is Just! Schneiderman Is Out!

Whenever you doubt that God is just, remember last Monday. That is the day New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned.

As you know, I have had him in my sights for a long time. He has squandered our tax dollars with more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Plus, his lawsuits against Big Oil and trying to nullify our double jeopardy laws. Most will go nowhere as ...

It Wasn’t About the Economy or Jobs

Soon after President Trump was “crowned” by the Electoral College in November 2016, I wrote a column about Putnam County voters that garnered some attention—both good and bad. Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of suitable jobs, but to the overarching fear ...

BOCES… What’s in a Name?

Do you ever wonder what BOCES stands for? We associate the name with a center of learning that supplements the general curriculum of local high schools by teaching students specialized trades. Beyond that, does everyone in the non-BOCES population, those who have no direct connection to the programs, fully appreciate the priceless value it brings to our communities’ young adults and their ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Dog Allergies, Part Deux

“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” I told my husband.

“Give me the good news first.”

“OK. The vet doesn’t think the dog’s ear infections are from a food allergy after all, so we don’t have to keep feeding him that hypo-allergenic food,” I said.

“Hallelujah,” shouted my husband. He was understandably ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...

CD Release Concert - New Middle Class at Putnam Arts Council

May 23, 2018

Press Release

Contact: Mike Borok

Phone: (914) 962-0120


May 19, 2018

Putnam Arts Council Hosts CD Release Concert featuring New Middle Class, with Dan Pelletier & Wendy Cody

MAHOPAC, ny: On Saturday evening, June 16, 2018, the Putnam Arts Council will host a concert ...