Sheriff set to protect Sacandaga

Jetskiers allegedly kill ducklings; trash, human waste left on Sand Island

(Photo courtesy of Richard Giardino)

NORTHVILLE — Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino on Tuesday issued a news release to bring issues related to the Great Sacandaga Lake to the public’s attention.

Giardino said the sheriff’s department has recently received “a number of complaints” related to the lake.

The sheriff said jet-skiers allegedly were running over ducklings near the Batchellerville Bridge. He said the most recent incident involved the alleged death of ducklings near the bridge between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Giardino said a witness reported two young men circled around the ducks before appearing to drive directly over them. Witnesses said the jet-skis were both Sea Doo Sparks — one burnt orange, the other blackish/yellow.

The sheriff said the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident. Anyone with information can contact DEC Officer Brian Toth at (518) 222-1815 or email:

(Photo courtesy of Richard Giardino)

The public can also call Fulton County sheriff’s deputies at (518) 736-2100 and they will forward information.

“We have received numerous complaints of boats and jet-skis speeding in no wake zones, within 100 feet of shore and docks and swerving in and out of the paths of kayaks, sailboats, fishermen, swimmers, water skiers or tubers,” Giardino said. “These are all violations of the Navigation Law. We ask that you follow the navigation rules and laws and also respect the many other recreational users of the Lake. We ask you to recreate responsibly. Limit alcohol use, follow the law and rules, use common sense and let others around you enjoy the lake as well.”

More information on lake safety issues can be found at or FB seancraigmemorialfund.

Giardino said there has also been substantial littering on Sand Island and other islands. That litter has included trash, garbage, diapers, beer bottles, cans and human waste discarded on Sand Island.

“Thousands of people use the beautiful Great Sacandaga Lake for a variety of recreational activities, particularly on the weekends,” Giardino said. “The vast majority are decent law-abiding citizens who follow the law and rules. They enjoy the vast opportunities that the lake provides. However, less than a 100 are slobs who don’t respect the beauty of the Sacandaga. It is an offense to litter and it is creating a risk to the public health and safety. The quality of the lake water is currently in compliance with state law, however those who fail or refuse to carry trash off the islands are jeopardizing the public health and safety and also diminishing a beautiful local resource. We ask you to carry off what you carry on, it takes less than five minutes to package and carry your garbage off the islands.”

This beer box and trash was left on Sand Island along with other debris and human waste. (Photo courtesy of Richard Giardino)

More information can be found at the DEC website.

Finally, Giardino mentioned Beacon Island, a.k.a. “Yacht Club Island.”

“A widely circulated rumor is that the Mayfield Yacht Club is not the current permit holder of Beacon Island in the Mayfield part of the lake,” Giardino said. “That is false. The Mayfield Yacht Club is the current exclusive permit holder of Beacon Island.”

Giardino said the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District issues annual permits to individuals, businesses and organizations for their use and enjoyment.

“These organizations and business like the lake residents pay for the permits,” Giardino said. “We ask that you respect their permits and the system that has been in place for over 40 years.”